IF YOU WANT to earn more money to support the downtimes when creative work is thin on the ground or you just feel like taking on an exciting challenge as a matter of personal development, you may well already have the skills to do so or, at least, have the basis of what you need to create new opportunities.
Most freelances have many talents but often don’t realise that their abilities are potentially marketable and lucrative.
To help identify ‘hidden’ skills that may be valuable to your portfolio, answer the following questions (you’ll find examples of handy skills evaluation tables in Module 2.1. of our Diversify your Portfolio online course):
What skills do I use in my core creative work?
List these and think about how you could use them elsewhere. For example, a voice-over artist might be able to work with organisations that want to improve the impact that their employees have when speaking to customers on the telephone.
If you’re stuck for ideas, think about how others use similar skills to create work, browse the internet to see what various organisations are delivering and how your skills may help them to do this and ask colleagues or friends for feedback. It’s often the case that others can use an objective view to pinpoint the expertise that you take for granted and don’t attach value to.
What other skills do I use at work?
As a freelance, you probably possess an array of abilities that you use to support your creative work including marketing, sales, financial management, looking after clients and technological expertise.
Are you particularly good in any of these areas? Do you enjoy something to the point that you would like to take it further? For example, one musician found that adeptness in the technical side of things lead him to launching his own production company.
What other activities do I enjoy?
It’s likely that outside your working life, there are a number of things that you excel at that may be marketable. For example, one writer loved photography to the extent that she was always asked to take the photos at family events such as weddings and christenings. She decided to develop this passion and now photography brings her a separate stream of income and also adds value to her core work.
Once you have answered the above questions, it’s time to think about which skills are potentially marketable in the short term and which can go on the back burner for the moment. Bear in mind that you’ll need to fit in development with your core work, so taking just one or a small group of complementary skills from your list to work on first is more likely to bring the returns you’re aiming for.
To help you develop your skills portfolio, members can sign up to the free e-course ‘Diversifying Your Portfolio’
If you would like more help developing your skills, you’ll find an online course at our digital learning centre, which is free to members and enables you to learn at your convenience. Here you’ll also find a range of online courses designed to support your freelance career including:
- Finance for Freelances
- Negotiation for Freelances
- Overcoming Freelance Challenges
- Social Media for Freelances (intro).