I read the story of Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs when I was a child, and it was one of my favorites. I’ve watched films and television shows based on the character many times over the years. I’ve been thinking about Tarzan recently, and it has occurred to me that we can learn a few things from him – and none of them have to do with rocking a loincloth. See if you agree:
You Need to Have a Unique Voice to Stand Out from the Crowd
Despite my best efforts, I can’t do the Tarzan yell. Anyone who has heard it will definitely remember the sound, though. As freelancers, we need to use our own, unique voice to make potential clients take notice of us and what we have to offer. Take stock of your strengths and mention them when you are applying for gigs.
Use Simple Language to Get Your Message Across
Tarzan doesn’t talk like a Harvard business graduate. Words may not be his strong suit, but he is able to make himself understood by keeping it simple. If a client is left shaking his or her head after you have made your pitch, you aren’t speaking their language. Keep it simple and focus on what they need and what you can do for them.
Become the Go-To Person by Developing Your Expertise in a Niche
Tarzan has developed his knowledge about things that are normal in the jungle and when something isn’t right, he can pick up on that too. If you want to be known as “The” person to go to for a particular niche market, you need to take the time to develop your knowledge.
He Swings Fastest Who Swings Alone
Tarzan decides what the right thing to do is and then swings into action. Freelancers need to make their own choices about what works for them and what kind of career they want and then go for it.
Every Now and Then You’re Going to Hit a Tree
There will be gigs that you really wanted to get that don’t work out. There may be other ones that seem like a great opportunity that turn out to be much more challenging than you thought. Some days you may be discouraged and feel like things will never pick up for you.
Keep on looking for gigs, find a way to get through the one that turned into a nightmare, and do whatever you need to do to get back on track if you are having one of “those” days. Sometimes all it needs is a good night’s sleep or a chat with a friend to give you some encouragement.
Are there any other things that freelancers can learn from Tarzan?