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The "Find Your Voice" Lesson is part of the full, Finding Clients as a Freelancer course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul explains that personality is a powerful tool for winning work. Maintaining an authentic personality when writing online will build trust with potential clients.


Transcript from the "Find Your Voice" Lesson

>> So let's talk about this idea of finding your voice, when you write emails. Old blog posts or, due speaking or anything really, why is this important? Why is this a subject I'm even talking about in this course? And it's because personality is how we win business at the end of the day, right?

More so than your skills, more so than anything else. I mean, look at myself, I'm a good user experience designer, but I'm not the best by any stretch of the imagination. There are many more well qualified people to teach user experience design than me, but they don't, all right?

And that's because, although they're very good at what they do, they don't market themselves, they don't have the personality to maybe come out and do this kind of thing. So, I guess what I'm getting at is we're not hired just on our ability, we're hired on lots of different factors, personality is a big part of that.

When we write online, we've got this impression that we have to be professional, right? And we have to write in this certain way and it makes us so dull, right? And I fallen into this before. Of I need to be a bit more professional and so I stopped joking, I stopped messing around which is me, that is who I am.

That's my personality. I make quips and throwaway comments to get me in enormous trouble, that's just part of who I am. But I was repressing that and I must be considered, I must be professional. And actually that's detrimental at the end of the day because you can only be who you are, and if we try and strip out our personality, it just leads to dull and unengaging content.

Your personality is the one thing that your competitors can't replicate. Not everyone will like you, that's fine. There are a lot of people that strongly dislike me. But enough people will like you to sustain your business and that's what ultimately matters. And if people do like you, then they'll listen to you, and if they listen to you, they'll come to trust you, and if they come to trust you, they'll buy from you.

So personality really is a very powerful tool for winning work and we need to stop trying to put on a face of professionalism in everything we do. Because I deal with really big hired organizations. I deal with, C-suite people. But at the end of the day they're all human beings, they all laugh, they'll joke, they will make mistakes in work, they're just like anybody else, and so you need to connect with them just like anybody else.

You don't treat them like some kind of corporate bot that you have to program in a certain way with the words you use. Effectively, I think it boils down to this, be more of what you already are, right? One of the things I see a lot is you can't be anybody else, so don't try, right?

So, the best one, I'm almost back on well, I am embarrassed to say this right? I'm quite an outgoing person and I'm quite informal, but I came across Gary Vaynerchuk. I don't know whether you've ever followed him, and I went through a period of time where I just saw I want to be like him.

I don't know why, cuz he annoys me now but at the time, I wanna be like him and I tried to be like Gary Vaynerchuk and it was a train wreck. I was just such an idiot, It wasn't me. And you can only be who you are. And there was another time there's this guy that I really admire a guy called Carmela Moles ,who is just as well spoke quietly spoken, when he speaks it's words of wisdom.

And you go, wow. And I wanted to be like him, but I couldn't, because I gamble and I talk rubbish half the time. And it's like, no, you just be yourself, to be a little bit more of yourself than you would be normally, right? Instead just exaggerate, a little bit of who you are, to make it more obvious.

So for example, I'm enthusiastic and passionate, I get excited and I might want to be, and so I'm more of that. If could you imagine how annoying I'd be to live with if I had this level of excitement and monster energy drinks the whole time, if I talked like this the whole time, my wife would kill me.

But it is naturally in my personality, it comes out more when I do stuff like this. When I write, I'm more flippant than I would be normally. I'm a little bit more of what I am now perhaps you are someone who is really considered and thoughtful, that's fine, then amp that up, be really considered and thoughtful, right?

No personality type is wrong when it comes to this stuff. You just got to be a little bit more than you are. You don't need to appeal to everyone, the Internet is a big place. And there are a lot of potential clients out there and someone is going to love who you are.

It sounds like something in a self help book that doesn't it? You can find your perfect partner. Someone will love you for who you are, but it's true. It really is, right? And then going back to what we talked about a minute ago, have opinions, don't just recycle the thoughts of others.

I know it's kind of scary expressing your opinions, but it's really worthwhile and people want to know your perspective. And a lot of us go, we look around and we look at other people in our industry. We go yeah, they really know their stuff, all right? I could never be as good a communicator as then.

No, you couldn't be the same as them, but actually your way of explaining things, your way of talking about things, will appeal to a different group. Some people, for example, I really admire this guy called Jeremy Keith, who is, I just love the way he talks. But I know for a lot of people, he's too intellectual it just go, it's like, that's all theoretical, which is kind of goes over their heads, and he's not for people like that.

And so maybe my voice is more appealing for people like that I don't know. So basically, you have got your place in all of this, you have got your market, you've got your space. And I would encourage you to express your own opinions. Maybe write yourself a bit of a personal manifesto, right?

What is it you care about, right? What are your big passion? So for me, right at the top of my list is accessibility. I believe the web should be for everybody, right? That's one of my fundamental principles that I believe. What really annoys me, right, what don't I believe, what don't I like?

Well I've got this real deep hatred of dark patterns they irritate me, okay? What do I believe in, what not just what do I care about? What do I believe in? I believe in the fact that it what's good for the user, is good for the business. These are my fundamental underlying principles that shape what I share online, and what I stand for.

So people when they mentioned Paul Boac, they kind of know what he cares about, what he's into. So, there's a little bit of advice. So it all got a bit little airy fairy there for a minute. I'm sorry about that. But it is worth thinking about who you are, how you're gonna present yourself and how you're gonna communicate as you begin to build your list and give yourself a little bit confidence.

The other thing I will say, which is not in the slide deck, but when you start, you'll be rubbish, right? All of my blog posts back to 2005 are all on the BI world website. If ever you're feeling bad about your content, and you think you're rubbish, go back through my archives and read what I wrote in 2005.

It will be a train wreck, right? And even better if you really want a giggle, right, go and look at my podcasts that started in 2005. When my first podcast is me sitting on a mic going, today I want to talk about all accessibility of PDF files. And then I drone on like this for a very long time.

I mean it's appalling it's a train wreck, right? So check those out and make you feel better about yourself. And to begin with, the thing you've got reassure yourself tougher this nobody's going to be list watching to begin with. Nobody's gonna be reading to begin with, your mailing list is going to be tiny to begin with.

So, that's the time to make the mistakes because nobody's going to know, anyway let's move on.

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