Dealing with rejection is an inevitable part of being a freelancer. It can be tough, disheartening, and even make you doubt your abilities. However, it’s important to remember that rejection is not a reflection of your worth or talent.
Instead of letting it bring you down, use it as an opportunity for growth and improvement. Below, I go into some ways to handle rejection professionally and bounce back stronger than ever, based on my own experience of being told ‘No’ a lot!
Stick around to the end for some of the main reasons you’re likely getting rejected as a freelancer.
6 Ways To Handle Rejection As A Freelancer (Professionally)
1. Embrace A Growth Mindset
Instead of simply viewing rejection as a personal failure, you should see it as a chance to learn and grow. Understand that setbacks are a natural part of the freelancing journey. Take a step back, assess the situation objectively, and ask yourself, “What can I learn from this experience?”
By shifting your perspective, you can turn rejection into an opportunity for self-improvement.
2. Seek Constructive Feedback
Receiving feedback, even if it’s negative, can be incredibly valuable. Reach out to the client or employer who rejected your work and kindly ask for constructive feedback. Be open-minded and receptive to their suggestions.
Understanding their perspective can help you identify areas where you can enhance your skills or make necessary adjustments to your work. Remember, feedback is not a personal attack, and you should seek it out when you can. It can point you in the direction of changes you need to make to become a better freelancer.
3. Reframe Rejection As A Learning Experience
Rather than dwelling on the rejection itself, focus on what you can gain from the experience. Treat each rejection as a valuable lesson that can propel your professional growth. Reflect on the situation and analyze the factors that may have contributed to the rejection.
Did you overlook any specific requirements?
Was there a misalignment in communication?
Use these insights to improve your approach in future projects and prevent similar rejections.
4. Maintain Professionalism
When faced with rejection, it’s essential to maintain professionalism and grace. Avoid responding in anger or frustration, as it can harm your reputation and future prospects, and it’s also just not the right way to go about things in general.
Instead, thank the client for their time and consideration. Express your willingness to collaborate in the future and leave a positive impression. Remember, the freelance community is smaller than you think, and maintaining a professional demeanor can open doors to new opportunities down the line.
5. Refocus Your Energy
Rejection can easily consume your thoughts and drain your motivation. To combat this, refocus your energy on productive activities. Engage in self-care practices such as exercise, meditation, or pursuing hobbies that bring you joy.
Take the time to recharge and reignite your creative spark. By redirecting your energy towards positive endeavors, you’ll regain your confidence and enthusiasm for your freelancing career.
6. Network & Seek Support
Rejection can also make you feel isolated and alone – don’t let it!
Reach out to fellow freelancers or join professional communities where you can connect with like-minded individuals. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of peers can provide valuable insights, encouragement, and guidance.
Share your experiences, seek advice, and learn from others who have overcome similar challenges.
Now you know how to deal with rejection, it’s worth exploring why your freelance clients keep saying no.
Why Do You Keep Getting Rejected As A Freelancer?
Lack Of Relevant Skills Or Experience
One possible reason for freelancer rejection could be a lack of relevant skills or experience. Clients or employers often look for freelancers who have a proven track record in their field or possess specific expertise.
If you’re consistently facing rejection, take a critical look at your skill set and evaluate if there are any gaps. Consider investing time in enhancing your skills through online courses, workshops, or practical projects.
Poorly Matched Client Expectations
Sometimes, rejection can occur because there’s a mismatch between your skill set and the client’s expectations. This can happen if you haven’t thoroughly understood the project requirements or if the client’s needs aren’t adequately aligned with your strengths.
To avoid this, ensure you communicate effectively with clients before accepting a project. Ask detailed questions, clarify expectations, and discuss your capabilities to ensure a proper fit. Taking the time to assess client requirements upfront can save you from unnecessary rejections later on.
Inadequate Communication & Professionalism
Effective communication and professionalism are crucial in the freelancing world. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and ultimately, rejection.
Ensure you maintain clear and timely communication with clients throughout the project. Respond promptly to emails, be proactive in seeking clarification when you’re unsure about anything, and keep clients up to date on your progress.
Professionalism also extends to meeting deadlines, submitting high-quality work, and handling feedback gracefully. By improving your communication and professionalism, you can increase your chances of getting more freelance clients.
In a highly competitive freelance market, pricing can significantly impact your success rate. If you consistently face rejection, it may be worth reassessing your rates.
Are they too high compared to others in your field?
Are they too low, potentially signaling a lack of quality?
Research market rates and align your pricing strategy accordingly. Remember, clients often look for a balance between quality and affordability. Finding the right pricing sweet spot can help you stand out and increase your chances of getting a Yes instead of a No.
As a freelancer, self-promotion plays a crucial role in attracting clients and securing projects. If you’re continuously facing rejection, it might be worth evaluating your marketing efforts.
Are you effectively showcasing your skills and experience?
Do you have a strong online presence, such as a professional website or portfolio?
Consider investing time in building your personal brand, optimizing your online platforms, and leveraging social media to showcase your work. Strengthening your marketing efforts can improve your visibility and help you attract more potential clients.
Failure To Learn From Previous Rejections
Rejection can be a valuable learning opportunity if you approach it with the right mindset. If you’re repeatedly facing rejection, it’s crucial to reflect on previous experiences and identify patterns or areas for improvement.
Ask for feedback from clients who rejected your work and use their insights constructively. Adapt your approach, refine your skills, and address any recurring issues. Demonstrating growth and a willingness to learn from rejection can make you a more attractive candidate to future clients.
If you don’t learn from past rejection, you’re doomed to continue getting rejected for the same reasons!
Use Rejection To Grow As A Freelancer
We all get rejected at some point as a freelancer – it’s inevitable. However, rejection can be a great opportunity to learn why we’re not the right choice for clients and change the way we offer our services.
But sometimes we’re just not the right fit! And that’s why it’s key to avoid letting rejection wear us down. Freelancing is a long journey, and the bumps along the way are well worth it!