What does it take to launch a web-writing business?
Writing skills, of course. A willingness to work hard and deliver on your deadlines. Dedication to marketing. Persistence.
But each of these things looks different when done by a confident person versus someone lacking confidence.
Let’s take dedication to marketing, for example. A confident person goes out and introduces their business to their target market with the assurance that comes from knowing they are offering a valuable service. Someone without confidence hesitates to bother their target market because they don’t want to be a pest. Confidence doesn’t take rejection personally … a lack of confidence seems desperate.
You need confidence to succeed.
But what if you lack confidence? What if you are timid or shy, or just insecure in your own abilities?
To put it bluntly, you need to get over it.
The good news is, confidence is a trait that can be learned. If you are not a confident person, it’s time to become one. You need to develop unwavering confidence in your own abilities, confidence that won’t be shaken by criticism or rejection or setbacks.
People that exude confidence attract others to them like a magnet. Once you learn confidence, you’ll start drawing prospects to you, and landing projects will be easier than ever. And even when you don’t, that won’t get you down.
Unshakable Confidence and Your Business Success
The key to learning confidence is the same as anything else. You have to practice. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to do that.
1. Fake it till you make it — act as if you are an accomplished web writer.
If you’re new to freelance web writing, one of the best things you can do is act as if you are already successful. On your website, promote yourself the way you want to be two or even five years from now. When you are negotiating a new gig, pretend you are already an accomplished web copywriter. Acting as if you are successful may help to convince others — and yourself — that you can handle anything.
2. Visualize your success.
One of the best ways to turn a goal into reality is by visualizing the outcome you desire. Picture yourself as a very successful writer. See yourself living the lifestyle you dream of. Success means different things to different people. It could mean driving a fancy car or living in a bigger house or dressing in designer clothes. Imagine you are successful by your own definition, whether that means financial security or working flexible hours or enjoying more time with your family. Run your own “success movie” in your mind several times a day.
3. Take note of your strengths and accomplishments.
If you’re in the habit of putting yourself down, you need to get into the habit of reminding yourself about your strengths, accomplishments, and abilities. Some people keep a bragging journal or a “me” file in which they record all their accomplishments, and immediately write down any compliments paid by others. Little accomplishments matter, including finishing a copywriting program, completing a spec assignment, or contacting a prospect.
4. Improve a little daily.
Writing is a skill, just like mastering an instrument or playing a sport. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. The same goes for running your own business. Set goals to write a certain number of words each day or to spend a specific amount of time on business-building activities every day. Give yourself a pat on the back every time you meet your daily goal. And remember, learning and doing builds confidence. The more you know, the stronger your foundation, and the better you’ll perform your daily activities.
5. Use failure as a stepping stone.
Confident people accept that there will be failures along the way. They actually welcome them because those failures teach them how to be successful. There isn’t a single writer out there who hasn’t experienced failure and rejection. So change your own attitude about failure, and never let it shake your confidence! Remember that failure is your greatest teacher. Have faith in your ability to learn from it.
6. Face your fears.
Nothing will make your confidence rise like facing your fears. If you lack confidence in your ability to market your web-writing business, do it anyway. Set a goal to make a certain number of cold calls or send a set number of letters of introduction a day. Schedule a speaking engagement, even if the thought makes you shake in your shoes. At the end of the day, when you’ve reached your goal, you’ll wonder what you were so afraid of. And your confidence will soar.
7. Take action.
More than anything, you have to get past inertia. Lack of confidence is sometimes caused by failure to take any action at all. Many writers become paralyzed with fear and then their confidence is shaken because they haven’t gotten anything done.
You may fail. It’s okay. You’ll survive to write another day.
Dale Carnegie said, “If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
These are a few of the top tips I’ve found for developing self-confidence. Without faith in your own abilities, chances are you won’t be the best copywriter you can be. Confidence is an essential skill in a copywriter’s toolbox, and it’s a skill you can develop with practice and consistent effort.
As Cynthia Kersey said, “Believe in yourself, and there will come a day when others have no choice but to believe with you.”