One of the first things I learned about freelancing — and really, life in general — is the notion. Fake it until you make it.
This isn’t to say you should be an imposter and try to dupe potential clients, but rather to carry yourself as if you can get any job done within your talents and passions. — a combination of self-awareness and confidence.
To be self-aware is to understand your strengths (things you’re good at), weaknesses (things you suck at), passions (things you like) and pain-points (things you hate) — and then double down on your strengths and passions. In other words, only offer potential clients services within your strengths and passions. (If you don’t know your strengths, weaknesses, passions and pain-points, proceed with a process by elimination.)
To be confident is to believe you can provide value (help, results, et cetera) based on your desire to constantly learn and hone your craft throughout the process of working with each client.
In other words, learn and get experience on the job, at their expense.
My first client knew I didn’t have a whole lot of experience. But, I also made sure they knew I had emerging skills and talents, was creative and strategy-oriented. I did everything possible to continuously learn and improve along the way.
So, when you start freelancing, make the conversation with potential clients more about yourself, and less about your experience. For me, that meant being self-confident, an outside-the-box thinker, ambitious and highly motivated. For you, it might mean other characteristics and intangibles you can bring to the table.
Either way, don’t underestimate yourself and don’t feel like you “need” more experience before you can start freelancing — and charge an amount that makes sense for the lifestyle you desire. (To determine this amount, check out this post.)
It’s simply all in how you present yourself.
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