The most important skills you need as a Shopify freelancer
1. Action oriented
The mindset when you start out freelancing needs to be about getting reps in. You need to start making mistakes quickly and learning by doing. Don’t read entire textbooks, don’t over-research - just try to get your first client as quickly as possible.
By doing that, you’ll start to tackle areas of improvement in their truest order of priority - not in a theoretical order of priority. You’ll make mistakes, fall down and get back up continuously until you become a master at freelancing. That’s the mindset you need to have.
Once you are a master - you will be welcome to join our wonderful network at Storetasker, where we give you access to unbelievable opportunities to work for some of the biggest brands in eCommerce. Best of all, there’s no competition. You just pick the leads that match your skill-sets.
2. Focused on one niche
Shopify is a great example of this. Many of our devs started coding Wordpress websites when that was the go-to technology. But our devs saw something happen. They noticed that Shopify was becoming more and more popular as an eCommerce platform and they decided to go all-in on it. For those devs, it was the best decision they ever made. Suddenly they became masters at a craft - and no longer “generalist developers”.
As a freelancer you have to remember that you need to solve a problem - and most problems people search to fix are “specific” problems. So being a “Shopify developer” really helped our devs find their identity in the world of freelancing.
To pick the right area to focus on, you have to stay up to speed with general macro-trends. Is Shopify growing? Are there opportunities within Shopify that are growing rapidly? Email marketing? Headless builds? The smarter you are about picking the right area of focus, the easier it will be to gain early traction as a freelancer.
3. The technical skills you need as a freelance Shopify developer
You could focus your energy on a repetitive task at first too - For example “migration” jobs are very commonplace, particularly the ones from WooCommerce to Shopify. The skills needed for that won’t change much from one migration to the next. That helps you build confidence in your technical skillset, build a nice niche for your services and streamline your process all at once.
Beyond those technical skills - you could start to pick up extra languages depending on your chosen area of focus. For example - if you see a big shift happening in Shopify where merchants are increasingly requesting sophisticated “blogs” then perhaps learning JSON is a good use of time. If instead you want to join in the fun on everything that’s happening in the Shopify App Store - then you’ll most likely need to pick up Node JS.
4. The soft skills needed as a freelancer
The hard fact is this: You won’t get any business if you’re bad at soft skills / interpersonal skills. You are not the only person in the world offering what you do - but you are unique in your presence, your tone, your communication - and people will be lining up to work with you if they click with your personality.
“Be yourself”. If your true self shines through, you will be much more at ease in situations where things get uncomfortable (client wants a revision, you miss a deadline etc) and that will enable you to get back up so much faster.
But then - on top of that, be critical with yourself. Can you be more clear in how you communicate the scope of your projects? Can you be better at setting expectations? Can you be proactive in keeping your clients informed on their project status?
The great developers don’t shine on their technical skills, they shine in their ability to communicate well with their clients. So in short: Be yourself and always push yourself to increase your clarity in communication.
That’s it - those are the 4 skills you need to be a successful Shopify freelancer. Once you feel confident in your ability to consistently deliver excellent work and retain clients through outstanding customer communication, then we’d love to get you on-boarded onto Storetasker. Our network is home to some of the most outstanding Shopify developers in the world and we consistently present them with brilliant opportunities to work for top tier clients. We’d love to have you join us.