Companies are trying to save time and money and the internet is connecting people in ways never before imagined. These two forces produce fertile ground for freelancing to take root and it has. As outsourcing becomes more common, there is increasing demand and low supply of some essential skills. That is where freelancers come in.
The freelancer role provides independence, many work opportunities and the flexibility to choose when and how you work. You can avoid the daily tedium and grind of a 9-to-5 and work on projects that you find interesting. What’s more, there is no end to the skills you can develop on your own. Here are some of the skills that are in particular demand these days.
1. Natural Language Processing
Apple’s HomePod, Amazon’s Echo and Google Home are three major voice-activated speakers making NLP important today. People who can improve existing tools and develop new ones are highly in demand.
2. Social Media Marketing
Brands need a social media presence. Unfortunately, many are failing to connect to their customers on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Marketing experts with social media-savvy are high in demand as a result.
Design has always been at the top of the freelancing skills that pay off. Whether UX, product, web, 3D, etc., freelance designers will always be in healthy demand.
4. Content Creation
Brands need something they can fill social media space with. They need content for blogs, whitepapers and much more. Freelancers that can create content are in very high demand and the trend shows no sign of slowing down.
With all the apps, websites and other technologies being launched, there is no shortage of demand for skilled programmers, especially those skilled in new languages such as PHP and MySQL.
Providing steady work year round, accounting is a reliable freelancing opportunity for those with the skills and experience. It is wise to get well-versed in popular platforms like Quickbooks and Freshbooks.
The $1 billion life coaching industry and the $11 billion business coaching industry need people who can quickly solve problems. Certification helps in making you more desirable.
The legal, medical and business sectors have many offerings for those trained as professional translators. Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish are in particularly high demand. Freelancers are advised to focus on one industry to improve their desirability.
9. Administrative Support
As more companies get rid of their assistants and secretaries, freelancers are able to fill a crucial role in today’s firms. If you are highly organized and know your way around a schedule this could be a great remote work opportunity.
10. Customer Service
With a positive outlook and some software know-how, you can work in customer service. You can connect with customers over email, social media, chat and phone to satisfy companies’ customer service needs.
Consumers are requiring more from their websites. This is reflected in the nearly 20% growth for User Experience (UX) jobs over the past 10 years. Demand for freelancers has never been higher.
12. App Development
If you are well versed in one or all phone operating systems, you are a highly desired app developer. There is an app for everything and freelancers will never run out of jobs.
Got a great voice? Everything from video games to audiobooks—voice-over jobs is on the rise. You can work from home and the opportunities are plenty.
14. English Proofreading
Yes, proofreading actually pays. You simply ready copy and transcripts, checking for grammar, spelling, and grammar. You would be surprised how much you can earn.
While photographers are less in demand in traditional media, they are still needed in commercial spaces. Since 2014, there has been a nearly 40% increase in demand for them.
Icons for brands aren’t the only area where animators are needed. Infographics, illustrations for games and shows, works in ads—animators are and will continue to be, in high demand.
17. Lead Generation
Simply put, lead generators prospect, qualify and generate new sales for brands. They rely mostly on email and social media, and they are in demand.
18. Data Mining
Data is king in the 21st century. Data scientists analyze big data for trends and patterns. If you have the right skills, you are in high demand.
19. Video Editing
Video editing is all about finding errors. Video editors check audio and graphics, making sure it all comes together. The industry is booming and freelancers are wanted.
Whether you start a blog or work with someone who has a blog, freelance blogging can pay. Pick a niche, get to know it and share your passion with the world.
21. Search Engine Optimization
Websites need visitors. Search engines direct visitors to websites. SEO experts make sure that sites are at the top of search pages. If you’re good, you’ll always have work.
22. Search Specialist
Search specialists help companies find people to fill specific roles. Since you do the work of HR, you can expect to get paid nicely for your finds.
23. WordPress Development
As blogging becomes more popular, the need for blogging platform programmers is on the rise. As a freelancer, you would develop plug-ins for the service, plus a whole lot more.
24. Electrical Engineer
Believe it or not, there are freelancing gigs available even for something as traditional as engineering. With the rise in internet-of-things technology, EEs are in high demand.
Those who know their way around any computer-aided design (CAD) software are always in demand. Developing 2D and 3D models for architects and engineers can be highly rewarding as well.
No Time to Waste
With all these opportunities out there, it is a wonder that more people are not freelancing. The first thing to do is find a specific niche, something that you know how to do really well, then build up your experience with progressively more challenging projects. Once you become the go-to freelancer in this area, the opportunities will start rolling in.