Let’s talk about roller coasters. Not literal amusement park rides, but emotional roller coasters. When you land your first few clients, it’s common to feel a high of elation—and then take a quick nose dive into panic. (Fortunately, this pattern doesn’t repeat itself forever; it usually subsides as you land more and more clients.) You might feel intimidated knowing that your freelance clients need you!
In a certain light, the panic makes a little bit of sense. You’ve been talking the talk by setting up your website and pitching. Now it’s time to walk the walk! You need a chance to prove to yourself that you absolutely can deliver for your clients. That nervousness will dissipate relatively quickly, with experience.
Having said that, there’s another reason why you may feel some panic as a freelancer: you forget that you are the expert! When we’re pitching, it’s tempting to focus on our own goals (landing work!). We forget that we are actually helping our clients achieve their own goals. And that’s an incredibly valuable service!
Said another way, a client is not doing *you* a favor by hiring you.
Freelance clients need you to give them the help *they* need to excel in their business.
You Are the Expert
There’s only reason you were able to land the client you’re now panicking about. You know what you’re doing.
Your freelance clients need you to take the reins and lead them toward success, which is exactly what you’ve been training for.
Think about it from the hypothetical perspective of a homeowner with a renovation project. They know what they’re looking for, but they can’t do it on their own. They need a contractor—an expert—to help them achieve their goal.
So, when you’re kicking off a project with a new client, overcome your panic and share your ideas based on your experience! You’re adding valuable insights that your client doesn’t have the expertise to know themselves.
What Do Freelance Clients Need You For?
Even if the client understands the general idea of the project, they wouldn’t have hired you if they didn’t acknowledge a gap in their understanding. Freelance clients need you to fill that gap with your specialized knowledge.
You’ve put in the work, and you know much more than you realize. And you certainly know more than your client does!
Always remember: your freelance clients need you and the expertise you bring to the table. The only way you can mess it up is by being too afraid to share your knowledge with them.
Your turn! What makes you nervous about landing clients? Or have you developed any techniques for getting over the nerves? Let us know in the comments below.