How to Fake It 'Till You Make It

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We’ve heard this phrase over and over: fake it ‘til you make it. Okay, but really? Does it really work to fake it ‘til you make it and how on earth does one put that into practice without completely embarrassing oneself?

Let me start by telling a little back story. When I started freelance lettering in 2010, I had zero experience with lettering. Zero. Hand lettering wasn’t popular in the same way it is now back then and there certainly wasn’t any online education for letterers. When I was approached for my first few lettering jobs, I was kinda intimidated. I didn’t know how to price my work and I absolutely wasn’t too confident in my skills. But I just rolled with it. I accepted work as it came, reached out to the connections I did have when I had questions, and I tried my best to be resourceful. I used google a lot and I did weird calligraphy experiments in my studio in trial and error. The clients I had at the time knew my abilities based on the work I presented and they knew that I had never worked on large jobs before simply because of my portfolio and client list. If a client came to me asking for something I couldn’t do but I knew I could get help with, I’d still say yes. I was open minded and hard working and you know what, it really worked in my favor. Sometimes I failed but it wasn’t because of laziness or lack of trying.

Which brings me to faking it. Okay, I know that everyone has a different story about their beginnings and what works for me might not work for you. Maybe some of my techniques will work for you and you’ll brush off the others. That’s okay. I’m here to share with you 5 tips on how to fake it ‘til you make it...


1. Know Your Worth (And Then Charge A Bit More)

Are you just starting out, gaining traction, or a pro? Either way, know your worth and then charge a little bit more (there is always room to negotiate). This shows that you take yourself seriously and your clients should as well. Not to mention - pricing your work right holds up standard for EVERYONE else in the industry. Have NO idea where to start with pricing? Check out my holy grail of pricing and guidelines:

2. Be Resourceful

Don’t know how to code something but just landed a job that requires it? Be resourceful. Teach yourself coding or find a reliable person who knows how and pay them to do it for you. You don’t need to turn down a job or act clueless about something just because you’re not a pro.


3. Be Professional

When you are approached by potential clients, speak with confidence and professionalism. You don’t need to have an all-star client list to be someone that others would like to work with.


4. Keep Learning

Never stop learning how to be better at what you do. Keep taking classes to continue your education and skillset. Learn from a mentor. Reach out to others who are doing your dream job and ask them how they got started. Be open to criticism.

 5. Share What You Do Know

When you teach others, you’re painting a picture of your own value as a creative.

K. So now that you have a little oomph to your step, go out and practice these steps with head held high! You got this.

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