Are you sitting there, feeling like a bit of an imposter, wondering if your work is actually good enough? Do you think that your rates should be even lower, so you’ll never have to have a difficult conversation with your clients?
Are you generally afraid that someone is going to find out that you aren’t really as good as you say you are?
Eek, this has got to be one of the worst feelings you can have as a freelancer — lack of confidence in your work, abilities and the rates you’re charging your clients.
It’s common to feel these insecurities from time to time, but if you continue to keep telling yourself these lies, you’re only ever going to have an average freelancer lifestyle.
None of us want that, right?
If you’re telling yourself these lies, here’s how you can tackle them head on and be the truly astounding freelancer that you are!
3 Lies to Stop Telling Yourself Right Now
Lie #1: “My work just isn’t that good”
This is a common lie we tell ourselves, particularly when we are starting out. We are often our own worst critics, so it’s important to get a little perspective from your work.
If you’re uncertain or unsure about some of the work you’ve produced for your portfolio, seek out feedback from your peers. If you belong to a group or mastermind group where you trust those there to provide unbiased criticism, then this is your best avenue to get a little perspective.
One of my fav ways to get feedback from someone completely unrelated to what I do is to ask my husband or a close friend as well. Often they’ll say what they like and don’t like and I can adjust from there.
But ultimately, it’s your client’s feedback you should take on board. If they tell you they like what you’ve done, then continuing to repeat this lie to yourself is just playing the martyr game.
Take on constructive feedback and ditch the rest. Then rewire this lie to be a truth: “My work is awesome.”
Lie #2: “There’s too much competition for me to succeed”
Um, hello. Competition is a good thing as a freelancer, it means there is demand for your skills! Embrace it and learn to be unique and different from those around you.
This is where having a skill in a specific niche can serve you well. What do I mean by this? Let’s look at an example… say you’re a graphic designer. There are plenty of graphic designers freelancing right now, so how could you stand out? By specialising in bespoke logo design. You could also specialise in designing logos for a specific industry, or specialising in creating two-tone logos. There are plenty of ways to niche down.
Remember, there will always be someone better than you and there will always be someone worse than you… the opportunity lies in the middle of that. Find the clients that love working with YOU and keep them happy. That’s your only goal.
Lie #3: “I’m going to lose clients if I increase my rates”
This is probably the biggest lie of all, but one that even I repeat to myself at times. Freelancing is scary because you’re often the be-all and end-all of your business. The buck stops with you. So while it can be scary to set your rates a little higher than you’re comfortable with, remember that your time is worth far more than what it was when you were working a ‘normal’ job.
One of the worst things we can do as freelancers is sell ourselves short. Now I know that I say you should charge really low rates initially, but after your first 3-4 gigs on a freelancing site like Upwork, you should definitely increase your rates to something you feel reflects your worth.
And you won’t lose clients that value your work. Not once have I lost an existing client when I’ve increased my rates, mainly because I’ve been upfront with them about the increase, rather than just springing it on them.
Communication is key when it comes to rate increases. And always, always increase your rates with each new client you take on, even if it’s just by 10%, this ensures that you’re staying in line with the market and that you’re never selling yourself short.
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