Stop beating yourself up over little things. Realize that you’re good enough. And acknowledge that your work is worth paying for. These are just a few of the key mind-shifts you’ll need to have if you’re truly going to thrive as a freelancer.
Below, you’ll find ten mind-shifts you must have (about your clients, about your work, about your rates, and about your business) if you truly want to be successful.
If I’ve left anything out, please let me know by leaving a comment.
About your clients
1. Your clients are not aiming to upset you.
Some days it may be hard to remember, but your clients are not actually aiming to frustrate or upset you.
When they ask for changes you just don’t understand, can’t explain what they’re looking for but they’ll “know it when they see it,” or are simply hard to get a hold of, they’re not doing it on purpose.
Few clients lie awake at night reading design blogs and trying to figure out how to really tick you off the next day.
In fact, your clients probably don’t even think about you that often. So stop flattering yourself and realize that they are NOT out to get you.
2. Your clients are not “from hell.”
Ever since the notorious Clients from Hell web site hit the scene, we’ve fueled our passion for talking trash about our clients.
Guess what: your clients are not “from Hell.”
They’re humans. They (most likely) run businesses. And, for the most part, they aren’t designers, copywriters, photographers, etc. like you. They simply live and work in a different world.
3. Your clients are not dumber than you are.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, your clients are not dumber than you.
Do they know less about Photoshop? Probably.
Do they shrug when you ask “How’s the kerning on that type treatment?”
But if your clients don’t know the terminology you’re using, who’s fault is that? Not theirs.
Your clients aren’t dumb. They’re likely extremely smart … in an industry entirely different than yours. Let’s see how long you can intelligently talk about dental work, laser engraving, movie theater concessions, or the business of mini-golf.
About your work
4. Your work is good.
You’re an artist. Ergo, you doubt yourself.
We all do it.
We wonder if our work is stacking up. We wonder if it’s good enough.
I’m here to tell you that it is. Your work is good.
Is it the best work in the whole world? Probably not. But maybe.
And if you’re working hard to improve your work all the time, live by standard design principles, and accept constructive criticism, then you’re doing just fine. Your work is good.
5. Your work is improving.
Since your work is good, there’s always room for improvement.
But your work is most likely improving.
Not sure? Take a look at your portfolio pieces from one year ago…two years ago…five years, a decade…
Don’t worry. You’re getting better all the time. Remember, practice makes perfect.
6. Your work is worth paying for.
Lastly, remember that your work is worth paying for. Stop giving away your work for free. Once you start believing your work is worth real money, other people will start to believe it as well.
About your rates
7. Your rates should be high.
You deserve to make a healthy income from freelancing. You provide a quality service for your clients. A service that (usually) makes them money in return.
When your clients pay you, they’re making an investment in their business. There’s no shame in charging for that.
8. Your rates can fluctuate.
You’re running your own business. Therefore, you can set your rates at whatever you want. Charge some clients more or less depending on how important they are you to or what percentage of your business they represent.
There are no laws that say you must charge the same rate to each client.
About your business
9. Your business can be anything you want it to be.
You are the owner of your own destiny.
Whether you want to start a huge design firm or just run a profitable one-person shop out of your basement, you can do it.
10. Your business provides value to the world.
Last, but not least, you have to believe your business provides value to the world.
That single mind-shift will have you waking up earlier out of shear excitement, working harder during the day, and being generally more happy about the work that you do.
There you have it
Well, there they are. Ten mind-shifts you must make today in order to make the most of your freelancing career. If I left any out, please let me know in the comments.