5 Easy Ways to Improve Communication Skills as a Freelancer

5 Easy Ways to Improve Communication Skills as a Freelancer
Design by Judy Moore in Canva
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As freelancers, there’s never a wrong time to improve our communication skills.  We work as part of a team on set, and a crucial part of successful teamwork is effective communication.

(This post may contain affiliate links.  If you purchase anything through the links, I make a small amount of money that helps cover the costs of running this blog.)

When I was going through the selection process of becoming a DGA trainee, assessing applicants’ communication skills was a significant part of the selection process.  They obviously understood that it’s impossible to work effectively on set without solid communication skills.

In the modern digital workplace, we need to be able to communicate effectively across multiple platforms as well as in person.  Communication by phone messages, texts, email, and social media are all skills we need to master.

It sounds easy, but we’ve all received poorly written or insensitive messages from friends and colleagues, so thoughtful communication is something we can all improve.

So what traits make a good communicator?  Here are five things to refine to improve your communication skills:

  1. Listening

Listening is essential to successful communication.  Good listeners are perceived to be more intelligent and empathetic.

When listening, make eye contact and pay attention to non-verbal communication signals.  A relaxed stance with arms uncrossed makes you appear friendly and approachable.

Often we don’t actively listen; we only stay quiet until it’s our turn to talk and we’re thinking of what we’ll say next as the other person is speaking.

Since everything we do on set involves collaboration with other departments, active listening is a skill worth cultivating.

We also absorb more information when we’re actively listening.

  1. Be clear and concise

There are few things more annoying than having to be part of a conversation that never seems to get to the point.  We seldom have time for idle talk on set, so be clear and concise in your communication.

The same goes for digital communication.  Edit the rambling emails down to convey the main point of the message.

I’ve found Grammarly to be a tremendous help in editing and correcting mistakes.  You can sign up for the free version here.

If you want to go all-in, Grammarly has a paid version that’s even more thorough.

  1. Be respectful and polite

There are plenty of boorish people in our industry whose communication style is angry, loud, and disrespectful.  Don’t be one of those people.

Practice set etiquette and keep all digital communication respectful and considerate.  If you’ve been on social media lately, you can see some people's disrespectful and bullying manner of communicating.

Don’t get sucked into aggressive conversations online.  Remember, the digital trail you leave lasts forever, as many high-profile people who’ve posted insensitive things online have found out the hard way.

If you’re angry or have had a few drinks, stay off social media and email.  You’ve worked for years to build your solid reputation, and it only takes one careless post or comment to ruin it.

  1. Personalize your written communication

I recently received an email from a production assistant looking for work.  He didn’t bother to address me by name, so it was probably an email blast sent out to many people.

He also didn’t mention where he got my email address, and it was just another impersonal email that crams our inboxes every day.

I also recently received another email from someone else looking for work.  This person addressed me by name, stated where she found out about me, and added a few sentences about her work history.

Then she listed a few assets she brings to each production without sounding arrogant.  This person took the time to craft a short but personalized email that got my attention.

These emails reminded me we should all strive to improve our digital communication skills.  Taking the time to personalize each email you send makes a difference, and it gets people’s attention.

We all like to be addressed by name and made to feel that we’re more than just part of an impersonal bulk email.

In addition to Grammarly, another tool I use to personalize my business and personal communication is Canva.  As a reader of this blog, you’ve seen many of my Canva creations throughout the blog.

You can sign up for Canva for free and access numerous graphics, fonts, and templates for every type of communication.  I upgraded to the more extensive paid version of Canva because I use it so extensively for this blog.

Free or paid, Canva is worthwhile, and I highly recommend both versions for personalizing your digital communications.

  1. Use the right medium

We can’t communicate with people the same way online as we do at in-person events, as we discovered during the pandemic.  Online groups are helpful, but they’re no replacement for live events.

Be considerate of people’s time if you request a live meeting.

I’ve requested a few informational meetings with people working in areas of the business I wanted to explore.  I never asked for more than fifteen minutes of their time, knew exactly what I wanted to ask them, and never went past the fifteen minutes.

I could not have had the conversations I did with these people via email.  They were happy to meet me and share valuable information because I respected their time and didn’t ask for a job or any other favor.

I always followed up with a thank-you card rather than an email, as I felt it added a personal touch for someone who shared their time and information with me.

Use the appropriate communication method for your business interactions, and you’ll be seen as considerate and professional.


Those are my five picks as easy tips to improve your communication skills.

We all have our preferred ways of communicating, but today we need to be proficient across various digital platforms.

Listen, be concise, personalize, and use tools to help you achieve the most success.

Feel free to drop a line in the comments section about your communication techniques.





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