What skills do you need to become a freelancer?

Kreg Bale
Kreg Bale October 18, 2022
Updated 2022/10/18 at 9:37 PM
Freelance Skills

Although working for large corporations and businesses provides many people with the security and development they crave, it’s not necessarily the only route you can take when it comes to your career. 

A popular option for those who prefer to be their own boss is freelancing. In fact, according to recent statistics, it’s thought that there are around 1.77 million freelancers in the UK. 

If you’re considering making the switch to becoming self-employed, we’ve broken down some of the essential freelance skills you’ll need below. 

Before we delve into what skills you need to become successful, it’s important to decide what route to take with your freelancing. Some of the most popular freelance gigs include:

  • Software development
  • Copywriting
  • Digital marketing 
  • Web and mobile development
  • Graphic design

What freelance skills do you need to land a job?

Whether you go full-time or simply want to earn some money on the side of your main job amid rising living costs, you’ll need the right skills to succeed as a freelancer. 

Industry-specific skills

For software and web development, you’ll need technical skills such as coding and knowledge of programming languages such as C#, Java, PHP and Ruby. 

If you don’t have any prior experience doing this, the good news is that it’s not too late to learn. If you want to go down this route, it’s possible to start learning how to code through minicomputers designed with this purpose in mind

Motivation and discipline 

As you’ll be your own boss, it’s important to have the motivation and discipline to ensure you can reliably produce work by the given deadline. 


Although in an ideal world you’ll have plenty of notice to complete all your freelance tasks, this isn’t always possible! To succeed as a freelancer, you’ll need to adopt a certain degree of flexibility to respond to last-minute requests. By keeping agile and allowing clients a degree of flexibility, you can keep clients happy. 

Sector knowledge and previous experience 

Although it might be tempting to start freelancing when you fancy a career change, it’s important to have the required sector knowledge and experience to succeed. As you’ll be working by yourself, you must have enough knowledge and experience to deal with challenges as they arise. 

As people will be hiring you as an expert, you’ll struggle to succeed as a freelancer without adequate experience. 

Final thoughts…

If you’re thinking of ditching the corporate world in favour of freelance, you’re not alone. Although it might be daunting to make the switch, it’s completely doable with the right skills and know-how. By acquiring the right freelance skills, industry knowledge and attitude, you’ll have a booming freelance business in no time. 


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