"Despite putting in all of this effort, many people are still dissuaded when it comes time to apply because their dream role requires more years of experience than they have. If you're only off by a few years, fear not!
Rather than focusing on that, instead, I want you to look at the description and ask yourself "Why does this company want to hire for this position?" Companies hire people to perform tasks that drive revenue and increase their bottom line. If you're equipped to do what they're asking for in the description and can back it up with your new experience, you can and should apply. Just make sure to add your new side gig (or internship or whatever you did to earn experience) to your resume and LinkedIn.
For example, since my freelance side gig focused on driving real estate leads for communities across the US, I leveraged that in my application materials and throughout the interview process. I brought up the fact that I pitched all my clients on my own and drove a higher volume of leads at a lower cost than any of the competitive platforms. That experience helped me land the offer over several other candidates with more "experience," but fewer concrete results.
While this all sounds like a lot of work, I'm proof that you really can do it. So if you're truly passionate about making a change, stop making excuses and take the first step."