When I sit down to write, whether it be copy for one of my freelance clients, posts for this blog, or whatever for whatever, I do it without fear. The blank page is a daunting enemy, but if you stare at it with any level of trepidation, you’ve already lost. Fear breeds caution. Caution breeds mediocrity. Mediocrity breeds a career filled with regret. So, how do we fight the mediocrity?
Approaching any task, it’s important to truly believe that you are the best one for the job. Either you’re more knowledgeable, more skilled, or yes, more affordable than everyone else. But no matter what, you’re the chosen one. So act like it. Do what you do with swagger.
As a freelance copywriter, I get called into ad agencies and clients all the time. So, I do what I can to walk through the front doors with swagger. Swagger can mask fear. Swagger can help you feel like you belong (and help others feel the same). Of course, I do admit that swagger can sometimes be misconstrued as cockiness if you’re not careful. Regardless of what anyone might tell you, I’m not cocky. I haven’t earned cocky. I’ve earned swagger. Besides, cocky makes people hate you. Swagger makes people trust you.
That brings up a fun example. To those who truly know me, it should come as no surprise that I watch a lot of TV. But as a rule, I don’t indulge in reality TV. However, I have been forced to watch a few episodes of various competition shows. One thing I’ve noticed is that when former winners or runners up make special guest appearances, even if they were pumping gas before the previous season of Fill-in-the-Blank-Here Show, they act like they’ve been around the block a few times. They act like they’re Clapton or some such, not like a diva, like a legend. When they give advice to this year’s crop of hopefuls, they act like they have spent many years in the trenches, even if they haven’t. They act like their advice is simply gold. They do it with swagger.
We freelance copywriters, here in Atlanta and everywhere, could learn a lot from them. We need to learn how to do what we do with swagger. Perhaps then our clients would start trusting us. After all, when people trust what you do, they don’t pick it apart so much. And when they feel they don’t have to pick it apart so much, they trust you even more — and use you more. All thanks to a little bit of swagger.