What Is Freelancing? Must-have skills To Become A Freelancer

How to Define Freelance.

Freelancing = Freedom + Occupation.

Freelance is a combination of words. Many people will value freedom at first sight. Here I want to emphasize career. 

A career is your product (as an individual), the basis of your existence.

For example, if someone is a programmer, your product (output) is code; if someone is a writer, your product (result) is an article.

And freelancing is not for everyone. It depends on what each person’s pursuit is.

Some people pursue stability, while others like to explore; there is a picture in “Rich Dad Poor Dad” that can explain career very well (as follows):

The occupation of each of us can be divided into four quadrants of EBSI:

  • E(employee) staff, this place is suitable for those who pursue stability
  • B(business) Entrepreneurship, here is very exciting
  • S(elf-employed) freelance, here is also fascinating, between E and B
  • I(invest) invest; everyone here should do it

Dreyfus model

The promotion (development) of each profession basically follows the Dreyfus model.

  1. novice
  2. advanced novice
  3. Competent
  4. proficient
  5. expert


The most significant characteristic of novices is that they need a list of instructions. Tell me how to do it, preferably with step-by-step instructions.

Advanced Novice

Advanced beginners want to avoid big-picture thinking. They will be limited to a specific part, unable to see the big picture.


Competent people can solve problems. Competent people are usually highly motivated and resourceful; good problem solvers.

The master

The proficient can self-correct. People at this stage will have a strong ability to think independently and can self-discover (or discover through feedback from friends and colleagues) deficiencies and correct them in time.


Experts work on intuition.

— The above information is excerpted from the second chapter of “Programmer’s Thinking and Cultivation” (Author: Andy Hunt)

Must-Have Skills for Freelancing

About 30%-40% of the existing professionals in the United States are freelancers, and China will soon become the following United States. 

No matter in terms of income or career development.

As a freelancer, you must master the following skills to survive well:

  1. writing
  2. marketing
  3. Connect Network)
  4. English
  5. Financial Management
  6. energy management


More than 80% of freelancers write from time to time. It may be to promote products, it may be personal experience sharing, or it may be individual thinking. In short, it is for writing output. If you want to be a freelancer, practice writing now.

The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, followed by now!

Start writing now.

If you feel like you need more to write, it’s because of a lack of independent, in-depth thinking. Here is a tip for you – 

go to Quora Hot Topics and choose any topic to answer. Give your answer after doing your research.


Marketing is a soft skill, i.e., how to sell your product. Traditional marketing has various skills, such as 3p, 4p, and 6p, but now is the Internet age, and marketing methods have also changed. But the essence of marketing will not modify, which is to let more people know about you (or your product).

For freelance marketing, focus more on building personal branding.

In addition, it is necessary to maintain a consistent image and personal introduction on various social media. There will be links to personal blogs, etc.

Marketing skill is inseparable from the support of writing skills, how to write good copy, how to design a copy and so on. So the first step is to write, and the second is to spread.

Connect (Network)

Now is the era of Web 3.0, and everyone can (have this ability) connect with everyone worldwide. For example, I can now make a video call to a friend in New Zealand, send an email to a friend in the United States, send a collaboration request to a friend in Sweden, and so on. In such a network age, personal connectivity is essential.

That is to say, who you can connect to.

The average salary of your friends determines your income level.

Think deeply, act and spread more so that friends with the same hobbies will find you.

Another good way to connect – participate in offline gatherings, namely meetups. 

Meet some friends on Meetup, especially sharers; go to Meetup to share yourself. This way, your network (connections) will be more and more enjoyable.


This is an interconnected world. there are more than 7 billion people, and most of them are acquainted with English. To open a whole new world, we must learn English well.

There are many ways to learn English. The most beneficial way for me in the early stage is Toastmasters. In the toastmasters club, everyone can exercise their speech skills (English speech) and leadership skills.

Another way to learn English is to read English texts and read them aloud. Such as the “American Language” I am reading now.

Financial management

Financial management will not be expanded here, but the financial knowledge necessary for freelancers is the three financial tables:

  • cash flow statement
  • balance sheet
  • income statement

Energy management

Energy management comes from the book “Energy Management” (the power of full engagement). This book has been very inspiring to me, and I highly recommend it, especially for freelancers. The point of view in the book (my impression after reading it) is as follows:

Time management or energy management Seeing that many friends are learning time management, I can understand everyone’s anxiety and expectations. But there is always more to do than time. The management time is sometimes more absolute.

In addition to time management, we also need to think about energy management. From “the power of full engagement”.

Energy is embodied in four dimensions: physical strength, emotion, thinking, and will. Corresponding to the quantity, quality, focus, and power intensity, respectively. Therefore, energy management requires physical strength management, emotional management, thinking training, and will-be training.

This requires personal changes to be better managed and trained. There are three significant steps:

  1. Target
  2. fact
  3. action

First of all, you need to set clear goals. Everyone’s plans will be different, so before proceeding to the next step, you must clarify your personal goals and values.

Second, facts and data need to be collected. Data is often slapped and ruthless. You can only get out of the change by facing up to your own status quo.

Finally, act. No matter how good you think, no action is 0. The only step is persuasion. (True knowledge comes from practice)

Do you want to work all your life, or do you want to earn enough money like a professional athlete (10 years of hard work) and then do what you are interested in?


Essential things for freelancers (emphasis added):

  1. independent thinking
  2. product
  3. energy management

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