“In the country of the blind the one eyed man is king.” – Desiderius Erasmus, Born Oct. 28, 1466.
One of the eternal worries of most freelancers is what they call “impostor syndrome”.
It’s the deep seated fear that you’re a phony. That you’ll get called out as a fraud. That you’re not worth what you charge, and it will be discovered, and your career will be over.
It’s a kind of phobia. Not based on reality. It’s like those recurring nightmares about a forgotten school exam, or having your teeth fall out.
But harder to wake up from.
I’ll tell you a secret. Everyone has that nagging feeling, with every single job, at almost every strata in the market. From the lowliest jobber to the highest level of elite consultant.
However, I have a way it can be avoided. Or at least minimized. And it has to do with how you select your clientele.
A lot of freelancers, especially when they are getting established, feel the need to take on every project, to pitch every client they can, and then try and rise to meet the work even if they lack experience or results.
I say thee NAY, pilgrim.
If you’re a one-eyed man, meaning you’re still learning, growing, building up your experience in your given field or at some specific sub area of it, don’t oversell yourself.
Instead, identify, and then seek out the clients who are the equivalent of the blind.
Not as any kind of con job. Just find people who are currently executing BELOW your skill level, and who are experiencing results BELOW what you know you’ve delivered for others.
This is a lot simpler and easier than you might think.
Find a client you know you can help by exploring their communication footprint with their prospects, and customers, and fans. Look for weaknesses. Look for companies that are succeeding DESPITE simple mistakes or omissions that you know how to fix.
This is a way to position yourself with confidence in your capability, because you only ever approach the multitude of potential clients whose problems are EASILY solved with the toolkit you ALREADY HAVE.
And don’t think this means you’re only serving low-end, low-pay, low-prestige clients.
Remember what I said? Every business gets spun by this self-doubt, and it prevents even hugely successful companies from executing on every opportunity. Even the ones staring them in the face.
They don’t know if it’s worth it to do, they procrastinate, they ignore, and leave treasure on the table that can easily be taken back with your help.
So go look. Find it. Pitch it. Do it WITH CONFIDENCE because they are blind in these areas. They have a big blank nothing. And even with only one eye, you’ll get along better than that.
<!—- lagniappe Here are a few ideas on how you can engage a potential client and look for mistakes they are making that even a novice copywriter can help with, AND expect a better result: 1. Are they emailing their customers fresh offers at least weekly? 2. If yes, how far ahead are they scheduled in advance? 3. Are they actively promoting their entire product and service catalog to new customers? 4. Are they effectively following up with existing customers to develop their recurring business? 5. Are they effectively up, down, and cross-selling related products and services? 6. Are they creating sensible seasonal offers that create an excuse to engage customers and prospects alike? 7. Are they mining and publishing testimonials from happy customers to create more effective offers? That’s just scratching the surface. That is a short list of super-simple things that any copy wonk of any level should be able to handle for any client of any size. It’s easy work, and it’s often overlooked. Next step: make templates of everything that works, and then go find more clients with that exact same problem. Less work, more money, etc. But I digress. Next time. —->