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How to Be a More Confident Designer

Do you struggle when speaking to clients?

Designers, more often than not, tend to have a hard time exuding confidence in client-facing meetings. And for good reason: those meetings can be pretty intimidating.

Creatives naturally tend to go all in on their craft. They don’t necessarily enjoy speaking to clients or selling their services. But if you’re a creative who’s looking to freelance, or start a creative business, Chris and Jose share some tips on how to be a more confident designer.

In this video, Chris and Jose break down three principles to boost your self-confidence, as well as some tips to follow the next time you find yourself in a client meeting.

Three Principles to Be More Confident

Believe it or not, you can train yourself to be more confident. Though it’ll be uncomfortable at first, the more you practice, the easier it will be to hone in on your confident mindset.

Chris (who’s a natural introvert) shares three principles he learned from boosting his own confidence:

  1. Find an anchor. What is something you’re exceptionally good at? Something that makes you different or unique? Find that thing and anchor yourself around that.
  2. Find someone to emulate. Who is someone you admire and want to be like? Study their traits and behaviors, how they interact with others, and try these on for size. See what works when you copy someone else’s confidence.
  3. Undersell and over-deliver. All too often, creatives think they need to know everything going into a client meeting. Be open and honest about what you don’t know, but share you’re willing to learn everything you can about the client’s industry. Don’t oversell yourself at first. Be humble and show off your capabilities over time.

The Introverts’ Advantage

Whether you’re introverted or just shy in social situations, you have a unique power that is hard to master: you’re a great listener.

When you’re not always involved in the conversation, you can observe and absorb the information better. You take the time to digest what someone is saying. You listen intently.

Clients want to feel that their needs and concerns are heard. They don’t always want you to have all the answers; they just want someone to listen and work with them to find a solution.

Recognize your skill as a good listener and use it to your advantage.

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect

Nobody is perfect. We’re all human. Mistakes are inevitable. Remember that it’s OK to mess up and not have all the answers right away. You’ll grow as you learn.

Acknowledge when you’re wrong and when you make mistakes, and see what you can learn from each opportunity.

It’s human nature to protect our ego from embarrassment. But this isn’t always the best strategy. Your ego often gets in the way of you admitting what you don’t know. Try to be open to the possibility you might fail, and remind yourself things will always work out.

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