If you’re a freelancer, then you know how important it is to build your brand. If you haven’t started just yet, no worries, you want to take your time and do it right so you’ll able to get the best jobs, the best clients, and the biggest payouts.
While it might seem tedious, creating a personal brand is very important. You want people to know who you are and what you stand for. Your company comes second, believe it or not. People will pay more for personality than you may think. No matter what business you’re in, if you rely on yourself to get work done, you can benefit from personal branding.
I cannot even begin to tell you just how important it is to be authentic in your branding. This means showing people who you really are as a person and company. Be transparent. Talk about your interests, donate some profits to a charity you love, people respect personalities more than corporate conglomerates. The more ‘real’ you are to a client, the higher the chance of being hired for a potential job.
Define Who You Are
The most important step in creating a personal brand is defining who you are. If you’re already authentic, you’re only half way there. When starting out, you might not know what you want to be known for. Ask people in your field what they would expect out of someone in your industry.
Use this feedback and figure out what traits you think are the most important. Apply those traits to yourself or your company.
I received varied answers, but took those answers to heart and began sorting through which ones I could work with. When you know your limits, you can make a much more personalized brand. Define what your strengths are, and use them to their fullest potential in your brand. Pick out some keywords that mean a lot to you and use them in your branding.
Unique Selling Point
Once you know what is important to you, try to narrow down and find what is important to your clients. They want someone who is different from the competition and has a very unique selling point. Many people will differentiate themselves as an independent freelancer, which is good, but people are already using this one. Think about unique ways you can stand out, and make sure you talk about it. Having a unique selling point is a great way to get people to remember you: “Oh yeah, isn’t she the one who offers products in 72 hours or less?’
Create an Outlet
Creating a brand is all well and good, but you need to get your brand out there. It’s vital to your success that you create some type of outlet for your brand to be seen. It’s best to do this with a blog or a website. If you don’t already have one, it’s time to get up to speed and get yourself a site.
You will want to own your domain, since you will be giving it out to tons of people. Make sure that you get yourself a .com instead of a .net or .org since it is much easier for clients to remember. When you create a page, make sure that you’re putting your brand everywhere that you possibly can.
In today’s world, social media is very important. If you’re not on Facebook or Twitter yet, don’t get too worried about being late to the game, start to create your accounts and get used to sharing and interacting with people. You don’t need to have a profile on every site out there, but make sure that people can easily find you.
It’s important that you take time creating these sites and you do not rush it. The more time you spend, the better your page is going to be. Also, spend time making sure that from your website, to your blog, to your YouTube account that you have the same color scheme and layout, since this will only convey your brand further. If you don’t have consistency, it will be harder for people to remember your brand.
Oh, and one more thing. Try to make sure your username (your name or your company’s name) is the same across all your social networks.
Implement Your Brand
Last, but certainly not least, you need to get your brand out there! When you’ve spent as much time as you have making a name for yourself, you need to be sure that people are seeing it. I found that making T-shirts and passing them out at meetings was actually very helpful.
It might seem a little strange, but put your name and logo on everything that you possibly can; this will get your brand into the public eye and ensure that people are seeing who you are and what you’re doing. If potential clients aren’t seeing your name, you’re not going to get many projects to work on in the future.