Some eight years and a thousand projects earlier, give it or take, I used to be one of many enthusiastic newbie freelancers who wanted to learn all there’s to know about freelancing. While waiting to win my first freelance project, I was spending days and nights on all available freelance forums.
Just like any new freelancer, who was trying to make a breakthrough, I was troubled with the same question.
Why is it so hard to get your first freelance project?
On one of these forums there was a line that worked for me like a wake-up call. There was a freelancer who claimed that’s very hard and even impossible to find work because there are so many freelancers "who are ready to sell their firstborns" just to get a project.
It was quite obvious that he used a figure of speech. Too strong and a painful one, though. However, it was also intriguing enough to examine your freelance situation from a completely different perspective.
Do You Really Have To Be That Desperate?
A bit later, I got my chance to find out first-hand what this freelancer was trying to say. It was about time to come up with a logo for my freelance profile. Until then, I had never had a chance to fire freelancers. So, I created my very first project as a client for a change.
In a matter of minutes I got a dozen proposals where freelancers literally begged me for work. To tell you the truth, I didn't know if I was more shocked or disappointed with these please-hire-me proposals. I'm not talking about one of those reversed psychology principles, but rather about a simple business truth. Imagine that you were to choose among the dozens of potential candidates at a job interview. Who's very likely to drop out from your list first? I'm talking about the candidate with that the Puss in Boots (Shrek) eyes. Well, the same applies to freelancers.
What Is It Being A Freelance Diva All About?
Just to clarify. I'm not advising you to apply a rockstar attitude either. Why? For a simple reason, because you will eventually end up with the exact same result as those freelancers with the "desperate" approach. You will hardly find a client to hire you, if you go to either of these extremes. So, what's the solution?
Pretend that you don’t care! At least, that you don't care that much and for a limited period of time. Even if you're waiting for a new project for weeks, you should still play hard to get. Try this one for a change.
Reply to your potential client that you're currently busy working on a couple of projects, but you will be available in a day or two. The truth is that you just can’t wait to start working on this project. The catch is that you shouldn't show it. Of course, you will have to pay a price for being a Freelance Diva. attitude comes with a price you have to pay. Some clients won't be willing to wait or they will simply prefer freelancers who have only two words in their business vocabulary: “Yes Sir!” However, when a Diva approach works, it really works.
As A Freelance Diva You Don't Negotiate - You Demand!
So, why don't you give Freelance Diva approach a fair try? At least for a couple of weeks or months. See how it works for you. Does it seem like a scary thought? I totally understand you. It's as if someone asks from you to commit a "freelance suicide." But, aren't you forgetting something?
I used to be there where you’re right now. You’re afraid that you aren't going to win any clients, aren’t you? I dare to say, you've just increased your chances of winning new projects. How? Well, it’s in our nature to immediately notice and stuck to the things or people that stand out. You are competing with the freelancers who are trying to win the same project as you do. They’re begging while you’re holding your ground.
Congrats! You just got your client’s attention. There are no guarantees, but one thing is for sure. You intrigued your potential client. That’s a good start, isn’t it?
It Is Easy For You To Say!
You are probably thinking right now: ah, it's easy for him to say. It's easy to be a Freelance Diva when you have a nice portfolio and hundreds of five-star reviews to back you up. How do you think I got here in the first place? By begging for work or being a Freelance Diva?
Here I am! Starting all over again on goLance. We are in the same boat, aren't we?
Try it! What do you have to lose? Why don't you try being a Freelance Diva only for a day or two in your freelance life? It's true that a Freelance Diva strategy doesn't always work. Some potential clients may find your attitude to be arrogant. You may even seem disinterested in work. But, those clients, you win in this way and later impress with the quality of your work, will come back for more work. Make no mistake about it.
So, is the new Freelance Diva born?