How to define your freelance skills with Skill Bubbles

When you’re setting up a freelance business you need to define what skills you are going to bring to market. You may even already be a freelancer taking every job you can regardless of whether it’s a good fit or not.

If you don’t know what you’re going to offer the market place then you’ll end up with jobs that don’t fit and you won’t attract the with job for which you want to offer services in.

To help me when I started my freelance business in 2017 I created something I call Skill Bubble’s which at the heart contained a Big Bubble with my primary skill that I was going to market myself on.

Floating around my big bubble were my Middle Bubbles containing secondary services. These were skills that I could combine with my big bubble to create fuller more complex services or offer as a stand alone service if I wanted too.

Then floating around the outside were my Little Bubbles containing tertiary skills which I could bring to my other bubbles and provide more value to a potential client.

My Skill Bubbles

You can see that my Big Bubble contained my core service: Web Development. This was my main skill and the skill I would use to find projects and clients.

Around the Big bubble were my Middle Bubbles such as databases, API’s, Web Design & Databases.

These are secondary skills that you could combine with your main skill in order to meet the requirements of more varied projects. They compliment your main skill set and you should market them as such.

For example, Company X requires a new website but they haven’t got a design yet. No problem, I can combine my design skills to produce the whole project for them from the ground up, design to deployment.

Secondary skills are also skills that you are good enough in to offer in their own right. For the sake of variation you may decide you want to take a database project that requires non of your other skills.

And then come your Little Bubbles which in my case are mainly technologies. While web development is my main skill I’m also an expert in Angular and in this case I use the bubble to define which technologies I am going to look for when I look at the requirements of projects.

My Little Bubbles also contain skills not related to my other bubbles but skills where I can offer skills as part of a service.

For example, in my teens I used to produce a lot of — crappy — music and I built up some skills in sound engineering so when I was building a website for a client who had a podcast they asked if they knew anyone who could edit their podcast for them.

Bing. That’s me. It’s not a service I am actively looking to provide anyone, but it is a string in my bow I can bring to bear on any project that comes my way.

You can also include in your Little Bubbles skills which you want to offer in the future but for which you have no experience, you can use them as a roadmap to learning and developing fuller services.

Creating your skill bubbles help you become clear on what you as a freelancer are offering the market.

If you know your primary, secondary and tertiary skills clearly you can market yourself in such a way that aligns you with good-fit projects & clients.

Your bubbles will grow, shrink and even pop over time as your skill sets change and and the market evolves.

I have made a Skill Bubbles template for you to download and fill in, simply head over to and subscribe and I’ll email you a copy.

Freelance web developer 👨‍💻 Founder & CEO of Code To Be - online courses for people who want to code their way out of the rat race 🕸