There are 53 million freelancers in the US and the number continues to grow. In the UK, 1.4 million Brits are working as freelancers across all sectors. And around 7% of the total adult workforce in Europe—that’s 11 million people—are currently freelancing. With so many freelance professionals making a living in the gig economy, there is a very high demand for freelance skills. But what are they and what types of freelance jobs are the most popular?
The most highly valued freelance skills
Here’s our list of highly lucrative freelance skills that can help you land the next breakthrough project. If you fall into one of these roles, then congratulations—it’s likely that you’ll be an attractive prospect to many clients. And if your skills are not featured? Don’t worry, there are thousands of different freelance jobs that offer great opportunities. Take a look at the following options:
1. Developer (coder, programmer)
Programming is one of the most in-demand jobs in the world. In the digital world, every business, organization and creative project needs a strong presence online. Whether that’s achieved with an app or a website, someone needs to build it.
Creative design is a particularly lucrative field of work that can include projects like brochure design, logo design, or web design. Experienced designers often have more work than they can take on, but there’s a catch. To succeed as a freelance designer, you will need a diverse portfolio to be able to show your prospects what type of work (and quality) you can produce. A design portfolio is something you build over time, so keeping on top of industry trends, learning new tricks and developing your skills before going freelance is key.
3. Writer or copywriter
Writing is still one of the most popular jobs in the gig economy. With content being declared the king of modern marketing, companies have hefty budgets for producing high-quality articles, blogs, guides, press releases and other types of written content.
To become a freelance writer, you should have highly developed writing skills, stellar grammar and a talent for storytelling.
4. Marketing professional
Working as a freelance marketer can mean anything from running paid Facebook ads campaigns, to overhauling an entire website’s copy. There’s a huge and thriving community of freelance marketing professionals, strategists, and consultants. What do they all have in common? Digital skills.
With B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing becoming more and more alike, marketers are tasked to create, execute and optimize digital strategies that cover every touchpoint in the buyer’s journey. This means they must have a robust knowledge of digital fundamentals like SEO, data analytics, user experience, conversion best practices, email marketing and many more. The variety and diversity of freelance skills required in the marketing space drives the demand for all types of marketers in all industries. There’s work for everyone!
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For publishers, advertising firms, and global corporations, localized content is one of the most effective marketing avenues. In some countries and cultures, it could also be the only way to connect with potential customers. That’s where freelance translators come in and save the day. Mind you, professional translators are not only fluent in the languages they translate to/from, but they also have either academic or work experience in their field of translation. If you want to venture into freelancing as a translator, play to your strengths and take on work that’s related to your background.
To be successful as a freelance video producer, you’ll have to dazzle clients with excellent filming and editing skills. With a few years’ work experience in this area, the right software and equipment, and a solid project portfolio, it will be much easier to break into the market.
Which freelance jobs can an accountant take on? You’d be surprised to know how much demand there is for a good accountant or a bookkeeper. With an eye for detail, robust excel knowledge, commercial awareness, and a good grasp of the tax laws, you’ll be able to tap into the SMB market without much trouble. Plus, remember that other freelancers also need help with their bookkeeping!
8. HR manager
For any growing (or established) company, HR management is a fundamental part of the business. This is also a type of freelance job that you can do either remotely or from the client’s office. To be hired as a freelance HR manager, you’ll need to have at least some experience in a similar role, so it’s not a suitable option for a complete beginner.
9. SEO professional
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), sometimes also called Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a big deal in the digital world. As one of the most popular freelance jobs, search engine optimization comes with a long list of required skills, including knowledge about link building, Google algorithms, long-tail keywords, the Panda effect, and many more. Sound intriguing? Then it might be for you!
10. PR or branding
As a brand communications specialist, you won’t be short of freelance jobs. It’s a vast and varied field of work that can include projects like product launches, brand awareness campaigns, brand activation, native advertising, and many more. To be successful, you’ll need to have experience in storytelling and editing as well as strong visual skills.
As you can see, freelancing spans a wide range of careers and industries, and these are just a handful of options. If your skills are not on our list, do not fear—there are over 9 million freelancers in Europe alone, covering thousands of job types. Start off with some research to reassure yourself that there is a demand for your freelance skills within the market by checking job boards and talking to others within your industry, and once you’re clearer on freelance opportunities within your industry, start planning how you can kick-start your freelancing career.
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