Freelancing is now one of the most popular ways for professionals to take control of their careers and pursue their passions.
However, joining the freelancer ecosystem isn’t always as simple as it seems.
We’ve reviewed some of the best freelance courses on the market to pinpoint the programs perfectly poised to position you for success in this space.
10 Top Courses For Freelancers
- Ultimate Digital Marketing Course (Reliablesoft)
- Complete Guide to Freelancing (Udemy)
- The Freelance Masterclass (Skillshare)
- Building Your Freelancing Career Specialization (Coursera)
- Cybersecurity Certificate (Google)
- Social Media Marketing Certificate (Meta)
- Full Stack Software Developer Certificate (IBM)
- Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Success (Skillshare)
- Digital Freelancer (Udacity)
- Upwork Academy (Upwork)
1. Ultimate Digital Marketing Course (Reliablesoft)
A career in freelancing can expand across many different industries, from the educational sector to e-commerce.
However, some of the most lucrative and valuable freelance opportunities of all come from the digital marketing industry.
The Ultimate Digital Marketing Course from Reliablesoft allows would-be freelancers to build their skills in online marketing.
Students can learn how to master SEO, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, Facebook ads, Google ads, and more.
This comprehensive 13-course bundle, consisting of 92 lessons and 280 topics, delivers the job-ready skills freelancers need to excel in various digital marketing roles.
It also comes with two industry-recognized certificates, a Digital Marketing Certification, and an SEO Certification.
This means students can opt for a focused career in the SEO landscape, earning around $53,064 annually in the US.
Alternatively, you can choose to take a broader approach to digital marketing, becoming a digital marketing manager and earning an average of $63,094 per year.
This versatile program can also prepare you for roles like:
- Facebook Ads expert
- E-commerce SEO specialist
- Google Ads manager
- Content marketer
- Email marketing manager
- Social media manager
- Digital marketing analyst
2. Complete Guide to Freelancing (Udemy)
Becoming a successful freelancer requires more than focusing on the right industry.
As a member of the self-employment landscape, you’ll need to learn how to connect with clients, position yourself above the competition, and manage your own business.
The Udemy “Complete Guide to Freelancing” course, taught by a top performer on Upwork, provides all the guidance you need to start your own side hustle or full-time freelance career.
You’ll develop the skills required to excel in freelance roles connected to graphic design, copywriting, web development, and digital marketing.
However, you’ll also learn how to improve your productivity, manage your time, and strengthen your network.
This course even provides plenty of insight into improving your profile on popular freelancing platforms like Upwork to boost your chances of attracting clients.
Through 11.5 hours of on-demand video content, as well as various downloadable resources and articles, you’ll discover how to:
- Create winning proposals to land long-term, high-paying clients
- Build relationships with clients to increase recurring income
- Manage and scale your freelance business
- Develop a millionaire mindset for your business
- Choose the right freelancing strategy based on your skills
The course comes with a certificate of completion, as well as a host of handy tools to assist freelancers in finding new clients.
With this program, you could earn up to $82,918 per year as a web developer or $53,119 per year as a graphic designer.
3. The Freelance Masterclass (Skillshare)
Designed for growing members of the creator economy, the Freelance Masterclass teaches students how to build a full-time or part-time career in various environments.
You can learn how to turn hobbies like photography and illustration into fully-fledged careers.
Alternatively, you can explore opportunities in the world of graphics, and UI/UX design, branching into the digital world and serving a wide range of clients.
The extensive course reviews every step of the process of becoming a successful freelancer.
Students learn how to set goals that drive them toward success, create bios and profiles that capture customer attention, and even find their ideal target market.
With this program, you’ll create many of the core assets you need for freelance success, including business cards, logos, and portfolios.
Plus, there’s step-by-step guidance on how to choose your pricing, quote customers, and create contracts.
The course is split into 50 compelling sections, covering everything beginners need to know about branding, marketing, sales, and growth.
Plus, there are 100 pages of written downloadable content to explore.
Though there’s no certificate of completion with this course, you will walk away with actionable skills to help you:
- Develop a personal brand
- Choose the right target market
- Create a powerful portfolio
- Find clients both online and offline
- Price your services
- Build relationships with long-term clients
There are even some handy resources to guide you through the process of understanding the licenses you’ll need for fonts and photos.
