Recently, I came across an article which stated that a survey was conducted by PayPal in 2017, to look into the upsurge in income for freelancers in India.
The article went on to say that PayPal interviewed some 500 freelancers for the survey, and published their findings in January of 2018, which found that Freelancers in India earn an average Rs.2 million per annum.
The survey respondents reported Income levels spiraled upwards during the calendar year 2017, because Projects from Australia, US, and the UK enabled Indian freelancers to record these high incomes, the report adds.
Why is this significant?
It is significant because freelancers in India have discovered and tapped into a goldmine that has great potentials for sustainable growth in the foreseeable future. according to experts in the field, India’s freelancing industry is projected to grow worth US$30 billion by 2025.
Just “Over 23 percent respondents interviewed by PayPal revealed they are earning more than Rs.6 million per year- or about Rs.500,000 per month. This figure is much higher than salaries available for a traditional 9-5 job.”
Justifiably, such high incomes are enough to entice anyone to leap aboard into this freelance trend. But, as you will discover, possessing certain skills is necessary to earn a high income as a freelancer.
This awareness makes it necessary to know what freelance skills are in demand right now. Why? Because the skills that are now in demand in the markets mentioned above are the ones offering very lucrative compensation. Here Are some of the Best Freelance Skills in Demand:
1. Virtual Assistant
The name is pretty explanatory; A virtual assistant is a person who provides various services to entrepreneurs or businesses from a remote location. The trend of hiring virtual assistant freelancers has only recently caught on.
There are a multitude of things that virtual assistants can do, including: Social media management, Event management, Managing calendars, appointments, emails and much more. But do not think that being an assistant is not a skill that does not require any training or specialization.
Since you will not be meeting and discussing tasks in person, it is vital that you understand all the information virtually to keep things running smoothly. You may need to brush up on several skills under the larger term of ‘Virtual Assistant’, such as excellent communication skills.
Also, you may need to be well-versed in executing administrative tasks such as conference calls and writing letters, and emails, associated skills that are in demand right now.
2. Accounting and Bookkeeping
Why hire someone to do accounting and bookkeeping for a small business that could just use accounting software instead. The truth is, there is still a whole lot that the software cannot do; tax codes and deductions are a problem that cannot be solve by using the software.
Furthermore, some small businesses simply cannot afford to invest in software. This is why freelancers who provide accounting services continue to be in demand. So, if you are not certified but is interested to work in the accounting field as a bookkeeper, or even as an accounting assistant position, you can take courses while you working as a freelancer.
As you learn skills and gain experience from one job, you will be able to translate that knowledge into another position until you work your way up to the perfect accounting job.
While bookkeeping is absolutely a business you can start without any experience, it definitely helps to have previously worked in a money-related job. So, whether you have worked as a small-scale accountant or as a company’s controller, that experience will go a long way in landing clients for your own business.
A Certified public accountant (CPA) is the job most people associate with an accounting degree, so if you are a CPA you should already be familiar with the mundane tasks you have to perform. All this work can become boring after a while. So, only opt to freelance in accounting if you are excited about it.
3. Professional Consultancy
Professional consultancy has been an emerging trend since the age of internet technology. A growing number of professionals have given up full-time jobs to open their own freelance consultancy businesses; and other than allowing flexibility or work, it also enables professionals to earn extra income.
Most Important, consultancies in the freelance sector include various streams of computing, engineering, architecture, law, advertising, and marketing, management consulting, financial management and human resources development, to name a few.
Companies looking at opening ventures in foreign countries, look for local consultants that can provide the required advice and services. So, regardless of the specialization, running a consultancy is a freelance skill which is in great demand right now.
Many Freelancers are anxious to learn how much do professional consultants earn. But in this industry averages do not mean much in a diverse field like consulting, though they do make for a solid income that can rival any 9 to 5 job.
According to Consulting.com, “If we look at every job with “consultant” in the title across the three major salary tracking companies, Glassdoor, Payscale, and Indeed, we find that the average consulting salary is right around $75,000 per year.”
However, there is a good reason why consultants earn so much. Generally, besides experience the people who are successful at consulting are exceptionally good at marketing, which is why, they usually end up earning more than they are actually worth. This is also one major reason consultants get paid so much. Let us acknowledge it, they are great at selling!
4. Graphics Designing
Graphic designing as a skill have always thrived on freelancing; thus, giving freelancers the opportunity to work on remarkably high profile projects for top brands of the world. This makes it one of the top skills in demand right now; a task that will be increasingly sourced from freelancers in the future.
