How to develop new freelance skills and boost your day rate

Different freelancers can demand different day rates, depending on how desirable their skills are. The UK's highest paid freelance careers include architecture, software development, investment consultancy, accountancy, data analytics, and music tuition. Freelancers specialising in data analytics are reportedly able to demand 6% more each year.

If you're keen to boost the profitability of your freelance business, adding new skills to your repertoire is a great way to do it. It can mean access to more (or better!) clients, a higher day rate, and even a better work-life balance if you do it right. This is how.

Keep an eye on what your industry is moving towards/away from

Being able to offer the most in-demand skills will make you the best solo entrepreneur for the job.

Right now, businesses and organisations are desperate to understand their data and make the most of it. As a result, data science freelancers are more in demand than ever. Cloud-based web development, artificial intelligence, and Voice User Interface (VUI) design are also hugely desirable skills.

Level-up your own niche

Learning a new skill can take time but it can pay for itself.

Levelling-up could mean transitioning from front-end development to full-stack, learning to video edit as well as manage social media accounts, or developing strong data analytics skills to complement your existing SEO service.

There are many online courses available through platforms like Coursera and Skillshare. Learning on the job is vital too. If there's an opportunity to develop a new, profitable skill with your current client, seize it.

Leverage AI tools

AI's fast development doesn't have to be a scary prospect for freelancers, it can also be a huge time-saver. Generative AI can produce imagery and animations, test deep learning models, and analyse large data sets. All of these processes were once time-consuming and challenging for freelancers, now they can be done in an instant. Make AI work for you and your clients.

Go where the big budgets are

Sometimes it's not about what you do but where you look. Some sectors pay higher rates and need more freelancers with specialised skills. HR departments might be crying out for your legal expertise, or your design experience might be exactly what e-commerce businesses are looking for right now.

Keep your ear close to the ground and talk to clients and fellow freelancers. Find out who's hiring, what they're paying, and what they're looking for. Getting noticed by the right company could lead to a nicely paid long-term contract.

Don't have the skills yourself? Team up with someone who does.

Developing fantastic copywriting skills on the side might not be possible if you're a notoriously poor speller. Instead, consider working with a great copywriter and offering a hybrid service for a higher fee. This can be a great opportunity for another freelancer whose skills are complementary, and can help you both access higher rates and more complex jobs. Before you know it, you might have set up your own small agency!

Get your freelance invoices paid 3x faster on average

Determined to get that big new freelance contract? With Solna, you won't need to worry about your invoices getting paid. Freelancers can create and send custom invoices in seconds, automate their cash flow, and get paid 3x faster on average. Get Solna for free.

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