How to Exude Confidence as a Freelancer
Whether you’re new to or established in this career choice, I think that you’d probably agree with me when I say that freelancing is most certainly not for the weak. It’s a profession that requires flexibility, yet also the need to consistently set boundaries for the sake of personal and professional wellbeing. All of this means you must develop a strong sense of your freelancing abilities – for that, you need to put your best, most confident self forward.
It’s all too easy to be in a constant state of worry or nitpickiness as we go about our freelancing days. We’ve all been there, asking ourselves questions like: did I make that paragraph too long or too short? Maybe I should/not have included that information. Does that picture look too pixelated/blurry? I better get this done before that, but then how will I fit something else in?
All of the above is an unnecessary waste of what should be productive, positive freelancing energy. Take a minute (or two, or ten – just get yourself to a relatively calm state of mind) to put everything in perspective.
Make a list of the gigs you rotate between on a typical freelancing week and rank them in level of importance. For the sake of your sanity, try not to actively juggle more than five gigs. Then, choose your top two, and focus your attention on giving 100% to one gig on certain days, and 100% to the other on the remaining days. Slowly implement the less important gigs if, and only if, you have a reasonable amount of time left over within your usual work day. A tired freelancer is not a confident freelancer.
- Be sure to read my related blog post, “How to Set Boundaries as a Freelancer”
Know your potential.
I always stress the importance of honesty, in both this career path and life in general. However (and this is especially true for new freelance writers) never, ever apply to freelancing gigs that you’re incredibly interested in despite having little experience in the topic, and actually admit to that in your cover letter.
Highlight your strengths in terms of character (example: “I’ve always been great at time management – I strive for efficiency”) and think of what could be – write with optimism in what you’d like to achieve within the gig/for the company or client/you get the idea if you’re hired.
If there’s a (preferably paid) test article or whatnot, do your research and prove you can follow guidelines. You’d be surprised at how careful, correct attention to detail can eclipse experience, thereby impressing clients and possibly securing you more opportunities as you build that level of trust and establish your freelancing reputation.
Remember, even applying to gigs that are completely out of your comfort zone is, in itself, an act of confidence, and for that, you should be applauded!
Anticipate change and embrace discernment.
If there’s one thing that can erode confidence, it’s a scenario where you think you’ve been doing excellent work, then all of a sudden you’re fired from the gig. All you get is an evasive email informing you of that unfortunate fact. Then, there are the curveballs where you think the gig you’ve been accepted to is manageable, then you find that the requirements are actually incredibly daunting – especially for the rate of pay you’re supposed to receive.
The thing about freelancing is that since you’re a contractor, there’s no job security. Just as you can be jettisoned from a gig, so too can you walk away by choice. As you travel the road of freelancing, you’ll need to regularly determine what’s in your best interests, and confidence plays a key role in that. Freelancing has a lot to do with the art of adapting. Respect on both sides should always be present; accept nothing less.