Graphic design is also known as communication design. It brands graphic designers as visual communicators, who create visual concepts by hand or by using computer software. These media include fonts, shapes, colors, images, print design, photography, animation, logos, and billboards.
Needless to say, companies do not require a graphic designer all year round, and since everyone has their own unique style, outsourcing the work from freelancers allows businesses to get fresher types of designs to suit their requirements.
In the next couple of years through to 2028, employment of graphic designers is projected to grow between 3-5 percent. As a result, they are expected to face strong competition for available positions; since, the ways in which people participate in this field have been changing dramatically and rapidly.
5. Web Designing
Web designing is a freelance skill that is in great demand right now due to the fact that purchasing a domain name, website hosting and other necessities is fairly inexpensive these days.
It has been ruling the freelance job market for quite some time and the look of things, its position will remain unchanged over the coming years. This is due in part to the increase in amount of people accessing the internet via mobile devices, and rising ecommerce worldwide.
Therefore, small, medium, and large businesses that do not have a significant presence on the Internet will find themselves shopping around for solutions to solve their needs in the next couple of years. However, other than businesses, a huge number of high net-worth individuals also open websites as their personal blog or for social outreach.
6. Web and Mobile Development
The increase in global e-commerce has made it vital for almost every business to have an online presence. So, as ecommerce grows, web and mobile developers will find themselves increasingly in demand.
This is because the Internet has opened up immense landscapes for businesses small and large to grow and flourish in newer markets around the globe. As a result, there is a huge demand for web and mobile developers.
Web and mobile development are an integral part of the digital and online marketing community. Therefore, as e-commerce grows, web and mobile developers will find themselves increasingly in demand.
7. Internet Marketing Research
Internet research is a ridiculously huge field, covering research data, and all its related fields received by various websites are commonly called data analytics, which are also part of the ecommerce industry.
The most significant Internet research skills in demand today involves surfing through large amount of data; creating websites that offer better content that is correct, effective, and verifiable.
Some of the other tasks include analyzing metrics of a website, such as, product or service, the number of unique visitors to a site and their location, preference for a time or day, and time spent on the website, among others. Therefore, freelancers possessing these skills will discover themselves in great demand right now.
8. IT Recruiter
Right after the launch of their skill development program (MSDE) in India by the Indian government, many foreign companies have been spurred to search for talent in India. The objective of this Skill Certification Scheme is to enable a large number of Indian youths to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood.
The employers are looking to freelancers that can help satisfy their human resources obligations. They are interviewing and selecting the best possible candidates for specialized jobs. The demand is highest in the IT sector followed by medicine and engineering, where Freelance recruiters are generally professionals from that sector, who are aware of the needs of the industry and emerging trends.
Thus, their services come in handy when a company is entering the Indian market or looking for professionals to work on foreign assignments. It is one of the freelance skills in great demand right now.
9. Online Video Creation
Since it is clearly more engaging, a major portion of online marketers uses video content to appeal to web visitors. But creating such appealing videos is not an easy task. It requires learning several applications, and constantly keep learning, because there is always some new trend like motion graphics, that require more engagement.
Video creation is linked to social media marketing; therefore, with the continuous popularity of platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, companies require video content that particularly targets social media.
So, as a freelancer, you can choose to market yourself either as an online video creator or exclusively as a social media video creator. Similar to graphic design, freelancers learning the video creation skill need to make a portfolio for themselves. It is one of the freelance skills in great demand right now.
There exist many jobs for freelancers who know how to edit videos. So, if you do not want to create videos, you can choose instead to edit them. While this requires the same knowledge of software and tools, it also requires additional expertise. You will need to have an eye for detail which will go a far way to set you apart from other freelance competitors trying to win the same job.
10. Blockchain Development
Blockchain development has become the hottest skill in the market, and it will continue to play an integral role in the banking and finance sector in the coming years, especially development for Finance Projects.
It will enable enterprises to build transparent and secure business processes. According to PacktPub.com, “Experts estimate annual savings of up to 20 billion dollars from this technology. Believe it or not, there has been a 6000% hike in the requirement graph for blockchain development.” It is one of the freelance skills that is in great demand right now.
Since there do not exist enough Blockchain experts so far, there is a huge opportunity here for freelancers. A word of caution here, you should only venture into this sector if you are technically savvy and possess the requisite skill to excel in this field.