Being a freelancer is a dream job for many but it is also one of the scariest business decisions you can make. Although being your own boss and escaping the cubicle sounds like the greatest thing in the world, the anxiety that comes with it does not. Wondering whether or not you’ll have enough clients to make ends meet and figuring out finances for freelancers in general usually balances out the euphoria.
However, successful freelancers didn’t get to where they are by sheer luck. Hard work and an amazing portfolio were key, but they also have something that makes them stand head over shoulders from their competitors: a strong brand.
Freelancer branding is probably one of the hardest things for entrepreneurs to wrap their heads around.
Branding for a business is one thing, but when you are the business its a completely different story. Do you brand yourself as an individual or as a company? Is it a combination of both?
The questions can be never-ending when it comes to this subject — and when you are a full-time freelancer, the answers are vitally important.
So how exactly should you brand yourself as a freelancer? Here’s what you should know.
Tell Your Story
All great brands have a great story behind them. Having a killer resume is an important aspect of your website, but clients are going to want more than just a list of your skills. Although freelancers mostly work on their own, they do have to communicate and interact with their clients.
Compatibility between a freelancer and client is equally as important as the skill or quality of work that’s being done. That being said, a potential client needs to know the kind of person you are, the work you do, and your values just by looking at your website. Easier said than done, right?
Don’t let this discourage you, though. After all, who knows you better than you?
Tell your story the best way you know how. Share details about your life and what you did before you decided to become a freelancer. Show visitors how you got into the industry and describe your favorite parts of your job.
Let your personality and passion shine through your text and design. Display the work you are most proud of that represents who you are as a freelancer. The more people can grasp from your website, the more likely the right people will come to you and offer you work.
No matter if the industry you are freelancing in involves visual content or not, we live in a world where images have a huge impact on the impression people have about a brand. If someone visits a clunky website with bad graphics, they will exit out of that window as soon as they can. The visuals of a brand have a lot to say about the freelancer who’s behind it.
When it comes to freelancer branding, every detail, even down to the colors you choose, will influence whether or not a potential client will engage with you.
For example, if your website is sleek, well designed, and fast, they’ll think the same things about you and your work. On the other hand, if your site is slow, visually unappealing, and hard to navigate, people won’t be waiting in line to do business with you.
An important part of the overall design process is logo creation. This is something that should be done with care, consideration, and with the help of a professional. Once you nail down a design, you need to stick to it. Whether it be your website, social media accounts, or business cards, you need to keep the same design elements so that no matter what it is, people will know right off the bat the brand represents you.
Get Your Blog On
Hopefully, you already have a blog, but if you don’t, it’s time to make one pronto. It’s not enough just to have a website anymore. You need to provide valuable content that people can use and learn from. Don’t be afraid to give away trade secrets and helpful tips and tricks that improve your workflow either. Instead of giving an edge to the competition, clients will learn that you are knowledgeable in your field and can trust your abilities to complete an assignment to their liking.
Having a blog also broadens your reach by increasing the outlets where people can discover you. If you create quality content, people will soon take notice, linking and talking about your posts on their own websites. When this happens enough times, you will be exposed to larger audiences that contain a plethora of potential clients for your freelancing business.
You want readers to be engaged and excited for each new post to come out. Don’t leave them hanging. Just make sure to stay on topic and not stray too far off the path of your industry. Potential clients will be reading it, so it’s best to save unrelated opinions and rants for your personal blog.
When you make the leap from moonpreneur to full-time freelancer, it’s a moment of great exhilaration and great fear. You’re excited to finally be doing what you love and on your own terms, but it’s also daunting to remove the safety net of a consistent and stable paycheck.
There are plenty of successful freelancers out there — and they didn’t find their success by accident. Having the right skills and examples of work certainly helps, but the one thing all great freelancers have in common is a recognizable brand that clients are drawn to over and over again.
With the right freelancer branding in place, potential clients will come to know you and the kind of work you produce. When your brand gains visibility, you’ll see how effective branding is and the benefits that come with it. Just be yourself and your brand identity will surely follow.