Clients who work with or looking to outsource work to freelancers typically think of the hard skills. In my case, that’s writing and proofreading. This is understandable. After all, you need to know that your freelancer has the necessary background, skills, and training so successfully complete the tasks you need of them.
Yet we also bring the added bonus of soft skills to the table. I write about recruitment and education for several clients. Soft skills are a hot topic right now because businesses feel that the employees they hire or look to hire simply don’t possess them. Qualifications are giving way to experience in some areas and employers are crying out for transferable skills.
Are you fed up with hearing “I don’t get paid enough to do that”, “I can’t do that, I’m going home in five minutes” and “I don’t know how and I don’t want really to learn”? You might be surprised at how flexible your freelancer can be. You might pay them to write about social media marketing but that’s not to say they don’t know how to create simple graphics, or about business tools. We are accountant, marketing executive, public face, admin assistant and tea maker all in one although you probably won’t want us to make tea for you.
A Network of Contacts
When you hire a freelancer, you’re not just hiring him or her and their skills. You potentially have access to their communication skills and their network of contacts. If there is something way outside of my remit it doesn’t mean I won’t know anybody who could help you. Pick up the phone or send me an email, I could help you out here. Even if I don’t know somebody who does, they might know somebody who can help. This saves you advertising for freelancers and wasting precious time.
Communication is about professionalism. It’s about how things are said as much as it is about what is said. Each audience will require a different style and tone. Each audience will require difference approaches to language use. Good communication is at the heart of getting work. Where is this heading? Well, just because a freelance writer produces content about pet care, it doesn’t mean they can’t adapt to sales emails or other forms of communication.
We don’t expect endless streams of adoration and threaten to leave at the slightest criticism. No, not all employees are like this, but we’ve all worked with somebody with such an attitude. It’s frustrating and counterproductive to your business. We make mistakes and our professionalism means we strive to put things right. That takes patience, self-reflection, and honesty about our limits. Resilience is one of main soft skills that businesses say they lack. Employees seem to struggle to cope when curveballs head their way.
Due to the skills listed above, we need creativity in many areas, not least of all in how we market ourselves to clients just like you. We adapt to new social media, new ways of doing things, and we try our best to stay ahead of trends on the web. We even teach ourselves new skills such as graphic design during quiet times to help our business grow. While we won’t necessarily have to design web banners, it helps to be able to put something like that together.