Solopreneur? These are some important areas for you to upskill in
The current pandemic has been unkind to both large and small businesses around the world, forcing many to temporarily or permanently cease operations. If you’re a solopreneur – or a one-person businesses – you’re equally vulnerably to the economic turmoil.
AFP reported that over 42 million workers in the US have lost their jobs since mid-March while over a million people have filed for unemployment claims last week, according to data from the US Department of Labor. Many other countries are in a similar predicament.
Despite a sluggish economy, solopreneurs can’t afford to slow down when other businesses and organisations are fighting to anchor themselves during this “black swan” event. For those with one core skill, it becomes essential to widen your skillset as that will serve as your lifeline in a volatile economy.
There are vast areas to upskill in to remain resilient; these are some examples of areas solopreneurs should consider upskilling in:
Build digital skills
Whether you have a writing, baking, personal training or photography business, digital skills are essential for anyone looking to remain resilient in the digital economy.
Digital skills encompass a wide range of areas, making it essential to narrow down specific skills that your business can benefit from, and gradually building from that base.
For instance, if you have a freelance writing business, you could benefit from upskilling in digital marketing, SEO writing, and/or social media, which can help you amplify your craft and market your work better.
Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have options for you to go live and connect with a wider range of audience in real-time, so use it to your advantage.
Content creation skills
Content is everywhere – it includes the copy and visuals that you see on annoying ads that pop up on your favourite websites, the articles you read online, the memes being shared on WhatsApp to the videos that keep you enthralled on social media.
The right content can educate, inspire, entertain, or inform people, so bolstering your content creation skills is an asset for any solopreneur.
You can repurpose a blog post into a podcast, infographic, or video, helping you to reach audiences you previously haven’t.
As such, content creation skills can also entail gaining technical skills such as basic videography and video editing, graphic design skills, and the like.
The word “networking” can make some people recoil, but its benefits far outweigh the challenges that come with building a strong network.
As a solopreneur, having an arsenal of skills under your belt can only take you so far. With the right network, you can gallop ahead while everyone else crawls behind.
It becomes essential to bolster your efforts into building a strong network of contacts.
You can do this by tapping into the power of social media and using platforms such as LinkedIn to follow top professionals in your line of work, learn from what the best are doing, and engaging with them online.
Attending events or conferences are also useful ways to meet new people. Remember to keep in touch with them and to add value to the relationship. This could entail providing knowledge in an area where they lack, or even connecting them with someone who can help them with their area of work.
At the end of the day, building your skill set means you can diversify your offerings to clients, allowing you to cast your net out wide. If you can’t afford to attend graduate school, there are a myriad of other ways for you to upskill, from MOOCs, microcredentials, certificate programmes or even workshops.
The key to staying resilient during an economic downturn is to continuously upskill and to keep up with trends to remain relevant and recession-proof.