5 simple ways to become a confident copywriter

July 26, 2010 by Dean Rieck
Filed under: Inspiration 

copywriter confidenceConfidence plays a big part in freelance copywriting success, or anything else in life for that matter.

It influences what you do, how you do it, and how others perceive you.

It’s not something you’re born with, though it does seem to be something that sticks with you through life if you develop it early.

But what if you don’t? What if you’re the stereotypical writer who’s an introvert? What if you lack the confidence you need to speak to people boldly, ask for the pay you’re worth, and take the risks your career requires?

Well, I’ve never been the cheerleader type, full of chirpy advice about how to feel good about yourself. Actually, I can be something of a curmudgeon. But I have learned a few things over the years about confidence.

When I started out, I was a typical creative writer type. I didn’t have any more confidence than anyone else. Today, I’m often described as a Type A personality.

So what happened? Where did all the confidence come from?

I didn’t have a formula. And I didn’t read any books about it or attend self-image workshops. But as I look back, I can identify a few concepts that helped me get to where I am now, a confident copywriter.

Learn your craft. There’s nothing like being good at what you do to give you confidence in yourself. So it’s important to always be learning and perfecting your skills as a writer and communicator.

You should know more than just good grammar, you should be fluent in the psychology of communication and persuasion and the business of your niche market. You should know how to use and care for the tools of your trade, including your computers, software, and Internet resources.

Plus, as a professional, you should learn how to work efficiently, work with others effectively, and promote yourself. If you’re a freelancer, you should know how to generate phone calls, close deals, and run your business.

Put your work first. Those who lack confidence spend a lot of time thinking about themselves. How do I sound? What do they think of me? Am I good enough? But this internal focus is counterproductive.

It’s not about you. If you’re a writer in a full-time job, it’s about the project you’re working on. If you’re a freelancer, it’s about your client’s needs and goals. Put the focus on these external things and take the spotlight off yourself. You’ll find this remarkably liberating.

By shifting the focus from yourself to your work, you not only remove the pressure you would otherwise feel, you will enable yourself to put all your energy into doing good work. And a job well done is a big confidence booster.

Stop comparing yourself to others. There’s no faster way to get depressed. Confident people don’t waste time with comparisons. They’re too busy doing what they love. The only people who make such comparisons are those who lack self-confidence. So it’s a losing game.

Comparing yourself to other people is inherently unfair. It’s apples and oranges. What you’re really doing is comparing all the bad things you know about yourself to all the good things you know about others. Right? You can’t see the secret failings of others. So it’s never an honest comparison.

What other people accomplish or earn has nothing to do with you. Everyone starts in a different place, takes a different path, and leads a different life. You’re unique. Just be yourself and do what you enjoy.

Act like your hero. There is one circumstance when thinking about others might help. That’s when you’re not sure what to do. In truth, you almost certainly know what to do but you lack the confidence to do it.

So picture someone you admire and imagine they face the same situation. What would they say? What action would they take? Once you know, do the same thing.

Fake it till you make it. Every sales person or entrepreneur knows this one. We all start out as beginners. Of course, no one wants to work with beginners. So what do you do? Fake it.

I’m not talking about lying. I just mean pretend to have the confidence, experience, and skill that the situation requires. In most cases, that’s all you need to get the job done. Pretty soon, you won’t be faking it anymore.

The same technique works with lifting your mood. If you’re having an off day, just smile. Sounds silly, but your brain associates smiling with a good mood. Forcing a smile can trigger genuine good feelings and lift your spirits.

Confidence is a tricky thing. It’s easy for confident people to talk about it and give advice. It’s not so easy for someone lacking confidence to start believing in themselves. But it’s possible, because I did it.

And there’s one more thing you should know. All those confident people you know aren’t as confident as you think.

Very few people are totally confident, so confident they don’t even think about their confidence. Regardless of the way they act or appear to you, most people have some level of self-doubt. They’re concerned (at least a little) about what you think of them. The only difference is that they don’t let it get in the way.

What do you think? Do you have a confidence problem? Or have you used any techniques to build your confidence?

Related posts:

  1. 7 ways to drive a copywriter stark raving mad
  2. The one simple secret for earning top freelance pay
  3. Become a freelance god in 7 (sort of) simple steps

>>> Subscribe to blog by RSS or E-mail

Smart Comments

7 Comments on 5 simple ways to become a confident copywriter

  1. devashri on Jul 27th, 2010 3:09 am
  2. it was really wonderful reading this article. it worked like a miracle on my confidence. thanks a lot

  3. Tammi Kibler on Jul 27th, 2010 10:47 am
  4. I love your statement about comparing yourself to others, that you are comparing your bads to their goods. I never thought about it that way.

    Thank you!

  5. MieVee @ MummysReviews.com on Jul 27th, 2010 1:02 pm
  6. As a beginner, it is absolutely important to be confident in order to get business.

    Exposure to drama performances and public speaking when I was young helped to boost my confidence level.

  7. Dean Rieck on Jul 27th, 2010 2:07 pm
  8. MieVee,
    Me too. I participated in drama in high school and college. I even got into TV and radio for a few years. You’re right. It helps.

  9. D Bnonn Tennant on Jul 27th, 2010 10:17 pm
  10. Top notch advice here Dean.

    I found working on a helpdesk for several years to have a great influence on my confidence—especially for speaking to people and learning how to establish strong customer relations.

    I’ve also done a lot of debating online, which has given me a great deal of confidence in my ideas and beliefs.

    And I spend at least a couple of hours a day training in addition to working. I find this has two very helpful effects: (1) It gives me a lot of confidence that I know what I’m talking about. I can look back on everything I’ve learned, both in terms of training and work experience, and rely on it as a foundation for confidence when I must play the part of the expert. (2) It makes me aware of how much more there is to learn; which keeps me from becoming over-confident and thinking of myself as THE expert.

  11. cmdweb on Jul 28th, 2010 9:57 am
  12. I think the whole premise of the post is so absolutely true. I’ve met many a good writer who wouldn’t say boo to a goose.

  13. Matt Ambrose on Aug 3rd, 2010 12:13 pm
  14. Excellent post which anybody can take inspiration from (and not just writers). You had me nodding in agreement with every point.