Oftentimes, I’m asked.
“Bert, what are the right digital skills I’ll need to win big on the online freelancing industry?”
And I thought, such a tough question.
It’s so tough because, despite the availability of the published research, studies, and insights about things like the #FutureOfWork, many can still hardly position themselves in this growing digital industry for different reasons.
Virtual Assistant? eCommerce? Digital Marketing? Big Data? Programming? Artificial Intelligence? Virtual Reality? Cryptocurrency? You name it. There are so many buzzwords to keep track. And it could get you confused which one is more prudent to invest money, time, and effort to grow a digital career.
To pick the right digital skills, which should be timely and relevant today, is easier SAID than DONE.
There’s NO definitive answer to the original question, unfortunately.
But there are at least 2 rules that you can draw inspiration from me to help you jumpstart your freelancing journey:
1. YOU BET ON YOUR CURRENT STRENGTHS.
Look no further. Bet on your current strengths. That simply means starting up by focusing on what you do best, passionate about, and really good at. On my case, it was the desire to build my own blog and my strong technical and analytical thinking that brought me here. I pursued that passion and it simply paves the way for other opportunities to come in along the way.
I didn’t know at first, but I realized by focusing on blogging and continued doing it, I was able to acquire more relevant skills in the process. It was a digital skill in disguise for me.
Be self-aware. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask these:
“What are the skills I possess right now that I can leverage to launch an online freelancing career?”
“What are my current strengths?”
“Can I write contents?”
“Am I creative?”
“Can I write codes?”
“Am I good in selling?”
“What are my soft skills?”
“Can I take care customers?”
“Can I lead a team?”
“Do I have tangible products that people already buy offline?”
“Do I provide services that I can scale up online?”
See? There are just so many strengths you can think of you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Technician, an Engineer, a Teacher, a Nurse, a Doctor, a Sales Executive, — you name it.
It doesn’t even matter if you finished college, or a full-time stay-at-home mom and dad.
It’s in you. I’m sure there’s that innate ability in you that once unlatched may unlock your full potential online.
2. BE TRAINABLE AND COACHABLE.
Let’s admit it — we simply don’t know everything. But we’re hungry of knowledge and skills that we could leverage to succeed in freelancing and online business.
The problem is, one tends to be arrogant and defensive for a lot of reasons. And I mean that because that was soooo ME… Seriously. Let me tell you a little back story about that…
As I continued my journey in blogging and was happily making good money out from it — it’s because I did a lot of research. How I progressed was satisfying. Google has always been a good companion. I was able to find answers and solutions to different problems. My way.
Around that time in 2008-2009, I only knew few people here in the Philippines whom I considered “Expert” or at “Guru” level on the niche I belonged to.
There were a lot of organized training, workshops, seminars, etc. — but I didn’t really buy it.
I was sold to the idea that we can find just anything on Google. Or by researching, and reading, a lot. Unfortunately, we couldn’t.
Later on, I realized that I could have learned things faster if I had a coach. Or I could probably have put all the pieces of my online journey if I had formal training.
It eventually came to a point where I began investing for myself. I joined training, technical workshops, personal development, leadership, etc. But before I did it, I had already lost time. No regrets right there. Just make sure not to do the same mistake.
Always remember that the desire of being a successful freelancer and online entrepreneur someday means dropping the pride and ego right before you start doing it.
Again, every one of us is capable of doing digital or jumping into the wagon of online freelancing. By betting on your current strengths, and making yourself trainable and coachable — you’ll soon uncover the right digital skills for you. 🙂