How to beat imposter syndrome and charge more for your freelance work

Most of us experience a bit of imposter syndrome from time to time - the fear that people will find out you're not actually very good at what you do, but a complete fraud.

This is especially common in freelancers. You're working solo so it's easier to dwell on your anxieties, you have to sell yourself and your skills to new people all the time, and rejection is common. It's a recipe for self-doubt.

If the negative voice in your head is getting a bit too loud, and it's affecting how you value yourself and your freelance work, this is how to challenge it and charge what you're worth.

Challenge your self-critical thoughts

People with imposter syndrome often don't value their work as much as they should because they can't judge it objectively. Negative self-talk means nothing you do is ever really good enough.

Challenge these long-held beliefs whenever they pop up. Look at your work from another perspective and ask yourself what you would say to a friend who was feeling down. Question if these thoughts are really rational and justified. The more you do this, the less automatic your self criticism will be.

Remember your past successes

One of the fastest 'cures' for imposter syndrome is an inventory of the great work you've done before. When you challenge that negative self-talk, look back through your files and folders and remember the challenging moments that you got through, the decisions you made, and the times you helped others. The more you understand your value the more appropriately you'll value it in £££.

Try this! If imposter syndrome gets you down regularly, screenshot positive feedback and thank yous from clients and save them a folder on your desktop. Scroll through them whenever you need a confidence boost.

Compare yourself

This might sound counterintuitive but hear us out. Being in your own freelance bubble means you might not know what your peers are up to, giving you a very skewed perspective. Maybe you're undercharging or doing too much for your day rate?

Freelance events are a perfect place to answer those questions. It's not particularly polite to outright ask someone what their day rate is, but get friendly with other freelancers and they'll be more than willing to talk.

Adjust your rate with experience

If you've been freelancing for a while it can be easy to lose track of the clients you've worked with and the work you've done. Every day, week, month, and year you're gaining more experience and your rate should go up accordingly.

Take stock of your career milestones and reflect on whether you're charging enough for it. It could be working with a particular agency, getting really good at a specific service, or just putting the time in.

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