Last week I wrote about how creating a unique message will differentiate you from other freelancers.
I wrote about how listing your skills simply makes you look the same as other copywriters who list the same skills, but that your message can and should be unique to you.
It’s your message that is the differentiator.
In this post I want to take this further, and look at how finding a message you really love can totally transform how you go about marketing your freelance business.
This is important, because many, if not most freelancers feel awkward when it comes to pitching their services. They have worked hard to build a solid skillset, have built a website that promotes their services, but then lose all confidence when it comes time to talk with a prospective client.
They have what is commonly referred to as Imposter Syndrome. They don’t feel they know enough. They don’t think they are ready. They think they will be found out as soon as they begin talking with a prospect or client. They feel they are lacking knowledge and experience, and that their prospects will see right through them.
As a result, many freelancers put off trying to get clients, and spend their time reading more and more books and articles, in the hope that one day they will know enough.
Well, that’s a problem. You got into freelancing to make money, and you can’t make money if you keep putting off the day when you start to approach prospective clients.
The same problem also impacts the businesses of freelancers who already have clients and a portfolio of work. In their case, they stick to smaller, safer clients…clients who won’t “find them out”. By doing this they make small incomes and deny themselves the opportunity to make a great deal more money by taking on bigger clients and more demanding projects.
When you get into this “I don’t know enough” cycle it can be hard to break out. But you have to.
Here are a couple of things to consider.
First, every successful, highly-paid freelancer started off in the same situation.
When I began my career as a freelancer I absolutely didn’t know enough. But that didn’t stop me. And over the last 30 years I have been adding to my knowledge and skills every single week. Every day maybe. I know a huge amount more today than I did when I started. But I didn’t wait 30 years before approaching clients for work!
Remember, when you start out it may be that you know only 10% more than your clients. But that 10% is the value they are paying for. In a year or two you’ll know 50% more than your clients, so your fees will go up, and you’ll be working for larger, more sophisticated companies.
But you have to make a start.
So how can you get past imposter syndrome?
Well, the answer is pretty simple, and relates back to something I said in my post last week.
Your value in the eyes of your prospects is not tied to the sum of your knowledge, it is tied to the power of the message you share and the story you tell.
I told the story of how I picked up clients from a speaking engagement at a time when I had no work to show, no website and no credentials. I won them over with the message I shared.
But it wasn’t just a message I picked out at random.
It’s not enough simply to craft a unique message that differentiates you from other freelancers. You need to come up with a message that you really love.
You need a message that makes you come alive and propels you out of bed on a Monday morning. It has to be something you believe in, something that makes your heart pound and your blood boil.
In my case, it really annoyed me that so many companies were creating website content simply by cutting and pasting text from their print materials. That really ticked me off. As a result, I felt I was on a mission. I was driven to share my message with as many companies as possible. That’s why I spoke with so much energy at so many events. I believed in my message, and I loved it.
My credentials and skillset? Nobody cared, least of all me.
I know a freelancer who is totally into alternative, green energy. She feels passionately about it. And it really ticks her off that so many green energy companies do such a pathetic job communicating with their customers online. Now she’s on a mission. She has a message and feels compelled to share it.
So now, when she sits with a prospect, or talks with one on the phone, she isn’t talking about her skillset or portfolio. She isn’t worried about being found out. She is sharing a message she loves, and winning new business through the raw power of her commitment and enthusiasm.
If you want to get past imposter syndrome and stop worrying about “not being ready”, you need to stop fretting over what you know and focus instead on finding a message you can love.
Once you love your message, marketing is no longer hard or scary.
When you love your message, marketing your services becomes something you actually want to do. It is something you are driven to do.
If you want to know HOW to find the right message…
I have created a 6-hour webinar series that focused on how to find a message you love, and how to then use it to attract a ton of new business.
That webinar series is called How to Love Marketing Your Freelance Business. Right now it is being offered in a bundle with my other program for freelancers, Profitable Freelancing.
Profitable Freelancing is all about the business-building side of being a freelancer, and making a lot more money.
How to Love Marketing Your Freelance Business is about finding a message you can love, and using it to market your business more effectively.
Both are being offered as a bundle right now, because they offer such a powerful combination. This is a one-two punch that can totally transform your business and level of success.
If you want to get past the “I don’t know enough” stage, you can learn more about this one-two punch here…
About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach. Read more…