Over the 5+ years I’ve been freelancing, I’ve learned there’s power to being a freelancer.
You have very little overhead, which gives you complete control of how you operate your business: how you price your projects, who you get to work with, and how you do your work.
This gives you the ability to be perceived exactly the way you want to be.
You need to position yourself as a professional, charge what you’re worth, and most importantly, stick to your values.
The Importance of Values
What do I mean by values?
Values are the fine details of how you take action. They are what you will do, and what you will not do.
It’s just like the values that were ingrained in you by your parents growing up.
But I’m referring to the values within how you operate as a freelancer and business owner.
And you want to know a little secret?
Successful freelancers don’t compromise on their values!
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to know your core values and to pass them along to anyone you work with.
You might feel obligated to give in to a client’s request for the sake of landing the job or to get paid. You might fear that you have to do absolutely anything to stay ahead of your competition.
Well, do you want to know another secret?
There’s no such thing as competition.
You heard right. As a freelancer, you don’t have competition.
You’ll certainly have other people doing the same thing you are, and there will always be someone beneath you charging next to nothing for the same services you offer, but the clients that go to those people aren’t clients you should want to work with.
The truth is, no one is scouting your clients and picking them out from under you.
In order to shape this industry for the better, you have to create high standards and stick to them no matter what.
I’ve branded myself as a freelance graphic designer for years, and it’s a big reason why my clients come to me. Why? Because I inject my personality and values into my brand. I stay personable and my clients value working with a real person.
So to do your part in this industry, do not compromise.
I’ll say it again — Do not compromise.
Inject yourself into your brand, be transparent with how you do things, and welcome everyone that falls under your process.
If you can do that, then you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of your “competition.”
Quality clients will come to you because of this.
Come up with your first five values for your freelance business.
Make note of what you will do and will not do.
Here are three of my own values that I stick to in my freelance graphic design business:
- My brand will always be transparent and approachable.
- I will always get a payment upfront before starting any design work.
- I will only work with people that show true interest in working with me specifically.
Now it’s your turn. I want you to define your own values.
Once you have them, try your best to stick to them no matter what.
And remember — Do not compromise!