When you build a business, you want to build it around your strengths and the things you love to do. If you are able to identify what you love to do first, then you can break out that industry or service category into a list of specific tasks you like doing, and package them into offerings to potential clients.
So let’s first start out figuring out your ‘Skill Categories’ that you enjoy doing or can see being the main focus of your business.
I’m going to take you through some of the most popular freelancing skill categories that are profitable and in-demand. As I go through each of them, start thinking about the skill categories that stand out to you as being something you have an interest in and write them down or keep them in your mind. You can download a full list of these skill categories in the PDF below this video, print it out, and circle the ones that stand out to you as categories you would like to explore.
As I go through these, think about two things:
Keep in mind: You don’t need a formal education, university degree or college diploma in any of these skills in order to offer them as a freelancing service. In fact, if you’re just getting started and don’t think you have a particular skill at a strong enough level, later in this program I have included training on specific skills that you can offer as services and I walk you step-by-step on how to do them so you can add more skills and services to your skillset.
DETAILS ABOUT TYPES OF SERVICES
Web Design – Creating websites, company blogs, mobile sites or specialized sites to meet a businesses particular industry needs.
Website/Blog Maintenance – Once a site goes live, it needs to stay current. Many companies do not have the time or expertise to do this themselves so it presents a fantastic consulting opportunity.
Search Engine Optimization – Once a company has a website live on the internet, they need to make sure the site is found by potential buyers. SEO services can be an easy sell if the client sees the potential payoff of being ranked high on search engines. Google Places is a “must learn” for local SEO.
Media Buy Campaigns – Most companies have advertising budgets and they understand that their audience is surfing websites like Facebook. Helping companies run effective Pay Per Click campaigns on these kind of networks can be very profitable for both the consultant and the offline company.
Lead Management – Generating and managing leads found through online methods can also be a profitable service. If you can help a company capture warm/hot leads online and turn them into buyers, you will have repeat business for a long time.
Domain Registration and Hosting – While these are both very inexpensive things to setup, most offline companies don’t even know where to begin. This is a very easy way to help a company and make a nice profit as a consultant.
Social Media Management – Ask any local business if they think Twitter and Facebook are important and they will agree. They will also be willing to pay credible consultants a management fee if they can take care of the company’s social media profiles.
Mobile Marketing – Mobile media is exploding and offline companies are noticing that most of their customers are carrying around hand held devices. Turning those devices into marketing messages for a local business is something that many of these companies would be very interested in learning about.
Video Marketing – Once a business has a website and/or company blog running, they are going to attract an online audience. A great way to extend more value to that online audience is showing them videos of the company in action. A restaurant owner can show “behind the scenes” footage of the kitchen, a dry cleaner can show the detailed process they follow to make their client’s clothes come out clean and perfect every time.
Whether you enjoy writing books, blogging or in-depth technical documentation, there are many opportunities online for skilled writers. The competition is fierce, however, as “anyone” with some basic grammar skills can call themselves a writer and in many cases you’ll be competing with people in poor countries who can charge $3 for a long article. It’s not impossible to break into though so don’t let that discourage you!
Love designing websites, crafting logos or retouching photographs? You should look into working from home as a designer! Skilled designers are actually quite rare online, and if you’ve got some real talent you can also make some real bucks. The trick is to not even try to compete with freelancers who charge $5 for a logo, and instead go for the high-end segment.
If you have experience with programming you could aim for a career as a developer. Plenty of jobs are available, whether you want to work as a freelancer, start your own firm or just work remotely as an employee. Rates are usually good and competition is definitely less compared to writing and designing, as development/programming is more of a specialized skill.
There are many paths available working as a freelance consultant, but the most common these days are probably marketing/SEO/social media consultants. These are areas where lots of small businesses need help, and there is great demand for knowledgeable consultants with good communication skills. The easiest way to make good money working as a consultant is focusing on areas where a clear “return on investment” can be demonstrated – that’s why marketing consultants are so highly priced and always in demand.
You don’t have to actually do the hard work yourself to successfully work from home. One great option is becoming a consultant and instead telling others what to do, based on your recommendations. A hot tip is consulting in the SEO or online marketing world, where it’s easy to demonstrate a good “return on investment” (assuming, of course, that the advice you can offer actually has a positive effect).
Virtual Assistant (VA)
If you’re a “jack of all traders” with strong administrative, communication and organizational skills, consider becoming a virtual assistant. This is a great choice if you enjoy a variety of assignments, and most of the time you’ll have pretty good job security as long as you do a good job. As always you’re competing with low-cost labor from poorer countries, so try to specialize in things they cannot do.