If you want to make yourself indispensable as a freelancer, you should develop additional skills your customers value.
Businesses don’t always have in-house staff to handle critical copy needs, which is where you come in as a freelance writer. However, these businesses also bring in professional services for other skill sets, such as graphic design, web development and social media marketing. If you offer value-added services outside of freelance writing, you make your client’s life easier by providing a one-stop shop. Your clients already trust you, know your work style, and have you set up in their payment systems — it’s far less work to reach out to you for supplementary freelance needs instead of taking a chance on an unknown. Many of these skills can be developed through online and local resources, so you can add these value-added services to your repertoire.
Knowing two or more languages helps you expand your client pool and provides better value for clients looking to move into additional markets. You can communicate more effectively with clients who speak English as a second language, translate between English and another language and market in regions other freelance writers can’t reach. You can learn a second language through classes at a local university or community college or online at sites such as Duolingo.
Your writing work often gets posted online through the client’s website, blog, social media profiles, email and other channels. Web developers handles duties such as creating the website, installing scripts and maintaining existing websites. Web development services are a natural pairing for freelance writing services, and they are the type of skill you can learn through hands-on training. Learn about web development through an online learning website such as Treehouse or a tutorial site such as TutsPlus.
Your clients use graphic designers to create website themes, infographics and additional marketing assets. You can specialize in a specific type of graphic design, such as infographics or typography, or develop a well-rounded set of skills. Picking up a wide range of general graphic design skills does take longer than dedicating yourself to a single area, but it can work out well for handling all of your clients’ needs. Learn about graphic design through an online course site such as Creative Live or by watching YouTube video tutorials on graphic design software.
Social media marketing bleeds over into freelance writing frequently, letting you expand your freelance talents without jumping into a completely foreign skill set. Your clients may request social media posts, engagement with commenters, setting up social media profiles and coordinating content marketing strategies using social channels. Learn about social media marketing techniques and software through Social Media Examiner and Adweek’s Social Times.
Including images and other visual content improves marketing effectiveness, and Social Media Examiner found that 70 percent of marketers are planning on using more original visual content in their future marketing strategies. Photography skills help you follow the visual content trend by offering a full package deal for clients. Combine photography with graphic design skills, and you offer a nearly complete one-stop shop. Learn photography skills through the New York Institute of Photography’s online courses or online photography tutorials.
Investing time into developing supplementary freelance talents opens up a new world for you and your clients. You improve the convenience factor for your clients while increasing your pay rates and potential workload.