How to Identify Your Most Valuable Freelance Skills

(Last Updated On: May 18, 2016)

Find Your Most Valuable Freelance SKillsIf you’re new to freelancing or you’re ready to find your niche, then it’s time to do some research. You need to figure out which of your skills are most marketable.

Your goal is to find the sweet spot between what you know how to do and what people will pay you for.

List Your Freelancing Skills

Start by brainstorming all the things you can do. There are no rules and no pressure. No one will see this list but you. Don’t be shy, write it all down.

My list would look like this

  • teach
  • write lesson plans
  • write unit plans
  • design eLearning curriculum (learning materials for the web)
  • write standardized test questions or assessments
  • copy editing
  • substantial editing (major changes to content and structure)

I’ve done this before, so my list may be more specific and detailed than yours. Don’t stress, just list as many of your skills as you can think of.

Identify What Freelance Skills Are In Demand

To add to your list and see what kind of skills are in demand, create a free profile at Upwork and browse through the freelance jobs posted there. Upwork is free, and I started freelancing by finding work there. Don’t stress about your Upwork profile, just go straight to searching the jobs. You can search using keywords or browse the job postings for various categories. How much do clients want to pay for certain jobs?

search upwork

You’ll probably notice that specialized work pays better and there is less competition because fewer freelancers can do the work. You might also notice that some niches pay better than others. For example, a freelance blog post about finance usually pays better than a freelance blog post about parenting.

Refine Your Skill List

Add as many specialized skills as possible to your skill list. You might also try to revise the items already on your list to make them more specific and detailed.

Finish today by going back to your brainstorm list and circling the skills that you think will be most valuable.

(Here’s a hint: it’s probably going to be skills that require advanced experiences or training, skills that few people have, and skills that help a client directly or indirectly make more money.)

Look for Work!

Once you’ve got your skill list it’s time to look for work. Don’t worry if your guesses about the most profitable skills are wrong. Over time you’ll find your niche and figure out what type of work pays best. The important thing is to just get started. So, if you’re ready to begin check out this post, which reveals the two best places for new freelancers to find work!

And if you’re new to freelancing, be sure to check out these two related posts, which define freelancing and show you how to set your freelancing goals.

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