You love writing. You’re inspired, you have the skills and you live for those moments when you can settle down with a cup of tea, in the peace and quiet, alone with your thoughts and just write.
And if this was all that was involved and you got paid handsomely for it, freelance writing would make you a fortune.
But you and I both know there is much more to making it as a paid writer than just the craft.
There’s the whole money thing.
Yep, that’s right. At some point, somewhere, you have to sell your services to a client who will reward you with the green stuff. And herein lies the problem.
The vast majority of writers I’ve met (and there have been a lot of them) are paralysed when it comes to:
- Charging for their services
- Charging what they’re worth, and
- Putting themselves out there
If this sounds familiar, you’re going to want to keep reading because there IS something you can do about it.
What’s more, you’re not alone, and it’s really not your fault.
Break Into the New Land of Opportunity
At school, it’s just assumed that if you’re a good student you can go out and get a job. But the world is rapidly changing, and never before has there been so much opportunity to follow your bliss.
You don’t have to put your little ones in daycare and go to a 9-to-5 job. Making money from your home computer is the zeitgeist of the 21st century. No more do young people have to put on a suit to walk the air-conditioned corridors of inner city buildings. No more do people have to sacrifice their dream in order to make ends meet. This is the age of digital opportunity and whatever you want, you can have…
… if you have the inner confidence to step out and do it.
But in school, you’re not taught how to find clients. You’re not taught how to have pricing conversations. You’re not shown how to demonstrate your monetary value and have people lined up wanting to give you their bank details.
So of course, when you start to write for money, there is going to be some transition, and things you’ll have to learn.
It Doesn’t Start With Your Rates
Knowing what to say and how to charge, and then how to raise your rates is all a matter of information. This is something that I could tell you how to do, and it probably wouldn’t take that long.
What I’ve found, though, is there’s a more fundamental problem that needs tackling. That deeper issue is the matter of confidence. Not the confidence it takes to look someone in the eye and give a good firm handshake. I’m talking about the inner confidence that comes with absolutely knowing you’re providing a kick-ass service and can deliver and delight your customer — so of course you can charge top dollar.
Now, what probably normally goes on in your head is that on the surface you know you’re talented and your work is outstanding. You probably also pride yourself on being a little bit perfectionist. I’m right, aren’t I? 😉
But underneath this logic, there is a little child who actually isn’t sure. Deep down there is that haunting and half-forgotten doubt that maybe those childhood bullies were right about some hurtful thing they said, or maybe your parents did think there was something wrong with you, or maybe you were just a screw-up, despite achieving on the surface.
This deeply buried self-image is what is driving your life to this day.
Collapse This Negative Self-Image by Laying in a New One
The way to effortlessly being able to ask for the business, and talk about your rates with confidence, isn’t through tactics, or “doing sales”. It’s actually through dealing with these inner demons that make you think that you’re something less than amazing.
The first step to doing this is to recognise that there is a negative, illusionary self-image underneath all the mind-chatter, and then actively build up your inner-confidence to overwhelm it. What we want to do is give your mind so much evidence that you’re worthy of what you’d like to charge, that it can’t help but allow that to become your dominant self-image.
What you will experience when this happens is a sudden internal shifting, like a weight lifting, and all of a sudden your thinking will turn from battling with “I can’ts” to seeing the possibilities in “I can.” It’s a pretty subtle but distinct feeling.
So how do you do this?
Well, I’ve been using the exercise of a “Because I’m Worth It Map” for several years now, and I must say the results people have generated from it have been incredible. One lady went from being the dogsbody in a business to being a director of the company, with the new confidence and respect she found for herself after doing this exercise. Just imagine what’s possible for your writing business…
How to Create a “Because I’m Worth It Map”
- Grab a sheet of paper, and a pen.
- Decide on your desired outcome or goal. You may choose “to raise my rates to $XXX per hour”, “to have three new clients who respect me” or “to support my family through my writing efforts.”
- Write your outcome in the centre of the page, and draw a circle round it.
- Next you’re going to create reasons as to why you deserve this outcome shooting off in other circles which can be attached to the central circle, or to each other – as your brain sees fit. You want to find about 200 reasons.
Because somewhere around 150-170 something will shift, and it’s like your negative self-image just gives up, and allow the positive one to prevail. You will feel this shift, and from there, everything will change. Keep going to the full 200, because you want to make sure you lay in those neural pathways of success-thinking.
Get as detailed as you can — you’re looking for as many reasons as possible to layer the notion into your mind that you actually do deserve to have whatever it is you chose to map.
This is an example what it should look like, but you’ll build on this and make it massive!
Remember you’re looking for anything that will increase your feeling of worthiness – that’s why it’s called a “Because I’m Worth it Map.”
Go ahead now, grab a pen and paper and make a start. Do it in your journal if you have one, and if it’s handy. If not, do it on a scrap of paper, and throw it away, and do another one later. It’s all good practice. You’re rewiring your neurology in a new way – the more you can do it, the more powerful the result. You can always make a start today and then add to your map later on.
Over to you… Pen and Paper
Ok, so now it’s time to put pen to paper and start making this map. Believe me, if you put the effort in, you’ll be thrilled by the results you create.
Imagine being able to raise your rates and still have a full complement of clients. That’s your reality if you put the work in.
Win Your Way Out of Stuckness
Today’s prize is a place on the “Get Unstuck” training program, where you’ll learn how to shake off your hangups and move into a more lucrative mindset. (That’s an affiliate link, btw.)
For your chance to win, leave a comment on this post and tell us what’s holding you back from making more money right now.
We’ll choose one winner at the end of January 1st, 2014. Good luck!
[This contest is now closed.]