If you prefer to watch the video, scroll to the end of the post. 🙂
Today I want to talk about the topic, “What do you do if you feel like you’re not good enough to be an online freelancer?”
This is a gremlin I see so many aspiring freelancers face.
One that plagues most of them. So I do want to dive into this topic and cover two things that you could do in order to combat this. But also in order to evaluate if it’s valid or not. Because the fact of the matter is, you might not be at a place where you are good enough to start marketing yourself.
So it’s important to distinguish whether or not your beliefs are coming from a lack of confidence or an actual lack of foundation in skills-building, for example.
So let’s dive right in.
Evaluate where your fear is coming from
“I’m not good enough yet to get a client. I need more time.” The first thing we need to evaluate is where is that coming from? Is it from a fear of failure? A fear of rejection? Just an overall, “I’ve never done anything like this before, and I don’t feel like I’m good enough, or I don’t know that I have what it takes to make this work.”
Where are those feelings coming from? So if you could be honest with yourself and evaluate the origin of the thoughts that you’re having. We can start to see and determine whether or not they hold any truth. So if it’s coming from a place of “I’ve never done this before,” I want to caution you to seriously consider whether or not those feelings have any truth to them.
Because, for example, if you are training to be a bookkeeper and you feel like you’ve completed your skills-building and you know how to keep the books…but now you’re scared of getting that first client. You don’t know if you’re going to be able to keep the books for them.
I would ask, why not? If you’ve already completed a kind of skills-based program or in some way you feel like you have attained the skill set of bookkeeping, i.e., you know the accounting principles and you know how to categorize transactions…
Why don’t you feel like you could do it in real time for someone?
With that being said, one of the ways that you can combat this is to see if you’ve ever done it before, even in practice.
Look at your experience
If you’ve taken a skills \-based course and they give you exercises to do and you did them and you checked your work and you did the work correctly, that is experience. That’s actual, citeable experience that offers an affirmative when you’re asked if you’ve done it before.
If you passed the assessments, that is an external measurement of your capability in that area. If you took any kind of course exam, that is also an external measurement of your capability and competency in that area.
Look at freelancer websites
Another thing that you could do is get online and look at some freelancer websites for your niche and check out the services tab. Usually, most freelancer websites will have a services page or tab you can click into and look at the services that they are offering.
When you are reading through those, ask yourself: “Do I know how to do these things?” Because that, too, is another measurement of your competency and capability in that field. If you’re looking at the services saying, “Actually, I don’t know how to generate a forecast report,” or “I don’t really know how to come up with this either,” then then that is an indication that maybe you need to spend a little bit more time skills-building.
But if you’re looking through these things and saying, “Yep, check, check, check, I can do all of those things,” you’re good to go!
You have the time to figure out any problem
Another thing that I want you to keep in mind that a lot of freelancers seem to forget is that if in real time you come up against a problem or an issue that you don’t quite know how to solve, the chances are you have the time to figure it out.
If you’re a bookkeeper, for example, usually you work on a month-by-month retainer. Which means if you come up with a problem you’re not sure about, ask in Facebook group, ask a colleague, ask your coach, ask your teacher. You’ll get the answer and you will continue on.
I know sometimes it can feel like you’re piloting a plane and you don’t know how to land it and the runway is coming up and you’re scared of realizing you’re not ready.
But think about it: How much time do you have to figure it out?
If you’re a proofreader and you come across a sentence that you’re not quite sure how to punctuate, maybe you could drop it in a Facebook group for punctuation and move on.
By the time you finish proofreading, you could go back and you’ll have an answer. So it’s really not as high pressure as you think it is.
Difference between knowing “all the things” and coming across small problems
But there is, of course, the difference between knowing all of it and just coming up across some small things that you’re not quite sure how to handle. Because the answers will come with experience and with time. So you’re not expected to know everything from the get-go.
You are expected to do the service well. That is what you are being paid to do. So look at these external indicators to evaluate your competency and capability in your field, and use those as weapons against those nagging feelings of “I’m not good enough.”
For example, if you’ve ever gotten a testimonial, had someone say, “This was amazing. Thank you so much,” screenshot that and keep it on your desk.
Open that up whenever you feel like you’re not good enough. Because someone has already been helped by what you do. So take a really deep look at in what times and in what ways you have performed the services that you are going to perform for your business.
See what the feedback was. See what the results were. Look at those things as the external markers and indicators of how good you are. If it’s simply a matter of “I’ve never been an online freelancer before,” then there’s no reason why that should stop you from feeling like you can do this.
Because, really, you’re just being paid to do something to help somebody else.
And if you know how to help them, that’s really the only thing that you need.
You just need to be able to do the thing that you’re advertising that you can do. The rest will come. The rest will sort itself out.
You’ll gain more confidence with time
You’ll figure out all the tiny little things in real time. But you don’t need to let those feelings stop you from actually getting out there. Because getting out there is that final bridge of creating your dream business.
Before you put yourself out there, you’ve been working on so many preparatory things.
Choosing your niche, building the skills needed to succeed in that niche, creating your website, your marketing materials, your rates, packaging your services…All of that is getting you business-ready, seeing it start to form.
But it’s when you start marketing that you bring it into being in a much more real way.
I want to encourage you to put yourself out there and to be easy on yourself because chances are you know what you’re doing.
You’re letting those feelings of doubt and fear get in the way of real success, of you actually achieving freelance freedom.
Feel free to get in touch with me if you’re not sure if you’re ready. I often will tell my students, “Nope, go back to skills. You’re not ready for marketing yet.” So if you do want someone to take a look and see where you’re at, feel free to get in touch with me, and I’m more than happy to look at your situation.
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