One comment that I have heard several times since I started freelancing from people who are thinking about taking the plunge is that they couldn’t do because they “don’t have the confidence” to do it. Here’s the thing: You don’t (necessarily) need it.
If you waited until you felt fully confident and completely comfortable before you started applying for gigs or talking to potential clients, you probably won’t ever put yourself out there to pursue freelance opportunities. You can become more confident over time, though, by adopting the “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” approach.
A potential client sees your resume and cover letter or the materials you submit when you approach them about offering your services. They make a decision based on what’s in front of them. They have no idea when they are reviewing your stuff how you felt about yourself or your abilities when you composed them or how you feel about your abilities today.
As long as you feel confident enough to present yourself as someone who can listen to what the client needs and do what they ask, you are ready to go after the gigs you want. If you are going through a rough patch – confidence-wise – and you want to get back on track, the answer is simple: Take action.
If you don’t feel that you can tackle a lengthy list of gigs or potential clients you are interested in working for, start with applying for one job or contacting one company you are interested in working with. Apply for the gig, make the call, put the package of materials in the mail, but do something. The more times you do something to move your career along, the better your odds of getting hired. Nothing helps you feel more confident about your abilities than turning a potential client into a current one.
Until you start to feel confident in your abilities, just fake it. Then take action to move past that point.
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