Rejection is everywhere even in the world of freelance, and just like in other areas of life, it sucks to face rejection as a freelancer.
If you are just starting out, it is imperative that you understand that rejection in the gig-economy is commonplace and it comes in many different ways.
I started freelancing seriously about five years ago, and I cannot count the number of times I have had the door slammed on my face, figuratively of course.
Even with the extensive experience I have gained over my career, I still hear the word ‘no’ from clients, just slightly less than before.
It’s difficult being a freelancer; there are all these perks that people tout when convincing themselves and others of the benefits of freelancing (many of which are true by the way);
– but there is the other side that people simply gloss over; the emotional and psychological pain that you will have to endure while in this line of work.
No one ever prepares you for that part!
Rejection is a huge part of this pain. That and clients who take you for granted as I wrote about here.
So, what kind of rejection can you expect as a freelancer?
Well, for starters, you can find yourself endlessly bidding on your preferred freelancing platform without a single positive response from a client and this situation could go on for weeks! Imagine bidding for hours day in day out, and not a single client has responded to your bids. The horror!!
This can be so frustrating especially if you are cash-strapped that month.
There are obviously ways you can improve your bidding game, but it takes time to understand and apply them effectively. Instant results, for me, has always been a pipe dream.
Now, let us just imagine that one of those bids has gone through (thankfully), and you have landed a client. You are now over the moon and your anxiety levels have returned to normal.
However, every time you submit the task, it comes back with a correction. It could be because the client keeps changing their demands or because you didn’t understand the instructions in the first place.
Whichever the case, constant correction of one task, to me feels like constant rejection. Trust me, you will feel like pulling your hair out every time this happens. Your patience wears thin, and you begin to panic. You are stressed out, unhappy, furious at yourself, furious at the client, and you feel like you want to give up.
But giving up is not an option, is it now? Giving up would mean losing the contract, and risking a bad rating, which adds to the strain of trying to land another client. Giving up would mean that you lose the earnings you would have earned if you had successfully completed the project. Giving up means your bills might not be paid this month, and if you have any dependants, it gets a million times worse.
However, if you continue with this project, you are losing precious time that you could have used in more economically beneficial ways.
Now, you are stuck- the true meaning of being caught between a rock and a hard place.
There is also the possibility of the client canceling the project because you are not delivering the task according to their expectations. That’s another low blow.
A few more experiences like these and you are likely to become a prime candidate for high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, alcoholism, and a slew of other health problems.
We definitely do not want that, and that is why it is essential that you learn how to deal with rejection in this line of work so that you are able to enjoy a long and successful freelancing career.
So here we go:
My tips on How to deal with rejection as a freelancer
1. Don’t take it personally– You need to learn how to separate yourself and your emotions from the work. These are separate entities and should be dealt with as such. Client rejection is not a reflection of your value as a human being. It is easier to overcome the hurt and frustration associated with this kind of rejection if you do not peg your emotions on the bidding or contract outcome.
2. Take as much time as you need to process your emotions after facing rejection, and then move on. Don’t carry any of the pain or the frustration forward. Venting can also be good as long as you are doing so through the right avenues (alcohol consumption, smoking, pill popping are not the recommended avenues).
Talk to a friend, listen to music, or journal/blog. Do what you need to do in order to blow off some steam. This way you get to move on quickly and constructively.
3. If the client has refused the bid or rejected the work and perhaps ended the contract, seek to understand where you went wrong. Feedback can help you improve your future applications so that you definitely get the gig the next time around.
That is why it is important to always remain respectful in all of your dealings with the client, even when the contract is going contrary to your expectations. If you remain cordial, it is easier to ask for feedback on where you can improve.
4. If bidding is proving unsuccessful, or if a client cancels your contract, get back in the game by refreshing your network. Inform them of the kind of work that you are interested in doing. Ask for recommendations, and you will be surprised by how many people are willing to help you. Linkedin is the perfect platform for this; just ensure that you are using the platform correctly, and that your profile is attractive to potential clients.
5. Keep looking– don’t give up the search, continue bidding for work on your preferred freelancing platforms, and try to detach yourself from the ensuing disappointments. And even when you finally land a client, be sure to understand the instructions clearly before commencing on the task in order to avoid further rejection in form of conflict with the client.
PS: If you are looking for data entry gigs, and need help on how to pitch clients, this short video can help.
If you are looking for tips on choosing the best payment options for your freelancing career, you can read here.
Plus, if you need help getting your Upwork account approved, have a read here.
Bye for now!