Testing Your Skills
In the first part, we suggested you write down a list of your skills and we gave you more than 15 examples to get started. (If you missed part 1 resource guide for this series, click here for access to the guide, our TigerMix Media member newsletter and our exclusive Facebook Group.)
After you’ve gone through the above resource guide, you will have made a list of skills you can make money with, the next step is to verify that your level of knowledge is up to par. You can find this out by taking the skill tests offered at the major freelancing hubs and, as a bonus, you can showcase the results of those tests to potential clients.
Before you take any tests, just to be on the safe side, do some research on the particular skillset. For example, if you’re testing yourself on a software program (like Microsoft Excel), Google lessons on that subject and take notes on anything that you may not already know about Excel. You usually get about 30 minutes to take one of these skill tests and your notes can help you pass.
Gaining New Skills
You might also want to consider adding some new skills to your bag of tricks. Especially if, for example, you have a lot of experience writing articles for your school newspaper, you should consider expanding your writing skills into areas that are more desirable to online marketers. As an article writer you could copywriting skils, which is writing specifically for advertising and marketing purposes. Or keyword optimization, which is the technique of adding a word or phrase to a body of text at a certain density. If, for example, you wrote a 500-word article about dog training and the client gave you the keyword phrase “German Shepherds protective instinct” and a density of 3%, you would have to include that phrase three times in your article.
These are the types of modifications that may be easy for you to make but can mean a huge difference in making you more desirable to potential clients, especially if you practice and develop a portfolio you can use to impress them. Go to Upwork and make a list of skills that are related to your main skills.
Then, develop your skills further in each area always keeping in mind what an online marketer would require most. If your forte is writing, learn how write blog posts, press releases, SEO articles, short ebooks, and user guides. If you’re a programmer, learn how to develop WordPress plugins, and the latest versions of PHP, HTML, and CSS. If you’re a designer, make sure you know how to use HTML-friendly graphics, site designs, and both low- and high-resolution files.
Before You Get Started
If you’ve never worked for yourself before, being your own boss will be a new experience.
If you’re still working on your old job, make a schedule of the hours you will devote to your new online business, whether it be after work or on the weekends or both. The keys to becoming a successful entrepreneur is to follow your schedule without fail and get good at getting work done quickly and efficiently. There’s no one to tell you what to do or when to do it anymore – you’re your own boss, which can be both wonderful and scary!
When you work for someone else you might procrastinate and upset your boss. But when you work for yourself and procrastinate, you might fail to pay your bills! Working for yourself is vastly rewarding but you also have a lot more to lose, especially if you start off on the wrong foot. Fortunately, if you follow the advice in this series, you’ll be starting off on the right foot!