When I told my mother that I didn't like talking to strangers and socializing, she suggested that I should become a writer.
She'd be surprised how much talking is involved in this profession.
You have to communicate with your readers for a better understanding of their preferences and how to solve their problems.
You have to socialize with other authors if you want to improve.
You have to go out and chat with other people to generate more ideas and gain new perspectives.
This could be a huge problem for introverts, especially people are who quickly drained from being in a crowded room or engaging in more than two conversations like me.
Freelancing is a great start to solving this problem. Here's how.
Working with many clients elevates your communication skills
As a freelancer, you will have to work with many clients. And I mean MANY.
Having a long-term client who gives us constant gigs is the dream, but that doesn't always happen. On the contrary, most freelance writers have to pitch to different clients day after day until they get hired, and even then the job is often one time only.
By sending cover letters and chatting with various clients, you can develop your communication skills.
In the first few times, you will not know what to say. Questions will arise: "Do I sound too eager? Do I not sound eager enough? Will saying this offend the client?"
But over time with practice and tips from veterans, you will gradually learn how to grab the client's pain points and know what to say and when to say it.
Case in point: I was hired to write three articles for a mattress brand in Malaysia. The client offered me a lower rate than the one I had stated on my Upwork profile. I texted him saying that I charged X amount for 1000 words, but I would accept the offered amount if he could spread the word for me to other colleagues of his. The client agreed and eventually gave me three more articles.
This happened because I read an article on Medium saying that you should be flexible and ready to wiggle for potential clients, but ask them for something in exchange.
You will connect with other freelancers while looking to improve yourself
When I started to take freelancing seriously, I read a lot of articles on Medium, googled 'best practices on Upwork and Fiverr', and reached out to some established freelancers on LinkedIn and Quora.
I was surprised to see how open and willing to help they were. Many gave me great tips on how to find clients, how to not sell yourself short, and how to stand your ground when someone wants to underpay for your hard work.
Freelancing seems like a lonely path, but it doesn't have to be if you reach out for help.
And by doing this, I realize that one great way to start a conversation with a stranger is to show genuine interest in their work or approach them with the right mindset.
You leave your comfort zone and broaden your horizon by doing jobs for someone else
One thing I admire about the extroverted people I've met in my life is that they always seem to know so much. And I believe that's partly because they hang out with many other people.
That is not the case for the introvert.
Sure we can watch documentaries, listen to podcasts, and read books.
But we will only indulge in the content that we know we are interested in. What about the topics we will never consider if they are not our concerns?
I love learning about mental health, sustainability, meditation, psychology, and travel. But I'd never take time to research the materials, sizes, support, and durability of a mattress, which mattress is the most suitable for someone who has arthritis, or what innerspring even means. After just one gig for a mattress brand, I feel like an expert.
And that's an awesome feeling.
To leave my box, learn something completely out of my interest area, and get paid for it? It's like talking to strangers without having to talk to strangers.
Many people will tell you that being an introvert is disadvantageous, especially when you join the workforce. Society will show you how undesirable it is to be not talkative and outgoing and shame you into staying at a party that sucks the soul out of you.
To hell with those people.
If there's a place in the world for the extrovert, there will be a place for the introvert. And I dare say freelancing is the path for the introverted folks if we know how to make it ours.
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