11 In-Demand Freelance Skills For Earning A Steady Income

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 27 January 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Freelancers are self-employed professionals who have the freedom to work for different companies across various industries and offer services of their choice. They usually work on a contractual basis, on both short-term and long-term projects. If you are thinking about becoming a freelancer, learning about the different freelancing skills that are in demand can help you choose your area of expertise. In this article, we discuss the definition of freelance skills, explore a list of in-demand freelancing skills and look at some skills that can help freelancers establish good professional relationships with their clients.

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What Are Freelance Skills?

Freelance skills are professional skills that help individuals find projects in a particular niche or help them build their own business. Using some of these skills, freelancers can advertise their business, find clients and manage multiple projects at a time. Some other freelancing skills help them find work in industries that require their services. Freelancing skills ensure that freelancers can work without supervision, choose projects depending on their interests and complete projects on time in an organised manner.

Related: How To Become A Freelancer In 8 Steps: A Complete Guide

Different Types Of Freelance Skills

Here is a list of in-demand freelancing skills that can help you earn a steady income as a freelancer:

1. Content writing

Almost every business requires content for their websites, social media and other internal documents, so content writing works as a great freelancing skill. Freelancers can choose multiple niches depending on their area of interest and qualifications. They can also choose from different types of content such as long-form content, blogs, ad copies, reports, website copywriting, pitch decks among others. Content writing skills can help freelancers write impressive cover letters while applying for jobs, build their online profiles or even write content for their own website.

Related: What Is a Content Writing Job? (Definition and Examples)

2. Social media management

While some businesses have in-house social media management teams, some small businesses prefer outsourcing social media management to freelancers. Such freelancers help the businesses grow their number of followers, create social media campaigns, identify trends, interact with followers and build their social media presence. Sometimes, social media managers may also lead influencer marketing campaigns, interact with and onboard influencers and monitor their performance. Social media management is an important skill for freelancers, as it also helps them build their own social media presence.

3. Digital marketing

Having digital marketing skills allows freelancers to work in different areas such as search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing, search engine management (SEM) and social media marketing. Online businesses across industries look for freelance digital marketers who can work remotely and manage their digital presence. Freelance digital marketing can be a good career option for anyone who has an interest in marketing but wants to have the freedom of working from a location of their choice.

Related: How To Become A Freelance Digital Marketer: A Complete Guide

4. Project management

The ability to manage projects can help freelancers successfully execute projects for clients and also manage their own freelance projects. Freelancers with this skill often have expertise in commonly used project management tools and techniques. Skills such as organisation, time management, analytical thinking, pro-activeness are some important project management skills.

5. Admin skills

Freelancers with good administrative skills can become virtual assistants for founders, chief executive officers and other higher-level executives of different organisations. Such professionals often have busy schedules, so virtual assistants perform basic tasks such as responding to emails, scheduling emails, conducting preliminary interviews among others from remote locations. Along with organisation skills, virtual admins require a good Internet connection and a high-speed laptop to do their work efficiently.

6. Talent acquisition

Small businesses and startups often outsource their human resource functions to agencies or freelancers. They provide freelancers with job descriptions and exact candidate requirements for various job openings. The freelancers then use their social media network and connections to identify the right candidates and conduct the preliminary interviews before forwarding the qualified candidates to the companies. Such freelancers can work with multiple companies or agencies at once. Freelance talent acquisition can be a good career choice for stay-at-home parents and those looking for some side income.

7. Data entry

Small and large businesses that handle large amounts of data often look for freelancers with good data entry skills. Data entry skills include fast typing, computer knowledge, attention to detail, time management and good grammar. The nature of data entry jobs is that they are easy, pay well and allow freelancers to earn additional income. Freelancers can even apply for data entry projects along with their primary freelance business or full-time jobs to earn additional income. Having experience with some common database software can help in finding high-paying data entry gigs easily.

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8. Graphic designing

Along with content, most businesses require videos, animations, graphics and other creative work for their website, social media posts, advertisements and other channels of communication. Companies often look for freelance graphic designers with a proven portfolio of their work for such jobs. Professional graphic designers usually have subscriptions to common designing software tools. Graphic designing skills can also help freelancers do creative work for their own brand, without having to pay others to do it for them.

9. Creativity

Creative individuals who are good at different forms of art or creative fields can turn their passion into a freelance business. Those who have creative writing, singing or dancing skills can teach these skills to others to earn an extra income. Freelancers can use creativity to enhance their projects and optimise their skills. Creativity could help them brainstorm project ideas while still meeting a client's expectations and requirements. For example, if a freelance graphic designer produces high-quality, unique material for a project that sets them apart from other freelancers, it may make clients want to continue using their services.

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10. Web development

Most businesses require a website and a web application to help increase their reach, so web development is a highly coveted skill among freelancers. They can work in different industries for different types of companies or freelance for a single client. Their primary responsibility is to create websites, design their elements and work on website layouts. Freelance web developers can also use their web development skills to create a website for their own brand and showcase their work through it. The ability to create interactive user experiences is one of the primary web development skills.

Related: How To Become A Freelance Web Developer: A 7-Step Guide

11. Lead generation

Companies often hire freelancers with an established professional network to help them generate leads for their business. They utilise the network of such professionals to target people who may have an interest in the goods or services they offer. Generally, lead generation freelancers are good at sales, pitching and social media marketing.

Some Necessary Skills For Freelancers

Along with the core freelancing skills, here are some additional freelancing skills that can help freelancers do well in their projects:


Having strong negotiation skills ensures that freelancers are able to make fair contracts with their clients. It helps them justify the cost of their services when questioned. Good negotiation skills may also help build quality, lasting relationships with clients where the freelancer and the client are happy with the payout and the quality of delivered work. Sometimes, few companies also offer retainer pay to keep a preferred freelancer on a standby, while agreeing to pay them fixed amount per month/week as per their agreement.

Related: Negotiation Skills: Definitions, Benefits And Examples

Time management

Most freelancers work on multiple projects at once, so time management is a key skill for such professionals. It helps them ensure they are able to deliver the work they promise on time. Freelancers can use time management and project management tools available online to help manage their work. Good organisation skills can also help freelancers prioritise their projects and allocate their time to different projects while also maintaining a work-life balance.


Freelancers work independently without supervision, so clients look for professionals who exhibit confidence in their work. It shows the clients that they are proficient at what they do, can take new challenges and solve them proactively. Being confident also affects a freelancer's ability to provide quality work, negotiate contracts and find well-paying projects that match their value proposition. Freelancers can develop this skill by gaining experience, staying up-to-date about their industry and up-skilling themselves regularly.

Is Freelancing A Good Career Choice?

Freelancing is a good career choice for professionals who like to work independently with minimum supervision. It allows them the freedom of time and space. A freelancer has the freedom to choose their projects and can explore different industries at once. They can negotiate their rates and work only on the projects that offer them their desired price. By working with multiple clients at once, freelancers can also create multiple sources of income for themselves.

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Some organisations allow their employees to take up a few freelance projects in their free time, helping them generate additional income. Several companies prefer outsourcing certain tasks to freelancers as it helps them save the cost of hiring a full-time employee. This ensures that freelancers can find employment opportunities in different types of companies at once.

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