I’ve been a full-time freelance professional for 20 years now.
I’ve proven to myself over and over again that I can land clients, that I can help clients, that clients like what I do, and that they’ll pay me for it.
I know the ins and outs of this business. I’m on top of what’s happening online and what’s changing in digital marketing. And I’m good with people.
But here’s the thing… even with all that going for me, I still have times when I’m filled with self-doubt.
Maybe you struggle with self-doubt sometimes, too.
That feeling of wondering what comes next… wondering if anyone will ever hire you again… wondering if you really have what it takes to succeed (even when you’re already successful).
Self-doubt happens. It isn’t fun, but it’s normal for a lot of writers. Even though it’s normal, it can still be a big problem. Self-doubt can steal your momentum. It can chisel away at your confidence, making you less effective in client conversations. And it can lead to feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed, which can wreak havoc with your productivity.
Fortunately, there’s a recipe for dealing with self-doubt.
Step 1: Admit that it’s happening
Like anything, self-doubt is easier to deal with when you’re honest with yourself that it’s happening. You can give a little thought to why it’s happening, but often that’s neither here nor there. Once you say out loud, “I’m struggling with self-doubt,” you’re ready to move on to the next step even if you’re not sure what triggered the unpleasantness.
Step 2: Review your accomplishments
When you realize that self-doubt has taken up residence in your headspace, spend a part of the day reviewing some of the things you’ve done that you’re especially proud of. Also, look back over the nice things your clients have said about you. Sure, you collect testimonials to help other would-be clients see that you’re good at what you do and reliable to work with, but they can serve a double purpose and also be a balm for self-doubt.
Step 3: Reach out to a colleague you trust
If Step 2 doesn’t fully banish your low feelings, talk to a fellow writer or someone else in the industry you trust… preferably someone who’s earned the status of friend. Let them know where you’re at and how you’re feeling and ask them to remind you that you’re capable and successful. It’s uncomfortable listening to someone sing your praises on command, but boy, it sure does help.
Step 4: Move forward anyway
The biggest problem with self-doubt is how it can stall your progress. Pick one small marketing action — making a new connection on LinkedIn, sending a pitch to a client, posting a new blog entry — and do it. Then do another one the next day. And the next. Keep at it, and not only will your self-doubt turnaround, you’ll likely find yourself with new work.
How about you? Do you ever struggle with self-doubt? What’s your recipe for dealing with it? I hope you’ll share in the comments.
In Case You Missed It…
When you know exactly who you’re writing to, you can focus on their needs and goals, write to them one-to-one, and create a better user experience. Customer personas can help you make that possible. In my latest UX/CX Copywriting article, I talk about how to build a customer persona and how to use it.
How familiar are you with email segmentation? Email segmentation helps your clients create more targeted, more relevant email messages for the different audiences they serve. It may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be to deliver a great result. See how your clients can benefit from this strategy in Michele Peterson’s newest Email Marketing column.
In her most recent Reality Blog, Jennifer Ayling looks back at her accomplishments in January, reminds you why it’s important that you do the same, and provides some helpful guidance on choosing the right tools to support your marketing and business goals. Make sure you give it a read right here.
Coming Up on Digital Copywriter
February 21: Mark your calendar for our next in-real-time Facebook discussion. I’ll be available for an hour to answer your questions about getting started as a freelance writer. Or, if you’re already a working writer, bring your questions about taking your business to a new level. Wherever you’re at, we’ll be discussing how to achieve your next business growth spurt. Find the full details here.
March 7: Our next Monthly Member Update is already right around the corner. In March, we’ll talk about ways to meet, land, and help local clients. There are some advantages to working with clients who are close by, so we’ll explore that potential client base. Plus, we’ll look at the great new stuff added to Digital Copywriter, along with what’s coming up. I hope you’ll join me!
4 Things You Might Enjoy
One question that comes up is, How do I know how long a project will take? The answer is that it takes some practice, but there are some things you can do that can help you predict the time you’ll need.
A good call-to-action can make a big difference in your results. Here are 21 examples to study.
Wondering how to write the perfect proposal for any given situation? You’ll find some great tips here.
Did you get a chance to listen in on the talk I had with Brian Clark, Nick Usborne, Bob Bly, and Guillermo Rubio? We talked about ChatGPT, AI, and the future of writing. It was a good one, and you can tune into the full discussion right here.
That’s all for now. Have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend!