When you meet a potential client or catch up with friends and family, how do you describe what you do?

Do you say that you’re a freelance designer, writer, photographer, etc?

How do they react when you tell them that? Is it positive? Negative? Indifferent?

Fast Co. has published a fantastic article that you absolutely need to read. It discusses the negative connotations that are too often associated with the word “freelancer.”

“THE TROUBLE WITH “FREELANCER”

The words you use influence others’ perception of you. What’s your first thought when you hear the word “freelancer”? Do you picture a college kid working out of her parent’s basement? Many people who call themselves freelancers don’t exactly think of what they do as a business. But they should.

Saying you’re a freelancer doesn’t signal to others that you’re a know-what-you’re-doing, take-no-crap professional. That bias may be unfair, but it’s a reality. Clients too often see freelance arrangements as low-cost line items rather than strategic partnerships.

And that creates a power imbalance, with the client in charge—hardly an ideal situation for independent workers, especially those trying to start a business with the express purpose of gaining more freedom over their work. Others start working on their own after they quit a job or get laid off. Maybe freelancing was just the path of least resistance, possibly begun by picking up work from a former employer.”

Be sure to check out the full article at Fast Company.