As a Freelance Artist, Don’t Take Rejection Too Personal

Whether you’re a graphic designer, freelance writer, web designer or in any self-taught or self-employed position, rejection can hurt on a personal level. The fact is, all freelancers get their proposal or work rejected at one time or another, it’s just the nature of the business. How can you deal with rejection and move past it?

How to Look at Rejection in a Positive Way


No one wants to be rejected by a potential new client, or even one they’ve worked for in the past.

For a freelancer, the possibility of rejection is a constant; you land one job, complete it, then start the process all over again with a new client, which could possibly mean rejection. It’s important that you begin to realize that you aren’t going to please 100% of prospective clients 100% of the time. Once you understand this, it won’t hurt so bad. Unlike those who are employed at a job and go through the interview one time, you face the possibility every time you take on a new client.

Website and graphic designers, writers, and others who rarely or never face rejection possibly avoid it for one of two reason: Either their prices are too low, or they’re perfect – and we all know there is not a human being on earth that’s perfect.

Sometimes you understand the rejection.

When you’re given a reason, such as your prices are too high, it makes the rejection easier to bear. You can move on to a client who realizes the true value of your work, and doesn’t complain about price. When you get objections that are reasonable, it’s less painful.

Sometimes you don’t understand the rejection.

This is when rejection is really painful – when you are turned down by a client you thought you would be an ideal “fit” for, and you don’t know why. Or, they give you a reason but it really doesn’t make sense to you. This is when it can feel personal, but don’t let it affect your pride or your motivation. Move on to the next client.

Realize that freelancing is business.

In the real world, people get quotes and “comparison shop” every day. It’s the same on the internet. In nearly any graphic artist, web design, or other freelancing field you’re up against hundreds or even thousands of competitors. People want the best value for their money. The best things you can do is be personable and easy to get along with, and make yourself stand out from the crowd in some way – come up with an effective and unique selling proposition.

Don’t take rejection too personally! Remember, you can’t be all things to all people. Value the clients you do land, and always do your best work. Put rejection behind you, and keep pressing forward!

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