This could be particularly useful to freelancers interested in exploring graphic design and web design spaces.
4. Building Your Freelancing Career Specialization (Coursera)
The best freelancing courses don’t just introduce beginners to the world of freelance employment.
They also provide the guidance you need to grow your own business, profits, and potential consistently.
The “Building Your Freelance Career Specialization” program from Coursera is a five-course series developed to show professionals how to increase their success in a new business venture.
The program focuses on some of the most important skills freelancers need, such as:
- How to plan a freelance business: Creating a business plan, choosing the right marketplace, and finding a strategy that aligns with your goals and values.
- Making money as a freelancer: Pricing your services, connecting with clients, and exploring opportunities to increase your income with financial plans.
- Launching your business: Building a personal brand, finding new opportunities for work, and creating a public-facing portfolio.
- Protecting and growing your business: Navigating the laws around freelance work in relation to taxes, intellectual property protection, and contract agreements.
During the capstone project, students can create their own business plan, brand, and financial model from scratch so they’re ready to start their own freelance business.
You’ll earn a certificate of completion you can showcase on your resume, as well as the initial assets you need to start promoting your new company.
This course appeals to all kinds of freelancers in every industry, meaning it should prepare you to pursue any freelance role, earning an average of $50,565 per year in the US.
5. Cybersecurity Certificate (Google)
As the online world evolves, the threats both consumers and companies face every day are expanding.
Cybersecurity professionals have become some of the most sought-after experts in the world, earning incredible salaries and freelance income.
With the Google Cybersecurity Professional Certificate course, you can develop the skills you need to thrive in a high-paying role.
The 8-course series, accredited by Google, is open to all learners, with no prior experience required. You’ll start by learning about basic cybersecurity practices used in the modern world and the risks and vulnerabilities that users face online.
You’ll also learn how to protect networks, people, devices, and data from cyber-attacks using SEIM tools, Python, Linux, and SQL.
The program prepares students for roles like cybersecurity analyst, security operations center (SOC) analyst, and security specialist. Plus, you’ll get access to Google’s Employer consortium, making it easier to find new clients after graduation.
Coursera even offers interview prep and resume review services to students. You’ll learn how to:
- Connect and protect digital networks
- Use Python, Linux, and SQL for security tasks
- Assess assets, threats, and vulnerabilities
- Use detection and response tools
- Automate security tasks for business agility
As an added benefit, this course also covers other transferrable skills you can use in various industries, including Python basics and Network security management.
6. Social Media Marketing Certificate (Meta)
Ideal for those passionate about social media, the Social Media Marketing Certificate from Meta is packed with many freelancer opportunities.
This 6-course series can prepare you for a range of social media-focused careers, whether you’re interested in becoming an influencer or managing other social accounts.
As a social media manager in the US, you can earn around $57,274 per year, but this course will also open the door to other monetization opportunities.
You’ll learn how to develop effective social media posts and establish a strong online presence.
This could mean you can make extra money through brand sponsorship deals, Facebook advertising, Instagram influencer marketing, and more.
You’ll receive an employer-recognized certification from Meta upon completion. Plus, students also get access to the Meta Career Programs job board and end-to-end career support from Coursera.
Throughout the 6 courses would-be freelancers will discover how to:
- Create SMART goals, identify KPIs, and build social media campaigns
- Manage a variety of social media accounts with content calendars
- Develop an engaging brand with a distinct tone of voice
- Use Meta advertising tools to enhance your online presence
- Measure and optimize social media campaigns
This course will also allow you to build a robust portfolio you can share with clients as you launch your freelance career.
7. Full Stack Software Developer Certificate (IBM)
Promising students the opportunity to be job-ready in 4 months, the Full Stack Software Developer certificate from IBM is a fast-paced program for freelancers.
This 12 course series is designed for beginners, so you don’t need any previous developer knowledge.
It also comes with an industry-recognized certificate, and degree credit you can use to pursue other certifications in the world of higher education.
This course is ideal for potential freelancers who want to help companies and clients develop various digital assets, from apps to websites.
Full-stack developers earn some of the best salaries in the world, averaging at around $123,414 per year in 2023.
With this course, you’ll boost your chances of attracting high-paying clients with a comprehensive GitHub portfolio and skills connected to containers, Kubernetes, microservices, and the cloud.
