happy-entrepreneurCompared to having a regular day job, freelancing has its ups and downs. For one, you’ll have no steady and reliable target of income. But on the upside, you get to control your own workload and schedule.

Unfortunately, this also means that you may not have someone to back you up when things go sour. This can happen during a meeting, or even after the contract’s been signed. However, knowing how to be assertive can help you turn any situation to your advantage. In the long run, it can even help you establish your personal brand as a freelancer.

But being assertive isn’t the same as bullying people around. It involves confidently standing firm on important issues, while allowing for cooperation and negotiation on others. It’s a vital life skill that will allow you to get things done—and be properly rewarded for it. Here are three reminders to help you become a more assertive freelancer:


  1. You Are Not an Employee

The most important advice you can get on freelancing is to not treat your client as your boss. If you work alone and represent yourself, you are your own boss.

This way of thinking is more common for people with backgrounds in the service industry or in the corporate world. But freelancing doesn’t work the same way. By acting as an employee, you are more likely to be afraid of critiquing and making suggestions.

Keep in mind that you are the expert in your field. When it comes to the project, feel free to take the reins. Look to your client as a collaborator, not as a subordinate.


  1. It’s Okay to Demand Your Worth

This may be easier said than done, but you should never go below your desired rate. Don’t be intimidated by a demanding client. You should stay polite, but firm when it comes to compensation.

Unlike a normal employee, you won’t have regular performance evaluations from a superior. Only you can determine how much money your time is worth. Don’t be afraid to ask for the right amount of money. When done right, this could even make you appear as more knowledgeable and reliable in your field.

If you recognize that they’re really stuck with a small budget, try to compromise on the deadlines or the deliverables. But if they still refuse to pay for your price or continue to haggle with you, don’t hesitate to walk away.


  1. Never Hesitate to Speak Your Mind

Lastly, it’s important to speak up when things aren’t going as planned. This often happens when a client has an unrealistic or impractical vision that they insist on having you complete.

In turn, this could cause a project to exceed its budget or become overly stressful. It’s true that you don’t want to offend your client by being taken as condescending. But as a freelancer, you were hired for your expertise.

In these occasions, offer better suggestions, and politely clarify your point of view. If you’re honest with your apprehensions, it might even help you renegotiate your terms.


Create Your Own Path

Studies have even found that freelancing is becoming more popular, with freelancers possibly exceeding 40% of the U.S workforce by 2020.  For many, this could be due to the amount of freedom it allows. But what many don’t realize is that working on your own is a different ballgame to working for someone else.

As a freelancer, becoming more assertive will help you communicate with clients and build your reputation. This will allow you to choose the path that’s best for you, while being your own boss.