I’ve been thinking of learning a new specialized skill that could appeal to the market I serve. It has the potential to bring in more customers and revenue. I know there’s a demand because I’ve already had a few clients ask about it. The challenge for me: committing the time to learning everything I need to know. Notice I didn’t say “finding” time. I believe that no matter how busy you are, if you want to do something bad enough, you’ll MAKE time to do it.
Honestly, I don’t think the learning curve is too steep. It’s more a matter of me setting aside the time to do what I need to do. The services I provide are different from when I first started freelancing. As my business evolved I learned which projects I like to do, which ones I don’t, which services increase my bottom line best, etc. I’ve also learned that industries change, emerging technology changes the way things are done sometimes and that longevity as a freelancer means staying abreast of these types of changes.
Learning this new writing skill involves me investing in a home-study course. I’m investing financially in my business much more than I did when I first got started. Since this is the career path I’ve chosen to make my living, it’s worth every penny. I think freelancers should automatically set aside a percentage of their earnings to invest in their business, and that includes continuing education (thank goodness it’s tax deductible!). I make a habit of sharpening my skills by reading books, attending webinars, investing in ecourses, and I’m even seriously thinking of working with a coach this year.
If you’re just starting out, you probably aren’t able to spend much. I recommend researching the web, spending time on writer forums, freelance writing blogs, attending free teleseminars/webinars and checking out books in your library to get you going. As your business grows, you can make a point of setting aside a percentage of your earnings for the sake of continued learning and other business expenses.
What are some things you do to stay on top of your game? Do you make a habit of investing financially to improve your freelance writing skills?