If you want to be a type of professional people want to work with – you need to know what you are offering beyond just the skills of your trade. I’m sure you already know thins on some level – but saying it out loud and putting it in writing goes a long way to establish your voice and your personal brand.
Of course, we want to be judged by the work we do. Of course! But apart from your work, you are delivering an interaction with you as a person, and just like you, your “client” is not a building or a logo, there’s a person on the other side, it may be the owner or someone in charge of dealing with you as a service provider. What you want to deliver is a promise of being professional, looking at your client in the eye and mean what you say.
Proving your work is better falls short when you break a promise of professionalism. I don’t care that you have the best lenses on your camera and you took photos of Dalai Lama if you are late to my wedding. You can be the best Node.js developer on the planet – but if you are jerk to the rest of the team, you will get fired. What happens to the freelancer who can prove his work is better, but always comes up with an excuse? (hint: they don’t get hired again)
Make a list of things you hold in high regard and expect from other and then see how many of those apply to you, then write additional things that you offer to your clients when they work with you. High on my list is respect of everyone in the team, and not breaking deadlines. Leaving my ego at the door and collaborating to find solutions to problems we are working on.
I’ve created a PDF you can download, print out and put it on your wall so you have a visual reminder of what is important when presenting yourself beyond your work. If you put it up in your workspace, I’d love it if you send me a photo or tag me on it. ?
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