The global freelance economy continues to expand. Even in Zimbabwe, there is an appreciable growth curve but we are still far off from freelancing being mainstream. In the world, there are now close to 1.6 billion freelancers. The global freelance market is roughly US$3.4 billion. In the US alone, in 2022, the total revenue realized by freelancers was over US$1 trillion. Globally, the average freelancers make an hourly is over US$20. You will not go wrong by directing your efforts towards freelancing. You just have to put in more effort if you are operating from Zimbabwe. Anyways, here are the most sought-after freelance skills right now:
Business Development (Or Sales Development)
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Business development entails processes employed to note, court, and recruit new customers and or business opportunities. For instance, identifying and building strategic partnerships is a business development function. In other words, business development focuses on implementing strategies to drive revenue and profits. Some of the specialist areas involved in business development are marketing, sales, project management, and data analytics.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
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Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to processes aimed at improving traffic to websites. The core thrust of SEO is to enhance organic search traffic to one’s website. This is achieved when a website’s visibility is enhanced by appearing in the top results during search engine searches. SEO is done via a number of things e.g. working on the content and seeing to it a site’s pages are indexed properly. There are basically four types of SEO, namely, on-page, off-page, local, and technical. SEO is the key to effectively propagating your content online. It is central to digital marketing no wonder it is a highly sought-after skillset.
Social Media Marketing (Or Management)
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Social media marketing is simply using social media platforms to market a business. Simple as it may sound, it is highly technical and not merely about posting on social media. There are many approaches to social media. Some of the most common ones are paid ads, sponsorships, community-based marketing, influencer marketing, and paid media. Social media marketing is concerned with building a business profile online, engaging with people, and tracking (plus reporting on) key data metrics. Most people end up just knowing they need social media accounts and may even open them. That is why they would need someone with the requisite knowledge and skillset.
Automation In Marketing Processes
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This area deals with digital marketing. Surveys have shown that 8 out of 10 companies using automation in marketing enjoy increased revenue. The same companies have also cited increased customer inflows and engagement rates. That shows you how important marketing automation is. There are countless platforms nowadays that can be used in marketing automation. You will be amazed to find that some platforms (software and/or mobile (or web) apps) can cover almost all the areas covered in this article. Thus the idea is to master such platforms and offer your services to businesses.
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I have discussed email marketing several times. In 2020, I did an article on a simple email marketing guide for local businesses. Email marketing has become a common trend globally. Many of you can attest to this, judging by the nature of the emails you often receive daily. Email marketing is popular now because it produces better results than social media marketing. Imagine that you roll out email marketing and social media marketing to 10 people. Seven are most likely to respond to email marketing, whilst only three may respond to social media marketing. Acquiring email marketing expertise is a smart move.
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Lead generation is the ignition and sustenance of interest in people to convert them into sales. Lead generation processes are the process of collecting names and contact information about qualified prospects, which will be contacted by the sales personnel for generating orders. It typically entails direct response advertising and telemarketing. Some lead generation methodologies are content marketing, social media, and SEO.
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Telemarketing involves contacting, qualifying, and canvassing prospective customers using telecommunications devices, e.g. telephones, the internet, and the like. The basic premise is that marketing is done by using the phone. Regardless, it can also extend to other means, e.g. email or instant messaging.
The skillsets covered today are interrelated in many ways. You must understand, though, that this list is not necessarily exhaustive. Let me explain. For instance, content writing or copywriting is a highly sought-after skill. It is directly or indirectly involved in all the freelance skills discussed in this article. Suffice it to say this list expands into several other sought-after skills. Never mind that you are in Zimbabwe. The world is your oyster. Bear in mind also that these skill sets are particularly needed in Zimbabwe. There are many gaps regarding digital activities, e.g. digital marketing in Zimbabwe. The revenue prospects locally may, of course, be lower than global averages. Thus you will do well to set your eyes on the global stage. All the best!