We freelancers make a living with our skills. Those are not any other skills but professional skills. Those are not any professional skills but skills which have been sharpened with our own style. This is something others can hardly replicate and imitate. How do we improve our skills? Basically I have three ways.
Firstly, be specific about your skills. Take my skills as a translator for example. I am particularly interested in financial and news translation. At the same time, I am working on various genres of business documents, except medicine, engineering and architecture. In other words, I know what is relevant or irrelevant to my business.
Secondly, expand your skill set. You must learn more about relevant skills related to your core professional skills. If you don’t know how to expand your skill set, try to read ferociously. Read virtually everything you can get your hands on in a good library such as Central Library in Hong Kong Island. A broad perspective can actually lead you to acquire new skills and learn something you never before thought of.
Thirdly, be an expert in your own field. Don’t be anybody; be somebody. When people talk about you, they think of your skills. When people talk about any potential projects related to your field, they think of recommending you and nobody else.
Some actors and actresses simply stand out in a movie – even when they are playing supporting roles. Learn from them, harness your skills and be the cream of the crop, you can then become a very successful freelancer.