When you chose to be a freelancer, you probably wanted to get rid of the shackles of the corporate world. Yet you soon found out that being a freelancer doesn’t actually mean you’re free: you’re responsible for everything, from marketing to taxes. It can be stressful, especially because you can’t rely on the support of coworkers or on regular paychecks.
Sometimes, it may sound nearly impossible, but you must remain positive in approaching your work. The proper attitude will help you deal with challenges like fussy clients, and keep you motivated when you’re tempted to give up. Let’s get specific on how to do it.
Attitude Is Everything: The 5 Secrets to Success for Freelancers
Attitude is the most important decision you’ll make today.
— Paul Dughi
1. The importance of presentation
Even though you don’t have a regular job, when people ask what you do for a living, don’t say that you’re unemployed – you’re self-employed. You face daily challenges just like anyone else. Working from home is more convenient, not easier.
Try as we might, it sometimes gets difficult to disregard other people’s opinions about us. If people don’t take your freelance work seriously, your confidence will suffer. On the other hand, knowing that others respect your work style will boost your self-esteem. Always present yourself as a professional and discuss your work using positive and empowering language.
Self-confidence is also important when presenting your services to clients. They are much more likely to do business with a committed professional than someone who seems hesitant. Promote yourself through engaging websites, effective marketing, and well-crafted resumes and proposals. There are many other freelancers out there, you have to do your best to get noticed.
2. Confidence is key
If you don’t believe that you’re good at your work, most clients will pick up on your self-doubt. That makes it much harder to earn a living. You must convey that you’ll do a great job on every assignment.
The fact that clients are seeking your services because they can’t handle the project on their own should lift your spirits. You know that your skills and experience are needed. Also, the fact that you were chosen over your competitors is a clear indicator that you have the client’s trust.
That confidence will disappear if you’re seen as confused or doubtful. Don’t use “maybe” when talking about your strategy; be concrete, precise and decisive. Explain your plans in detail, show the client that you know exactly what you’re talking about.
3. Every cloud has a silver lining
Like every other professional, you’re bound to run into obstacles. Clients may send back or reject your work, and there may be days where lucrative assignments just can’t be found. Even then, you should try to keep your positive attitude. Focus on the upside to reduce negativity and tension.
When you don’t have much work, spend free time unwinding with friends or family. Find something constructive to do, like networking for new clients and opportunities. If you let yourself get discouraged, you’ll become depressed.
Take the time to better yourself so your work will be more rewarding long-term. Focus on developing your skills through study and practice. Find new platforms for meeting prospective clients, or discovering better tools and methods.
Don’t feel angry toward clients who criticize your efforts. Do your best to satisfy the client to avoid negative feedback. Be patient, and try to understand the criticism and learn from it.
By staying positive and empathizing with someone else’s perspective, you can gain knowledge about your own field, avoid future criticism, or simply improve your ability to deal with difficult people. Any of these outcomes will make your work easier and get you more clients.
Of course, when you feel criticism is unreasonable, try to explain why you chose to do what you did. If you have clients that are always difficult to please, however, you’re better off without them. They might even be costing you money.
4. Expect the unexpected
As your workload fluctuates, so does your cash flow. You’ll experience setbacks: your computer might crash and you’ll need to get a new one. To protect yourself, take advantage of all the work you can get when there’s plenty of it, try to adopt a frugal lifestyle, and build up emergency funds.
You will also find that your niche, or even your competition, changes with new consumer trends or technology. Don’t mistake advances for fads. Adapt to what’s happening even if you didn’t expect it. Think of changes as an opportunity to improve your skills and gain more assignments. Attend seminars, workshops, and all other sorts of training offered in your field.
5. Mind your health
Your health is vital, not only in freelancing, and you should make it a priority. If you’re under the weather, your output suffers and you could lose a significant amount of income or a few regular clients.
Support your career by taking care of yourself. Good diet and regular exercise are the best ways to do this. However, you’ll also want to maintain your mental health. Give yourself time to take a break when you need it. Have an outlet for your stress, such as meditation, yoga, or just some fun time.
It’s also essential to have human relationships for emotional balance. This is especially true of freelancers who spend most of their day alone with their work. Make the time to connect with friends and loved ones. You need to establish a comfortable work-life balance if you’re going to stay productive.
Keep your rose-colored glasses on
In conclusion, working alone as a freelancer is a very different lifestyle from traditional work environments. Good habits and a positive attitude are essential. If you can learn to deal with the challenges in a healthy way, and tend to your own well-being, freelancing can be a long and rewarding profession.