Throughout the series of classes, students discover how to manage every aspect of the development landscape, including:
- Git and GitHub portfolio development
- Front-end app development with React
- Back-end app development with Express and Node.JS
- Data science and AI with Python
There’s a full-stack cloud development capstone, ideal for making your portfolio stand out, as well as insights into Containers, Applications, and more. Plus, students also gain access to IBM’s People and Soft Skills specialization for free.
Explore This Course
8. Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Success (Skillshare)
Building an incredible personal brand is a must for any freelancer. Your brand is what convinces clients to work with you in an increasingly competitive landscape.
With the “Going Freelance” course from Skillshare, you’ll learn how to develop a powerful image.
This simple but effective course for beginners is only an hour long, but it’s packed with useful insights. You’ll start by learning how to develop a strong body of work and a portfolio that appeals to your specific target audience.
As you progress through the video lessons, you’ll build crucial skills for:
- Marketing yourself: Ensuring your brand and business can stand out online and across social media channels.
- Managing finances: Building a business budget, pricing your services, and ensuring you earn a consistent income.
- Networking: Connecting with other business leaders and innovators to unlock new freelancing opportunities.
Each video lesson shares stories, tips, and examples of transforming how you think about freelance opportunities and side hustles.
9. Digital Freelancer (Udacity)
If you’re keen to dive into the world of freelancing but are unsure how to get started, the Digital Freelancer Nanodegree could be ideal for you.
Taking around 1 month to complete, this course only requires basic computer skills to get started.
Throughout the program, you’ll discover what it means to be a freelancer in a digital world. The course provides step-by-step guidance on how to build a portfolio that will attract high-paying clients and unlock new opportunities.
It also offers some useful behind-the-scenes views of the pros and cons of freelancing and the challenges you’ll need to face along the way.
Students get extensive guidance on topics like:
- How to differentiate yourself: Learn how to use different marketing strategies to showcase your personal brand and connect with potential clients.
- Social media marketing: Develop a comprehensive social media profile, and use proven techniques to engage clients, partners, and colleagues.
- Developing your website: Create a website that improves your chances of client acquisition with landing pages and portfolio insights.
You’ll also discover how to create an effective process to source clients, negotiate project scopes and pricing frameworks, and manage projects effectively.
This ensures you should have all the skills you need to build lucrative relationships with future customers.
10. Upwork Academy (Upwork)
Upwork is currently one of the most popular freelancer platforms in the world.
As one of the biggest players in the gig economy, Upwork doesn’t just give freelancers opportunities to find clients and projects.
The company also has its own dedicated educational academy, packed with interactive courses and tools.
Within the academy, you can choose from various learning paths and resources. There are videos to guide you through creating your Upwork profile, finding new clients, and even building a fantastic online portfolio.
Each course comes with its own form of accreditation. There are certifications available, as well as badges and achievements for your Upwork profile. The courses are free to access and are updated regularly as the freelance marketplace evolves.
Just some of the learning pathways include:
- Getting started on Upwork
- Finding work and clients on Upwork
- Designing a project catalog
- Starting an agency-based business
- Creating consultation offerings
Are Freelancing Courses Worth It?
With countless freelance platforms to choose from and a host of different job options to explore, entering the freelancing world often seems simple. However, there are many challenges freelancers need to overcome.
Finding clients, building a powerful portfolio, and ensuring you manage your business effectively are all crucial steps to ensure success. The freelancing courses above can give you the acumen and guidance you need to thrive in the freelance world.
While some focus on simply strengthening your business management skills and helping you to develop your own personal brand, others are more focused.
Some of the freelance courses we’ve mentioned can also help you to develop the essential skills you need to work as a freelancer in web design, development, analytics, cybersecurity, and even digital marketing.
With these courses, you’ll hone your skills, build your brand assets, and earn the certifications you need to impress future clients.
To find the best courses for freelancers, we conducted thorough research, looking at various courses from reputable online platforms and industry experts. These courses covered a wide range of freelancing skills, from foundational principles to specialized disciplines like web development and digital marketing.
To ensure the utmost quality, we evaluated each course based on specific criteria. This included assessing the relevance and currency of the course content, the credentials of the instructors, and feedback from previous students.
By considering these factors, we were able to curate a list of courses that provide aspiring freelancers with the job-ready skills and knowledge essential for thriving in the dynamic world of freelancing.