“Just be yourself” is standard advice for those who are nervous about an upcoming date, speech, or event. It’s usually a sensible suggestion, especially when meeting people for the first time. Yet when it comes to business, and especially freelancing, is being yourself a powerful asset?
For many freelancers, the goal is to emulate those who have found success previously. There are tens of thousands of articles online detailing how to succeed as a freelancer or entrepreneur. In a sense, they create replicated marketing and selling methods because everyone is trying to do things the same way.
The result is that no one stands out.
However, what so few of these articles touch on is the most crucial aspect of successful freelancing – the power of being you.
The power of you
Freelancing as a career path is growing in popularity. In 2019, there were 62.2 million freelancers in the United States alone. This figure is estimated to rise to 76.4 million by 2024. With so many freelancers – and even more worldwide – it isn’t easy to stand out from the crowd.
Regardless of what niche or freelancing focus you choose to pursue, there will be a growing number of competitors, many of whom will offer the same services for cheaper rates.
This reality is a bleak picture if you follow the standard rules.
Thankfully, there’s an alternative, and that’s to tap into the incredible power of your personality.
Authenticity always wins
While there are a million or more freelancers in your sector alone, there’s only one you. And this is key for attracting the right clients and the best projects that match your skills.
Freelancing, unlike most other types of career choices, is inherently about the power of human connections. Clients frequently choose a freelancer based on word-of-mouth referrals or a subconscious feeling of trust and likeability.
In this sense, being your authentic self and letting this shine in everything you do is key to differentiation and standing tall in a crowded field. There might be freelancers more capable than you. Yet people often choose a solo service provider more on whether they feel a connection.
How to tap into your powerful of being yourself
So how do you be your true self? How do you show this to your target audience?
1. Focus on your strengths
Perhaps the best way to truly stand out is to harness the power of your inherent strengths. Everyone has a talent for which they are known by family, friends, and former colleagues/teachers. When you specialize in what you do fantastically well, you automatically tap into your authentic essence. This will show in your project work and your marketing.
2. Connect with your passion
Likewise, doing what you love is a sure-fire way of being true to yourself. Waking up every morning and being enthusiastic about starting work is pure joy. It’s what countless millions of people dream about but ultimately never achieve. When you are passionate about what you do, your natural voice rises above the stifled jargon prevalent in the business world.
We are all naturally drawn to passionate and enthusiastic people.
3. Place less importance on what others think
Inhibition is a killer when it comes to freelancing and any form of entrepreneurship. As a solo-professional, your career success depends a lot on your ability to be yourself and broadcast it to the right people. When you worry about what others think about you, it’s all too easy to follow the crowd and blend in with the same-same marketing and sales tactics.
Work on reducing the worry you might have of what others think about you, especially those not in your target market.
4. Market yourself with personality
A natural result of reducing your inhibitions is a strengthening of your marketing personality. When you tap into what you are good at, what you love doing, and free yourself from the bondage of peoples’ opinions, your personality automatically shines.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, calm or energetic; your unique identity will attract your favorite clients. This can be incredibly effective in your content marketing strategies.
5. Find your authentic voice
Your voice, in marketing and sales terms, is how you communicate with prospects and clients. The problem for many freelancers is that they have a unique voice but are too afraid to show it. Instead, they write like they think a business owner should write or talk like they are the CEO of a major company.
Finding your voice is simply tapping into how you communicate naturally when enthusiastically talking about the joys of your work and its results. Think, for example, of how you might talk to a client over a coffee. Use that voice in your marketing and networking.
6. Connect with like-minded professionals
Networking is an essential component of freelancer marketing. Many freelancers find a sizeable amount of new business through their networking circles. The key is to connect with like-minded professionals who stand out from the crowd themselves and are unique in their brand and style.
You’ll learn from their techniques and create a dynamic circle of contacts from which to share referrals and collaboration opportunities. The more you are your fun self, the more people will notice and want to connect.
Freelancing success – Be yourself
With many millions of freelancers in your country alone, and with numbers growing year by year, you must stand out. The best way to do this is to tap into the incredible power of simply being you.
Together with ensuring you are great at what you do, being yourself can help you rapidly develop a reputation and identity that transcends your competitive landscape.
Connecting deeply with who you are and sharing that energy with the world might be scary at first. But it’s the essential ingredient that will attract the best types of clients for you and the most satisfying projects.
Be yourself and flaunt it.