Kick-starting a freelance business isn’t the easy thing in the world.
Sure the perks are great…
Work whenever you want… Get rewarded for the hours you put in… Choose who you want to work with…
But before that happens, before you have the freelance income you want, there is a process.
A journey so to speak, and sad to say, many freelancers don’t make it.
You see, behind the shining appeal of running your own business, you first need to learn how to do just that…
And like it or not, that means getting customers and doing sales.
Now if you are a natural-born speaker and can wow and impress everyone you meet, sales should be a walk in the park for you.
But for the majority of people who are introverted this can be a living nightmare.
So before you risk burning yourself out I want to share with you 4 psychological barriers most freelancers have to overcome to get the freelance income and lifestyle they want.
Pillar #1 – Over-the-Counter Physician
The customers are always right yes?
Sure. If you don’t want to earn a decent living.
Hate to break it to you but you will meet many customers who either don’t want to pay too much for quality services or don’t know what they want.
When I previously did financial planning a few years ago, almost 8 out of 10 people I met have no clue about their finances.
They don’t know what their long term goals are, how much they needed, or how to achieve any of them.
And they definitely aren’t going to pay big bucks for financial planning.
The same situation appears again with web design and development. Most people have a vague idea of what they want but they aren’t sure.
This is why you cannot be just another order taker.
Your clients are looking for an expert who understands the challenges they’re facing and have the solution for them.
Show them why they should be paying you the fees you command and you’ll be surprised how willing they are to pay you for quality services.
Pillar #2 – Forever Rookie Syndrome
You need a portfolio to win projects. You need projects to create a portfolio.
One of the biggest psychological barriers holding great freelancers back is how to get started.
No one is going to pay premium prices to hire a rookie right?
If you keep telling yourself you’re a rookie, you’ll always be a rookie.
Think about it this way…
When does a doctor become a doctor?
Ans: After receiving a certificate.
When does an accountant become an accountant?
Ans: After working in a company. (though most try to get their certificate first)
But what about industries with no certificates?
When does a designer become a designer?
Ans: When you start offering design services.
You see, as long as you have more knowledge, skills, or experience compared to your client, you are the expert. Not them.
Show it to them.
You’re not a rookie… you’re a specialist.
And specialists get paid well!
Pillar #3 – Trees in the Forest
Go to any freelancing conference, throw a stone in the air, and more likely than not, you’ll hit a SEO expert, a web developer, or a property agent.
Add in the internet and you’ll find yourself battling against both local and international competition.
There are just too many other options available in the market.
Now if your clients want to be nasty… they can threaten to choose someone else for the job.
Should you be afraid?
Many freelancers would give in.
That means piling more freebies for the same price or slashing prices or even removing a shirt or two. (figuratively speaking)
Here’s a psychological persuasion trick you can pull the next time your client try a stunt like this…
“Client, I appreciate your interest in my services. Unfortunately we may not be suitable for each other.
I’m sure as a business owner you’ll agree that good quality services command higher prices right?
I offer my skills at a premium price as I’m confident of helping you achieve what you want. I’m also responsive so you won’t be left wondering the progress of the project.
However as my services are not within your budget, here are some alternative solutions you can consider”
You may want to rephrase that slightly but the guise of it is…
Use exclusivity (sales tactic) to strengthen your positioning and value.
More often than not, by reinforcing your stance, you’ll end up winning the project at the rate you want. Not the rate you succumbed to.
Pillar #4 – Burnt Out
If there is one sure-fire way to kill your freelance business… it’s got to be that.
But what about the reverse?
You’re going to hear many people telling you to do that. Give so much value your clients are “forced” to refer more clients to you. Sometimes out of shame.
Well this strategy can work well and good…
But only if you control it.
Or you risk the biggest danger in your business that will cause you to implode from within…
You only have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
And unless you’re thinking of burning the mid-night oil every night, skipping precious family time and any trace of a decent standard of living…
You risk burning yourself out.
That leads to a “loss of passion” for what you were doing, and suddenly freelancing becomes another “job”.
Meeting clients become a chore. You’re constantly smacked with deadlines. You start considering alternatives.
This is why as freelancers, we need to learn when to say no.
When to reject a project and when to over-deliver on our promises. (it’s all about a strategy called client segmentation)
How To Start Earning The Freelance Income You Want?
These 4 pillars prison are some of the strongest psychological barriers new freelancers have to overcome if they want to achieve success.
And if you’ve been paying close attention, you may have noticed that there is a simple solution for all 4 of them…
You need to raise your freelancing rates.
If you’re worried that you can’t justify your prices…
Here’s a simple gauge for you to use…
Whatever prices you’re quoting your existing clients now, double them!
Remember… you’re already more experienced and knowledgeable than your clients.
If you find that your services are better than your competitors, but you’re not earning anywhere near what they’re earning…
Then double your rates now…
You deserve much more for the value you’re bringing to their tables.
Your clients don’t know how to value your services… only you do.
What are you waiting for?