What is the No. 1 thing that holds you back from reaching your freelance writing goals?
Maybe you’re worried that you don’t have what it takes.
Maybe you’re waiting for the “right time” to approach a client.
Maybe you are afraid of failing.
Maybe you are afraid of succeeding because you won’t know how to handle it.
I could go on and on and on and on!
Do you see anything in common with those last few statements? I sure do.
The common denominator here is FEAR … fear of the unknown, fear of not being talented enough, fear of failure.
Do you deal with any of these fears? If so, congratulations, you are normal!
This is natural. It’s something that every successful freelance writer has experienced at one time or another, and it’s something you can definitely conquer.
It all starts with a little confidence.
Fake It Til’ You Make It!
This is one of my favorite phrases to use when discussing what it takes to become a successful freelance writer, because so many new writers seem to be under the false assumption that you need to actually be confident to begin.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
When I left my day job and set off on this journey, I was scared, confused and alone. I would constantly compare myself to others and have thoughts like “I could never be as successful as they are. I’m just not talented enough.” I would receive a bad critique from an editor and want to throw in the towel!
But then, you know what I realized? I realized that nobody knew how scared I was but me!
These insecure thoughts were in my head, and my head only, so instead of waiting until I was actually confident enough to go for it, all I had to do was learn the tools to portray confidence. In other words, fake it!
Something unexpected came out of this realization. Over time and through experience, I actually became confident. My confidence built as I continued, and each gig led to more confidence, and it continues to build to this day
No matter how scared or nervous or uncertain you are, you can start your journey toward becoming a successful freelance writer today by simply applying the tools it takes to portray the image of success.
How? By mirroring the habits of confident writers, you will attract those clients you are striving for, and with each gig, you will become more and more confident and you will become a better writer as a result.
Create a Vision!
Attempting to become a successful freelance writer without a vision is like trying to drive across the country without a map! There are a million routes you could take, but there’s one that will get you there the most efficiently and with the least amount of bumps in the road!
A vision gives you clarity. It is the most powerful way to maintain your focus on what you want in life while keeping you motivated to achieve it.
Sure, you know you want to be a successful writer, but what does that mean?
What is success to you?
Why have you chosen this path?
Is it for your family or for yourself?
Is it to make six figures or to simply earn enough to support your family?
Is it because you’ve always aspired to be your own boss?
Dig deep and find out why you want this so badly. Then tie it back to your core values.
Examples of values are: abundance, achievement, courage, honesty, etc.
What values do you embody that tie back to your vision?
For example, I knew I always wanted to be my own boss and until I achieved it I would not have inner peace. Something would always be missing. When I realized this, it made it easier to keep going every time things got tough or I veered away from my path. My vision reminded me of how badly I wanted it.
A vision acts as your north star and it will keep you on track, even when you face your toughest times.
Post Your Achievements for the World to See!
To portray confidence, you have to portray the image of an expert.
When a client looks you up online, you want them to find everything you’ve done, especially if it relates to your specialty.
Here are some examples of things you can do to get yourself out there and start portraying yourself as a confident, professional writer who is an expert in your field:
- Post links to your latest blog post – In my teachings, I recommend creating a blog geared toward your specialty and then posting in it once a week or bi-monthly. This is a great way to solidify your position as an expert in your field. A confident person takes it one step further though. Once you’ve completed a blog post head over to your social media sites and update your status with a catchy one-liner about your blog post and a link to it.
- Post links to your latest projects – Just finished an assignment? Post a comment about how much you loved working with the team at the company you worked for, and then post a link to your latest project. This shows everybody that not only are you a working writer, but you also love what you do and you’re confident with your work.
- Post relevant articles surfacing in the media – Maybe you’re an expert on environmental issues. Look for articles in the media related to the environment and post them as your status with a few comments about it. Remember the idea here is to portray the image of an expert, so when prospective clients see that you are constantly posting content geared towards your specialty, they will know you are a true expert, and as a result, they will be much more inclined to want to work with you.
Have a Way With Words
I touched on this in my last blog post, “5 Mistakes Killing Your Chances of Getting Freelance Writing Clients,” but it’s worth mentioning again, because it really is THAT important.
Confident people make a point to use words that make them sound confident.
Never use phrases such as “I think I can contribute to your company” or “I feel I would be a good fit.”
Do you see how these phrases imply uncertainty? Confident people know they can get the job done.
So when replying to job ads or in your email correspondence, come across like someone who knows they will benefit the client with their expertise. Use phrases that begin with “I know”, “I can” and “I will.” Bottom line: sell yourself!
You don’t have to be confident to take that first step toward becoming a successful freelance writer.
Every successful freelance writer started exactly where you are now. Nobody is confident to begin with and there will always be a million excuses inside your head telling you not to move forward. Remember: That’s the fear talking!
The only way to quiet that fear is by taking a step toward your goals. All you need is the courage to take the next step.
Start mirroring the habits we’ve discussed today and you will be amazed at how quickly they start to become natural for you. And remember, with each step towards your goals comes a boost of confidence, and before you know it you won’t have to fake it anymore! You will actually be the confident, successful freelance writer you aspire to be!