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Work in digital is career prospects, demand and decent wages, a wide range of areas: SMM, management, analytics, development, SEO, and copywriting. But to become a highly paid digital specialist, you should develop hard and soft skills. Let’s elaborate on these concepts and find out what skills freelance writers need.
Differences Between Hard and Soft Skills
Hard skills are needed to perform specific professional tasks, they can be measured. They are usually listed in professional ads, in the section of requirements to the candidate.
Soft skills are personal qualities that are acquired with experience. These are universal competencies, such as the ability to build comfortable relationships with colleagues and management, the ability to resolve conflicts, manage their emotions to solve practical problems, and think creatively.
It isn’t easier to develop soft skills than hard ones. To master the latter requires intellect, they are acquired in the process of study and confirmed by diplomas and certificates. As for soft skills, they are formed based on personal experience, it’s more difficult to assess them – this requires individual psychological testing.
Soft Skills to Work in the Digital Sphere
Let’s list the general “soft skills” of a freelancer that allow him to reach new heights in his career:
- Communication skills. Working on large projects requires interaction with a large number of people. It’s common to communicate in a stressful environment. Communicative skills allow building a comfortable dialogue with customers and colleagues, getting acquainted, and getting out of conflict situations easily. This quality is required, for example, the author of the article in cases where there are questions to the customer on the terms of reference.
- Ability to work in a team. Any successful project is the result of successful interaction. Even the most experienced professional will not be able to produce a quality product alone. Freelancers need to interact with other specialists: for example, copywriters often work with proofreaders and editors.
- Out-of-the-box thinking. Customers always appreciate people who can regularly generate ideas and create new things. Creative thinking is an advantage not only for representatives of creative professions (designers, copywriters, art directors), but also for employees of technical specialties.
- Willingness to learn throughout life. The digital field is rapidly evolving: methods and tools of work are updated, and unique advertising formats appear. To stay afloat at all times, you will have to learn regularly. Ability to learn – this is operational processing of large amounts of data, filtering of sources, search for information and its fact-checking, analysis, ability to apply theory in practice, assiduity.
- Adequate perception of criticism. Criticism allows you to look at your result, idea from the outside. It’s necessary to treat criticism calmly. If you clarify some points before the start of the work, the probability of possible mistakes will decrease. Moreover, the client will be satisfied and is more likely to offer to cooperate further.
- The ability to plan. It’s important to complete current tasks and projects in time and pay attention to rest and personal life. This will help you to always keep your interest in your specialty and not to burn out. As for the work schedule, the researchers recommend performing the most important and complex tasks in the morning, and to divide large tasks into several parts. As a result, you’ll have time not only for work but also for relaxation, letting you watch movies, try to download bet app Uganda, or travel.
- The skill of presenting ideas and results. Professionals who can structure thoughts and express them clearly are always more appreciated. Only practice will help develop this skill. Watch some TED presentations to understand how it works.
- Perseverance. These soft skills are especially important for freelancers who are just starting to build a client base. You will have to be on the lookout for a while. In this case, the ability to motivate yourself comes to the fore. Experienced freelancers are also regularly faced with the need to look for new projects and new clients, and go through periods of lack of work, especially during extended holidays.
Responsibility, the ability to meet deadlines, a broad outlook, decency, and politeness are also important.
What Hard Skills Freelancers Need
The set of hard skills depends on the chosen specialty, for example:
- For an SMM specialist, it’s important to create a content plan for publications, live shows, and posts, publish posts, manage company groups, promote the account, work with subscribers, and set up targeting ads. The graphic designer should create banners and author fonts, design posts, make illustrations for content, develop PDF files for information products, come up with and maintain the visual style of the brand.
- Freelance photographers need to make high-quality photos of products and items, process photos professionally, upload content to the site, have excellent knowledge of graphic editors like Adobe Photoshop, understand the photographic equipment, understand the features of color correction, and have experience working with studio equipment.
- SEO specialists are expected to have skills in drafting tasks for copywriters, knowledge of HTML and CSS, and an understanding of search engine algorithms. There is also one particular branch of freelance writing called SEO content writing (you can find out more about this if you click here).
There’s also a separate set of hard skills for copywriters:
- Ability to analyze information, target audience, quickly understand an unfamiliar topic.
- Ability to write commercial and informational texts, develop video scripts and promotional offers.
- Ability to competently express their thoughts in writing.
- An understanding of how to work with various services to check uniqueness, ad nauseam, keyword selection, and others.
At the same time, there is a set of universal hard skills. Among them: an understanding of industry applications like Google Trends and Google Analytics, the ability to use all the features of Excel, knowledge of the basics of Internet marketing, knowledge of SEO optimization.
All in all, making a plan for developing hard and soft skills should be done on your own, based on personal gaps in knowledge and weaknesses. You can improve your skills by reading a lot of professional literature and topical blogs, taking courses, and subscribing to groups and communities on social networks.