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What are the in-demand skills to hone when freelancing in 2023?

There’s no such thing as too late to start when it comes to freelancing.

Whether 2023 is your year 1 or year 21 in freelancing, this vast field will always have a space for you and a space for growth. And when talking about in-demand skills to hone when freelancing in 2023, we’re not just focusing on the skills that could potentially bring in more money. More than that, we’re focusing on skills that encourage creativity and are easy to transfer from one type of gig to perhaps a whole new different field of work. Here’s what we’ve got.

Content writing

One of the most creative skills you can hone is content writing. Focused on producing written content that informs and educates the audience, content writing is on the creative side of things. Think brand’s blog or digital magazine. Newsletters also fall under this type of writing. What I always tell the writers I coach is, a good content writer is a good storyteller, and this has been true to heart throughout my experience. Your end goal is always to connect with the audience, not just throw information their way. Build that community slowly through these stories and genuine connections and they’ll stick around even when the algorithm changes.

Graphic design

Graphic design is another creative skill that’s fun to develop. Literally, this will feel like you’re playing around. Start on small things and small projects, personal projects, even. Keep things lowkey and keep practicing. In a nutshell, graphic design is all about the visual concept. Think logos, social media posts, banners. Things that help a brand grow and gain more audience and consumers from a visual standpoint. What’s great about graphic design is that it’s easy to start small if you’re still unsure of it. Perhaps consider some simple logo-making projects or brand packaging for a small business. Going big is great but there’s nothing wrong with dipping your toes in the water with small-scale projects.

Coaching or mentoring

Coaching is a fast-growing industry that’s estimated to be worth $2 billion dollars. There are tons of coaching and mentoring you can try and while some may not consider this as a traditional freelancing skill, no doubt it’s a great venture career-wise. Just like any freelancing gig, coaching can give you financial freedom and location freedom—two things many people aim when working freelance.

So, what types of coaching are there? Well, a lot. You can explore personal life coaching, career coaching, sales coaching, among others. This is a very long list, which is to say there are so many avenues to explore. What better way to start 2023 than to consider honing this in-demand skill?

Social media marketing

Just like coaching, social media is only projected to grow. Brands will have to keep up with this and they need solid social media people to help them out. As a social media marketer or sometimes called social media specialist, your main job is to ensure a brand’s social media strategy is on point. That they’re not just posting on social media, but that their strategy will really help them achieve their goal—be it an increase in sales or improvement in their online presence, or both.

There are a lot of social media-related courses you can take if you want to hone this in-demand skill when freelancing in 2023. You may also do it through experience. Perhaps take on small projects or work at an agency where you will be taught and guided. There’s no fast way to learn social media marketing but once you do, it’s a skill that’ll make it easy for you to grow your freelance business.

Video production

As TikTok continues to rise, it’s safe to assume video will continue to do so as well. From Instagram reels to TikTok to short videos for a brand’s website or ads, there’s no shortage of projects and gigs here. And what’s best is that there are so many apps—free and paid—that you can use to develop your video production skill. Of course, there are those big software like Adobe Premiere Pro and PowerDirector, but if these feel intimidating or scary, you have tons of options. Just like how you have tons of options project-wise since video can be found everywhere—social media, ads, a brand’s websites, literally everywhere. 2023 should be fun for the video industry!

Virtual assistance skills

Virtual assistance involves many different skills but its core remains the same—staying organized. If you’re good at staying organized, chances are you’d be a great virtual assistant.

Every freelancer and every business will need an assistant at some point. You may choose to focus on a niche, as in a virtual assistant specifically for life coaches. Or you may choose to be a generalist. You may choose to be a virtual assistant who specializes in social media or, again, you may be a generalist. The bottom line is to determine the things you need to focus on as you hone your virtual assistance expertise so you won’t overwhelm yourself.

Copywriting

Another type of writing that’s considered of the in-demand skills to hone when freelancing in 2023 is copywriting. Often interchanged with content writing, copywriting is more focused on sales. If content writing is all about building communities slowly, the main goal of copywriting is to make a sale as fast as possible. Which is to say, you need to be good at short and snappy wordings. From a brand’s landing page or homepage to their social media copy to their ads, these things could fall under copywriting. With more brands growing in 2023 and of course, more are expected to rise, the need for a solid copywriter is always there.

Consulting

Wrapping up our list is consulting. Yes, it’s a freelance skill worth honing and yes, unlike most of what’s listed here, consulting is on the quieter side of things. Not everybody is a fan of consulting but if you like the idea of sharing your expertise on a professional level, this is a skill you might want to develop. Freelance consultants are there to help brands and clients, to advise on what the next solid step would be, depending on the brand’s problem. If you’re a marketing expert transitioning from 9-to-5 to freelancing, becoming a marketing consultant could be a good avenue for you.

These hard skills are only few of the many that could grow in-demand in 2023. But more than the hard skills, soft skills like communication, time management, stress management, critical thinking, and more also play a vital role. At the end of the day, it’s all about balancing these skills and using the right tools that really work for you. It’s all about understanding that honing a skill takes time, but with enough dedication and persistence, you will have something you can use throughout your freelance career—a skill that won’t fail you no matter the shift in the freelance economy.

CategoriesRemote Work
Tammy Danan

Tammy Danan is a storyteller who reports on environmental and social issues. She also covers productivity, creative pursuits, and the future of work. Her words have appeared in VICE, Audubon.org, ZEKE Magazine, Shutterstock, Toggl, among others. You may find her on Instagram @SlowFreelancing.