Here’s another guest post that discusses a way in building and keeping your self-confidence. There are a lot of freelancers out there and do not know where to start when it comes to building themselves out there.
Being a freelancer in this modern world seem so easy for some yet the other way around for most. Personally, I may have some confidence that needs to be built as well. Seeing other freelancers succeed in what they do is really inspiring!
As a freelancer, even if your aim is to establish long-term relationships and collaborations with your clients, you may have to deal with many more interviews than someone getting hired full-time, on-site, and on an indefinite contract.
Because freelance goes hand in hand with outsourcing, that also sometimes means dealing with clients from different countries, and with video call interviews and conferences. As much as it may seem more comfortable to negotiate over Skype than face to face, it can actually be disadvantageous to you.
No matter how experienced you are, the persons interviewing you are trained to sift through candidates. They may choose not just those that are more suited for the job, but which accept the lowest pay if possible. Hence, it is in your best interest to both present yourself as the ideal candidate. Also, to make them see you’re worth the pay you ask for.
And it all boils down to confidence. Negotiating might be frightening when you’re just starting out. This makes you more susceptible to allowing employers to haggle you down or ask for free services. Whether you’re interviewing face to face or by video call, here are three ways to be confident and win over the jobs you want!
Be on time, and on point!
Besides researching your employer, the company and their previous work before showing up for the interview, there are many other things you should do that will boost your confidence and assertiveness in an interview situation, and any subsequent interactions. Just keep in mind that first impressions count. The interview is more than half responsible for how your collaboration will develop.
First of all, it’s important to show up on time. Being late for an interview appointment makes you pass off as uninterested and unmotivated enough, or worse, as not being able to hold to timetables and deadlines. Showing up too early might make you seem too eager like you don’t have other projects or prospects, and might cause the employer to disregard your skills or try to get you to lower your fee.
No matter how many times you’ve been through this, prepare ahead for the most common questions that turn up during interviews, and practice with a friend. Asking some questions of your own will show the client that you’re interested in the project, and in what the company does. Creating a flowing back-and-forth during the interview will relax everyone and make things run smoother.
Watch your posture and body language
Your posture is important throughout your interaction with the interviewers. As you wait to be shown in, don’t slouch, don’t fidget, and don’t play with your phone. Avoid looking bored, impatient, or distracted. If someone from the company is waiting for you, try some casual small talk, and don’t be afraid to throw in a light joke – laughing will make your interlocutors more open to you, and you more relaxed around them.
It bears repeating that you shouldn’t slouch during the interview either. Sit comfortably, but don’t look too relaxed – this is just as valid for video call interviews. Be as verbal as possible, and do your best to answer questions or describe yourself and your work. Your answers should be descriptive and in depth, but you should also avoid being too verbose, or giving replies with no logical narrative. Don’t interrupt your interviewer, but also, don’t get irritated if they interrupt you – they have either got what they were looking for, or they might need further clarification.
If you walk into an interview as an equal, you can maintain control of the conversation, and thus remain confident, which will win you the sympathy and respect of others.
Be able to justify your rate during negotiation
Depending on your line of work, your experience, your level of education in the field, and others, you probably have good reasons for charging what you do. Either way, in most interview situations you will likely have to negotiate. If this happens, be prepared to quote a higher fee than usual, so there is room to go lower without feeling cheated or making your employer think you’re being uncollaborative.
However, if you are keen on maintaining your set fee, negotiate on your skill set rather than money. Showcase your special abilities, prove not only why they should choose you, but why you’re the best candidate and deserve to get what you quote. You may also try to consider throwing in a couple of extra services to show the employer that you bring value to the table.
Negotiating the right way requires a careful balance: you don’t want to be too rigid, but you also want to avoid allowing others to find reasons why you should charge less. Be confident in what you’re worth, and they’ll either respect you for it or prove that they’re not offering the type of collaboration suited for you.
Indeed, confidence plays a major role in your success as a freelancer, as in any type of career. More often than not, an employer is inclined to offer the job to someone who is confident and to trust the opinions and propositions of those who speak up.
Try to incorporate these pieces of advice into your interactions, and your success rate will go through the roof.
Hope with these steps, you’ll be able to build your freelancer self-confidence and excel in your chosen field.
Ben is an ex-investment banker and venture capitalist. Most recently he ran the new investment team for MMC Ventures in London. He now combines freelancing for start-ups and early stage companies with running Acuity Training which is focused on offering high-quality management and IT training.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Ben Richardson which has been tweaked to suit the mode of writing of the blog. Photos are from Pexels.