Has this ever happened to you?
You’re at a social gathering or networking event, and someone asks what your profession is.
After saying you’re a freelancer, you notice a few questioning stares, and then someone quickly changes the conversation.
Usually, people either have no idea what freelancing means or assume you’re a starving artist.
After years of introducing myself as “just a freelancer,” I revisited my title which is helping me better explain my skills and sell my services.
Here are freelancer job titles you can use next time around:
“I help people do (x, y, and z)…”
This is by far my favorite hack to avoiding freelancer job titles altogether. I learned this from Candice Marie, Millennial Money Expert of the blog Young Yet Wise.
Answer the question with a description of what problem you solve instead of answering with a title. With this tactic, you won’t pigeonhole yourself into a profession that’s difficult for some people to understand.
Focus your elevator pitch on what value you’re bringing and highlight your expertise.
“I’m a consultant/specialist…”
A freelancer is a skilled person who isn’t beholden to one company. You share your expertise with many companies, entrepreneurs, or non-profits to help them with an area of operation.
In this respect, you’re a consultant or specialist in whatever service you’re providing especially after gaining years of experience.
Introduce yourself as such with confidence while bringing attention to your proficiency in a specific skill and within your niche.
“I’m a business owner/entrepreneur…”
If you feel unworthy of the title of business owner or entrepreneur, think again.
People who want to dip their toes into self-employment often start off as freelancers who test out markets and service offerings. What you may not realize is that freelancers are business owners and even entrepreneurs right off the bat.
Your product may start off as a simple service at first. You may even freelance part-time to supplement your full-time income.
Despite the scale, you run a business whenever you’re selling something of value to another person. And you have permission to ditch the word freelancer if it’s holding you back.
This is especially true later on when you hire contractors and branch out from done-for-you services to other ventures. The title freelancer may not properly describe the many hats you wear including visionary, marketing person, seller, artist, customer service person, and more.
Be confident calling yourself what you are in conversation — a business owner or entrepreneur.
Moving Away from Freelancer Job Titles
I’m someone who held on desperately to the title of freelancer for years just because it was familiar. So I can’t stress the importance enough of giving yourself permission to evolve.
The word freelancer rolled off my tongue and gave me a nice comfort zone to stay in.
Guess what folks? Growth doesn’t happen in your comfort zone.
If the word freelancer is no longer properly explaining what you do, you deserve to give yourself a more fitting title.