Freelancing has become very popular over the last decade, and the freelance economy is expected to continue growing rapidly in the next five years.
What skills should you focus on developing? Freelancing is a great way to earn extra income on the side. If you want to get started, you’ll need to develop some freelancing skills. There are plenty of opportunities out there, from writing articles to designing websites.
As the freelance economy continues to grow, demand for certain skills will increase. This means that you’ll need to hone your skills to stand out from other freelancers.
Top 5 most in-demand freelance skills for 2022
Freelancing is one of the fastest-growing careers in America. There are currently over 2 million freelancers in the U.S., and that number is expected to grow to 3 million by 2022. If you’re thinking about becoming a freelancer, here’s what you need to know.
1. Graphic Design
Graphic design is one of the top five most in-demand freelance jobs in the country right now.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers earned $53,000+ per year on average in 2021. That’s up 6% since 2013, making graphic design one of the highest paying freelance jobs in the country. But there’s no shortage of demand for graphic designers.
As of 2018, there were 1.7 million job openings for graphic designers. That means there’s plenty of opportunity for anyone who wants to break into the field.
2. Web Developer
According to the BLS, web developers earn an average annual salary of $64,000. This makes web developers one of the top most in-demand freelance positions in the country.
In addition to creating websites, web developers also write code for mobile apps, eCommerce stores, online games, and other types of software.
3. Data Entry
Data entry is another top freelance position in the U.S. According to the BLS, data entry workers made an average of $45,000 in 2017. That was down slightly from 2016, but it’s still higher than the national average.
4. Social Media Marketing Specialist
According to the BLS, social media marketing specialists earn an average annual salary between $50,000-$60,000, making this one of the top freelance jobs in the country. Social media marketers promote products or services through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat.
5. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants earn an average annual salary ranging from $40,000-$50,000, according to Glassdoor. This makes virtual assistant one of the top 10 least expensive freelance jobs in the country, along with customer service representatives, writers, editors, and proofreaders.
A virtual assistant does everything from scheduling appointments to booking travel arrangements to managing email correspondence.
These are just a few examples of the many different freelance opportunities available.
Whether you want to be a graphic designer, web developer, or virtual assistant, these are the top five most in-demand freelance jobs in the country today.
How to start working as a freelancer
Freelancing is one of the most popular ways to earn money online. It’s flexible, it doesn’t require a lot of upfront investment, and it has the potential to pay well. But like any job, it comes with its own set of challenges.
If you want to become a freelancer, you first need to build a portfolio of work. This means finding clients who will hire you to do freelance work. Start by building a list of local businesses that might need your services. For each business, find out what kind of projects they’re looking to complete and whether they’d be willing to consider working with someone outside their usual agency.
Once you have a client base, you can market yourself based on your skills and experience. Make sure you research the typical rates other freelancers charge before starting your project, so you know where you stand.
The Best Platforms for Freelancers
There are many different types of freelancing platforms out there. Still, most fall into one of two categories: those that connect clients directly with freelancers (like Upwork) and those that connect freelancers with each other (like Fiverr).
Upwork is probably the best-known platform for connecting clients with freelancers. Clients post projects, and freelancers bid on them. The site takes a percentage of every transaction.
Fiverr is similar to Upwork, but you create gigs offering your services at certain prices instead of bidding on projects. When customers purchase your gig, you receive payment.
Both Upwork and Fiverr offer features designed to help freelancers land more work, including the ability to upload samples of past work, track previous transactions, and generate invoices.
While both sites allow users to review others’ profiles and feedback, only Upwork allows users to give reviews. In addition to the major platforms, there are also several smaller ones that cater specifically to freelancers.
Here are some of our favorites:
FilterGrade – If you sell creative digital products, FilterGrade is a great marketplace to reach more users. Learn how to sell your digital products on FilterGrade.
Gumroad – Gumroad lets users sell a more broad variety of digital products on their platform, and physical products too. You can use the site to sell physical goods such as books, music, and software, or you can use it to sell digital products like ebooks, courses, and apps.
People per Hour – peopleperhour.com helps freelancers find new clients. Connects freelancers with companies that are seeking specific skill sets.
99 Designs – 99 Designs offers free templates for designers to download and use in their projects.
DesignCrowd – DesignCrowd is an online marketplace for creative professionals to buy designs created by other designers.
Fieldengineer – Field Engineer provides tools for telecom engineers to manage projects and collaborate with colleagues.
Vecteezy – Vecteezy is a great platform to license your content as a creator. If you have photos, videos, art and graphics, music, and more, you can add it all to Vecteezy!
Etsy – Etsy is one of the largest marketplaces in the world with a focus on crafts and hand-made goods.
As we mentioned earlier, freelancing isn’t easy. There are countless factors involved in being successful as a freelancer, from choosing the right niche to learning how to manage your time effectively. However, if you put in the effort required to succeed, you should see results within just a few months.