These are the most searched-for freelance skills in 2022 (plus, how you can set your freelance business up)

New research from Hiscox shows what kind of freelancers people are most likely to search for. Who tops the list? Which skills are growing fast? How can you take advantage of this and develop your own freelance business?

Keep scrolling to find out.

Freelance graphic designers and writers come out on top

Insurance firm Hiscox checked Google search volume data to find out which freelance roles have been most searched in 2022. These are the top 20:

  1. Graphic designer
  2. Writer
  3. Copywriter
  4. Photographer
  5. Web developer
  6. Designer
  7. Accountant
  8. Social media manager
  9. SEO
  10. Journalist
  11. Video editor
  12. Project manager
  13. Illustrator
  14. Translator
  15. Quantity surveyor
  16. Website designer
  17. UX designer
  18. SEO expert
  19. Videographer
  20. Content writer

Graphic designers are the most in-demand, closely followed by freelance writers. There's also plenty of demand for SEO specialists, social media people, web developers, and all kinds of other writers and designers. The most desirable skills aren't just creative either - accountants, translators, and quantity surveyors all make the top 20 list.

More people are searching for these freelance skills compared to previous years

The list mainly features specialist skills which are useful to businesses and commonly outsourced, such as video editing and illustrating. Some professions are desirable to fellow freelancers and solo entrepreneurs too, such as accounting and website design.

Hiscox compared these figures to search data from previous years, finding that freelance copywriters saw the biggest increase in interest. Freelance accountants and social media managers are also significantly more in demand than previous years.

Which skills could you develop as a freelancer?

If an office-based role isn't stretching you, or you want to work on more specific projects, developing a freelance career is a great way to earn and have greater freedom.

Businesses and individuals searching for freelancers want to trust a task to someone else, particularly when they don't have the time or skills to do it themselves. You could be that person.

Do you have experience in any of these 20 roles?
Have you spent time developing or designing websites? Do you already manage several social media profiles? These are the skills that are the most transferrable to a freelance career. Take stock of your current CV and range of experience to identify skills you already have.

Could you develop these skills further and make them more profitable?
If you don't think you have the experience yet, you could learn as much as possible in your current role, or offer your skills to a friend or family member at a mate's rate. Keep adding to your portfolio and building your professional confidence.

Do you know what your responsibilities will be as a freelancer?
Flexibility and freedom are really desirable, but they're not all you'll have to think about. Freelancers are solely responsible for their own tax and national insurance. They're also in charge of their own holidays, don't have sick pay, and can often find themselves working very long hours to finish projects or please clients.

Ready to go? This is how to kick off your freelance career

You might never feel fully ready or experienced enough, but no one really does. These steps will help you make the leap confidently.

Start with a 'side hustle'
One in four of us had a side hustle in 2020. That figure's likely to be higher post-Covid. It's a good idea to start your freelance work on the side and check how viable it is before you make it your full-time career. Evenings and weekends, days off, whenever you can fit it in. It's tough at first but it's the best way to test your ability to make it work part-time and full-time.

Set a fair day/hourly rate
A lot of freelancers can get into the habit of receiving lower pay because they want to accept every job that comes their way. Letting clients talk your rate down is a slippery slope. Make sure you're charging fairly for your time and skills and every job will feel worth it.

Talk to other freelancers
The wisdom of others is always valuable, but particularly when you're just getting started in a new career. Join in-person meet-up groups and virtual social media groups to get the lay of the land.

Find a place to host your portfolio/website
Curate a place of your own to show off your work and experience. This is essential for showing new potential clients what you can do. There are lots of free (or cheap) platforms you can use.

Choose software and digital tools that help you get paid faster
Waiting around to get paid is one of the biggest annoyances for freelancers. The average freelancer was owed over £5,000 in 2020. Instead of chasing late payers you can send them automatic reminders and get paid 3x faster.

Solna makes invoicing simple. And it's FREE. Automate your invoice reminders, track all your due dates, and create super stylish, professional invoices from our range of templates. Start invoicing for free, FOREVER.

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