I’m not going to lie, I really, really don’t like phone calls. Phone calls are probably in my top 5 things that make me super anxious, especially when they’re with people I don’t know. Lucky for me, being a freelancer means having to go through a lot of phone calls and zoom meetings with people I don’t know. Even better? On a lot of these calls I’m the one leading and trying to convince a potential client why they should choose to work with ME over someone else. Cue all of the anxious jitters and butterflies!
However, I’ve compiled a small list of things I do to help curb my anxiety before and during these calls, and I gotta say, they work for me! So here are my 8 tips to getting over the anxiety of a discovery call. Let’s dive in!
tip #1 – get dressed, do your hair, & put on a little makeup
Being a work from home type of gal, I often find myself in sweats and a t-shirt, with greasy hair and no makeup. I’m just being honest! However, there’s something about putting on normal people clothes, doing your hair, and putting on makeup that gives me a little boost of confidence. I feel like my life is a little more put together, ya know? Especially if you’re having a video call with a potential client, you want to make sure you look presentable.
tip #2 – make your space calming
Few things relax me more than being in a calm space. So, if you’re having your discovery call at home at your desk, maybe light a candle, make a cup of tea, or plug in some string lights. Whatever relaxes and calms you…there’s no wrong way to go about it!
tip #3 – prepare for the call
When I first dipped into discovery calls, I would stress out over every single word I wanted to say. So naturally, I would type out word for word what I wanted to cover on my calls. Seems like a good idea in theory, right? Except for the fact that you can’t plan out the exact questions the client will ask you, or how the conversation will flow. 9 times out of 10, I couldn’t even use my script because even if the client asked me a question I had an answer written out for, it was too overwhelming for me to hurry up and find the spot where I had typed out the answer. You want the conversation to flow naturally.
So, instead of writing everything down, I started writing out bullet points. I don’t need to write every single thing down because I know myself and I know my business. As long as I have those bullet points, I’m able to extrapolate and then the conversation can just flow naturally! It’s okay if you forget to say a few things, don’t stress over it!
Be sure to also write down questions you want to ask your potential clients (e.g. how many images do you need? how will you be using the images? when do you need the images submitted by?).
tip #4 – practice talking out loud
This might sound silly, but it really does help! Simply practice saying “Hi! How are you? Thanks so much for taking the time to jump on this call with me”. Just saying words out loud beforehand helps to relieve some of that built up anxiety.
If you want to dig deeper, practice talking about yourself and your business. Explain how your process works, what sets you apart from other photographers, and so on. This way when you hop on the call you aren’t stumbling over your words! Sometimes I start talking and have no idea where I’m going with it, so practicing in advance is crucial for me.
tip #5 – pretend you’re your best friend, and she’s talking about you
This is the biggest tip that personally helps me the most. When I am able to get out of my own head and not even view myself as myself, that’s when I can really let go of my anxious thoughts.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, but with some practice, you can do it, too!
I get into the mindset of one of my closest friends. Then, I ask myself, how would they talk about me and my business to others? They wouldn’t be nervous to talk about it. Instead, they would be excited, proud, and confident! Get into that headspace. When you’re on that discovery call, you’re no longer yourself. You’re your best friend who is always hyping you up!
tip #6 – have a cup of tea or coffee to hold onto
I like to use my hands when I get nervous. Really, they FLAIL. So, to keep the hands at bay, I love to hold onto a warm cup of coffee during my calls. There’s something really comforting and grounding about holding onto something warm during a situation that makes you a little nervous.
tip #7 – remind yourself that you’re not special!
Oh boy. What do I mean by this? Well, first of all, you’re totally special! You bring something unique and valuable to the table, so don’t forget that.
What I mean by this is that most likely the person you’re talking to hops on calls like this all of the time. This is normal for them. So if they’re not thinking twice about it, why should you? Keep telling yourself it’s not a big deal, because it’s not! It’s just two people getting to know each other and their businesses, and seeing if it’s a good fit!
And remember, we’re all only human. 🙂
tip #8 – remember, the only way to get better is to keep on doing it!
Each call will get easier and easier over time. That’s what motivates me to keep hopping on calls. And nothing feels better than hanging up the call and saying “I DID that”. Even if it didn’t go exactly how you had planned, you still went through with it and that’s something to be so proud of. Celebrate all of those little wins!!
bonus tip! don’t sit and wait around for the call to happen
I’ve done this one too many times. The few hours leading up to a call, I just sit at my desk and anxiously wait. I do this because I simply cannot focus on work or anything else until the call is over and done with. I encourage you to go for a walk beforehand, tidy up the house, or read a few chapters of a book.
Actually, as I’m typing this, I’m a mere hour and 20 minutes away from a discovery call! Keeping busy beforehand has been so helpful to keep the nerves away!
So what do you think? Did this help at all? Let me know if you try any of these tips and good luck on your next call. YOU GOT THIS!
xx, kaitlin 🙂