Just starting out. Beginner writer. Is your business language harming your confidence and holding you back from achieving your goals?
When clients read your website or LinkedIn profile, they want to feel confident in your writing abilities.
Your writing personality plays a huge role in gaining your clients’ confidence.
So it’s important to choose language that suits your concept and empowers you to achieve your goals.
Critics argue such language infantilises the role of a female as a boss (you don’t read about boybosses, dad CFOs of the household or daddy marketing strategies, do you?).
But it’s not only the gendered language to avoid in business.
Certain words and phrases, like beginner writer, are disempowering and could be harming your job prospects.
Your language gives your clients confidence in your abilities
As health writers, we know that language has the power to influence what readers think and feel about their health and behaviours.
The same principle applies to business.
Our marketing language has the power to influence our clients’ perceptions of our businesses.
Language can also empower or disempower us.
Consider these examples:
- Beginner writer vs writer
- I did a thing vs I launched a new business
- Scary client vs global corporation
- Shiny new toy vs new business venture.
The simple examples listed above are fun and creative, and they have more personality than the other, direct examples – but they’re not as empowering.
If you are using a word like ‘scary’ to refer to a client, you’re telling yourself and others to be fearful of that client.
But why? We shouldn’t fear corporate clients.
Like girlboss, scary infantilises our relationship with our clients.
Remember that you are on an equal playing field with your clients – you are in a partnership.
(And if a client makes you feel otherwise, then don’t hesitate to end that partnership.)
Not only is being afraid of clients not empowering, but it also doesn’t help you build the confidence you need to take on other clients in the business world.
Don’t call yourself a beginner on your website and LinkedIn profile
Of course, when you’re starting your freelance career, it’s normal to think of yourself as a beginner.
But there’s a difference between knowing you are a beginner and actually writing the word “beginner” in your business communications.
Stating on your website or LinkedIn profile that you are a beginner or just starting out weakens your message – especially if you’ve been working professionally for a while.
It’s better not even to mention that you’re starting out.
If you’re at the point where you are ready to offer professional writing services, you’re a writer.
Your clients will review your profile, portfolio and experience, and they’ll come to their own conclusions about your abilities.
As long as you don’t pretend you’ve been in business for years when you haven’t, you don’t need to make a big deal of being at the beginning of your career journey.
Plus, if you market yourself as a beginner writer, you may struggle to gain confidence, move forward and grow.
You may refuse certain work because you think of yourself as just a beginner.
You may be holding yourself back from opportunities without even realising it.
But what is a beginner is, anyway?
Is a beginner writer someone who has never written anything, worked for one client or worked for 12 months?
We all have different ideas of what a beginner writer is.
So, how should you market yourself if you are at the beginning of your writing journey – without using the word beginner?
You’re a writer.
If you’re marketing a freelance writing business, you’re a writer.
You are a writer if you’re writing.
It’s that simple!
Alternatives to “beginner
How do you make it clear that you are a beginner without using the word beginner?
By being transparent about your career history and using positive language to reinforce your skills.
You highlight the writing skills and experience you do have instead of focusing on what you don’t have.
You may not have worked as a writer yet, but you do have relevant experience that demonstrates your ability to work as a professional writer.
The final word on language and confidence
The language you use to describe your writing services helps you attract like-minded clients, so a unique voice is essential.
Your business language should make you feel good and confident – but you also need to consider what your clients think of your language.
Running a business isn’t all about you; it’s about how you help your clients achieve their goals.
Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and read your web copy or LinkedIn profile through their lens.
If you think there’s a disconnect, you don’t necessarily have to change your natural personality and be someone you’re not.
But perhaps you’re not targeting the right clients for your brand personality.
So be honest and upfront about your journey, experience and medical writing skills – but don’t call yourself a beginner on your website or LinkedIn profile.
And when you do stop calling yourself a beginner, you will probably notice that you’re taking your career more seriously.
You’ll grow faster, gain more confidence in your abilities – and do a better job overall. And that’s a win for you and your clients.