This is a matter of both self-and-public perception. I've found that saying, "I'm a freelancer" translates to some as, "I'm struggling and will take whatever crumbs you throw my way." In other words, it sounds and feels desperate and poor. Instead, try identifying as a business owner, or an independent service, or a consultant. What term feels powerful to you?
However, if people ask me, "Are you freelance?" I don't say, "No." Instead I answer, "I have my own business, yes." Or, "I'm a free agent — and yes, I'm available for projects."Don't use the F word (Freelancer)