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.
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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.
CarolaNovember 17, 2016 at 5:13 AM
I agree with you that confidence is very important. I think people feel safe giving their assignment to someone who’s confident. It gives you a feeling that someone can do the job. And will do it well. It’s an important part in convincing people to give the assignment to you. Love the article!
Elizabeth | Ellie & ElizabethNovember 17, 2016 at 6:39 AM
Confidence is a must! And I’m glad you mentioned posture, it’s so important. No one wants to hire someone who is unsure of themselves!
Sam Coronado (@followyouroad)November 17, 2016 at 7:29 PM
Great topics! Although I’m not a full-time freelancer, I still freelance. I have to admit I haven’t been 100% perfect growing up haha. But now I appreciate gigs that I really, really liked. Because it’s not my source of living, I feel like I actually have a choice, and it serves as a natural filter for the projects I undertake. I want to deliver good quality all the time, and to be able to say that I’m proud of my work 🙂
LianaNovember 21, 2016 at 12:28 AM
When you’re freelancing, confidence is a must! You have to deal with so many stuff, and it’s so hard to keep going and coming with new ideas to make up your living. I mean, I’m doing it, but I have to admit, I love it, but it’s not easy everyday! Because it’s one of my source of living, I found creativity suits me well, but it’s hard to make it to those expectations!
MartineNovember 21, 2016 at 1:23 AM
Confidence, professionalism, discipline and a mindset of always learning: these make a stellar freelancer. It’s been my sixth year as a freelancer and it hasn’t gotten easier because of the growth of my “gig life” into a real business. I am still always learning something.
Bernadette Angelie PangilinanNovember 21, 2016 at 6:53 PM
I just entered the freelancing life and I must admit I lack confidence! I get intimidated easily and I stutter a lot when I get nervous. I am just lucky to have start. I promised myself to try to be disciplined and build confidence along the way!
AnaNovember 26, 2016 at 6:25 PM
Applying for a job either offline or online requires self-confidence. Not having this might result for us to get rejected. However, gaining enough self-confidence especially for an introvert like me is not that easy. I have been a quiet person for a long time and up to now, I couldn’t speak up as much as I can. On the other hand, I am working on it. I might not have that 100% self-confidence yet but I know that through time, changes do happen. Your post is very informative and really inspiring. I took a note on posture because there is where I usually fail. I think that I have to pay more attention on it not only for my health but also to gain a good impression.
KT NielsenDecember 13, 2016 at 7:55 PM
Confidence is really important in whatever we do. Confidence makes us more believable and arguably more “honest” (based on perception). Being confident also conveys a positive image of your personality and in some way conveys that you are no-nonsense and that you can get things done. Being a freelancer is not easy but when you are confident, you’ve practically hurdled half the battle.
ASKSonnieDecember 16, 2016 at 8:17 AM
Confidence and our asking price can be drawn from the years of experience we gained from the job we’re gunning for. The law of supply and demand also plays a critical factor whether you can get the job and your asking price.
JernyDecember 19, 2016 at 5:00 PM
Starting up as a freelancer requires more patience than ever. And acing your fist freelancing interview will require you to do more. In this modern world, confidence plays a large role in everything. Even if you have practiced your speech a lot of times, most often than not, if you got too nervous, everything you’ve practiced for will be lost. Never forget presence of mind!
Swayam TiwariJanuary 21, 2017 at 7:48 PM
Being a freelancer gives one a lot of confidence before appearing for an interview. If you have done freelancing, you will be able to navigate many difficult questions with ease. In India, freelancing means being a start-up founder of sorts. These people are now being hotly pursued by companies to fill up important positions.
IrmaFebruary 25, 2017 at 4:44 AM
You need self-confidence for anything you do in your life. The same goes with freelancing. I am a freelancer for years now and it is still sometimes difficult to talk to your buyer. But things do get easier once you have finished a few jobs and earned some money.