Bring your value to others.
Whew! I survived, and so did my website, which was now up and running. An enormous weight lifted from my shoulders. No more doubts and fears—not to mention the tears. I am officially a proofreader and editor. Time to celebrate! Now, all I had to do was let the website bring clients to me. My proofreading business was on its way.
Not so fast, girl.
“You need to put yourself out there.” What the heck does THAT mean? It means getting out there and connecting with others in the proofreading and editing business. You can’t sit back and expect clients to come to you. Talk with editors and proofreaders, writers, authors, and publishers. Ask questions, hone your skills, network and earn trust, build friendships, and bring value to others. Whoa. How do I do that?
I volunteered my editing services for a short period of time and provided free beta reading through FB to get my name in front of those in the editing, writing, and publishing fields. I’m not saying you should offer your services for free, but that was my choice. I also volunteered with Distributed Proofreaders and their Gutenberg Project to gain experience.
I joined professional editing societies and created a LinkedIn account. Then, I added a business page to my FB profile and followed and connected with those in the editing and writing fields. All the while constantly researching the internet for guidance and adding to my skills. More months passed, and it seemed like my website wasn’t working. No clients were coming my way. So, if I’ve said this before, here’s another friendly reminder. This will take time.
But… not just time WAITING.
I realized what “put yourself out there” really meant. If LinkedIn and FB were to help me in my new career, I needed to speak directly with others and show up. I needed to post about relevant or interesting topics, gain trust, and show professionalism and knowledge of my chosen profession. I needed to show others how I could solve their problems, not just talk about what I was trained to do.
But something kept telling me I wasn’t good enough, and no matter the training or skills I possessed, I convinced myself that no one would want to hire me. I lurked quietly on LinkedIn, cruised FB without saying a thing, afraid of sounding stupid if I posted something, and constantly compared myself to others. I was hiding.
- Everyone seemed so intelligent and skilled.
- Other editors posted testimonials from clients who loved their work, and I felt I couldn’t come close to being as good as they were.
Can you guess why? I was in the grip of Imposter Syndrome. Let me tell you, this thing is deadly. It will sit in your head and make you question yourself at every turn. Please don’t allow it to pull you down. You are at a different point on your journey than someone else, and you are learning, just as they did. There is a sea of people who can help and support you along your journey. I have been so fortunate to find many incredible authors, writers, editors, and proofreader friends, connections, and followers who have encouraged and supported me along the way.
Yes, you will have those days when the “imposter monster” will appear. I still have those days myself. Believe me, it will take guts to pull yourself through and keep “showing up.” But it will get easier. You can do this! Take your small wins whenever and wherever you can. Make goals for yourself, break them down into manageable tasks, and complete them at your own speed.
You are changing your life. Don’t let that “imposter monster” stand in your way.
Next week: Contracts, questionnaires, and rates, Oh my!