In the past few weeks, I’ve been ghosted more times than I can count on one hand. Responding to dream inquiries and hearing crickets in return, no-shows on discovery calls, and ignored texts, oh my!
Honestly, it takes a huge emotional toll on me to put so much of myself into Studio Alexia and get nothing in return from some clients. So I took a breather, distanced myself from socials and my inbox, and tried not to get too in my head about it. And I wrote a little poem in an attempt to bring some levity to the situation and feel a little better:
Please stop ghosting us /
We put our heart in our work /
And we have feelings.
*Snap, snap, snap!* Although this is my lame attempt at humor and coping with the woes of freelancing, the sentiment behind the haiku still stands. If you’re a creative who’s reading this and can relate to being ghosted, let’s chat!
Getting ghosted, in my opinion, is one of the hardest parts about being an online service provider. We put so much work into our client experience. From smooth processes, workflows, and personable emails to pre-discovery call prep, proposals, and scheduling — there are so many elements of our job that we put our heart and soul into. Not to mention all the effort that goes into getting those inquiries through the door in the first place (hello, marketing scaries!).
So when we hear crickets on the other end, it definitely hurts. And sure, it may hurt some more than others — where are my big-feeling girlies at? Combine all this with the fact that marketing your services as a personal brand sometimes literally means marketing yourself, and you’ve got a mean Imposter Syndrome cocktail.
P.S… Can someone come up with a recipe for an Imposter Syndrome cocktail? YUM!
I’m not gonna be basic and say “we don’t talk about this enough in the creative industry”, but I definitely don’t see too many creatives shouting from the rooftops about the fifth time they’ve gotten ghosted in one week. I personally fall into the habit of only sharing highlights, but I also know the value of being vulnerable in these spaces. Not only so I don’t feel so alone — but so that you feel supported, too.
So, I guess I want to encourage you with some ways to cope when you get ghosted — or just when the creative freelancer life gets to be a little overwhelming. Use some of these tips next time you’ve got the freelancing blues:
And to any clients who might be reading this: we aren’t against you! I totally understand how big of a leap it can be to invest in a person who’s supposed to help out with your business. It’s scary and sometimes it isn’t the right timing — and you should never feel bad for stepping out of something that doesn’t feel right.
But if you do need to step away from a project with a service provider, we deserve a heads up. No hard feelings… just please spare us the imposter syndrome!
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