In business, companies with a well-established, memorable brand have a huge competitive advantage. It’s that invisible, intangible driver that makes people choose Coke over Pepsi or Nike over Adidas, and vice versa. As a freelancer, it will be down to you to define your own brand and communicate it well in order to differentiate yourself from the crowd. We’re here to help get your branding journey underway, so read on to discover the steps you can take to excel in your career.
What is personal branding?
Think about it—as a solopreneur, you are the face of your freelance business. What people (and potential clients) think of you impacts the success of your freelance career. Do they hold you in high regard? Do they think you’re creative and capable, and highly skilled and experienced? Why?
The concept of defining your personal brand statement and building a personal brand makes total sense. Essentially, your personal brand is your reputation. When you’re trying to establish yourself as an expert in your field—whether that’s design, programming, photography or writing—your reputation is what distinguishes you from your competitors and helps you create a positive, lasting impression in the mind of your ideal customers.
Why is personal branding important?
Getting your personal branding defined should be a conscious decision—one that will help you steer your freelance business in the right direction. here are some key reasons why this is important:
- Target your audience:
Figuring out your personal brand will allow you to amplify your business message and reach the right audience. In business, like in life, people connect and relate to people, not brands. If you can clarify with yourself what you stand for and what values your business upholds, you can start using this personal branding statement to build a community and attract like-minded clients. As the internet wisely puts it—your vibe attracts your tribe.
- Share your skills:
Another huge benefit of building a personal brand is the ability to build trust with your target audience and position yourself as an expert in the field. As soon as you become an authority in your area of expertise, you’ll start getting referrals and inquiries from people you’ve never done business with. And that’s exactly what your freelance business needs to take off successfully.
- Build trust:
Over time, as your personal branding grows stronger and more memorable, it will become your competitive edge. Even if you branch out into new areas and start offering new services, people will trust you to deliver the same kind of quality and expertise. Plus, in the long run, a strong personal brand will also allow you to charge premium rates and have a much wider breadth of projects to choose from.
Personal branding is a non-negotiable for freelancers who want to build a lasting business. But how does one go about building a compelling and profitable personal brand? We have a few personal branding tips that will help you hit the ground running.
Personal branding tips for freelance success
Building a personal brand requires consistent efforts. It’s not something you do once and stick it in the drawer. But there are a few powerful steps that you can take at the very beginning of your freelancing journey to lay the right foundations.
Figure out what makes you, YOU
Sounds basic? It is. But the importance of authenticity and consistency in personal branding cannot be overstated. Instead of inventing new versions of yourself to meet someone’s expectations, let your personal and business values guide your decisions. Once you have your personal branding defined, put it at the heart of your decision-making. There’s nothing wrong with being flexible and creative in how you forge your path, as long as you stick to your moral guiding compass.
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One of the best ways to build a personal brand is to create memorable, lasting associations in the mind of your ideal customers. Instead of endlessly promoting yourself and your services, talk about the things that light your fire. Leverage your work-related passions, hobbies, and topics in which you can really showcase your knowledge to create the pillars of your personal brand and define your personal influence space. What should people think about when they think about you and your freelance business?
Invest in professional headshots
Having a professional headshot taken will help you make a better first impression. You can use it on your personal website or portfolio and in your email and social media accounts. It’s one of those small details that are instrumental in setting the right tone.
Scope out your story
Your “about” page and your personal story are one of the biggest advantages you’ll have as a freelancer. Telling your personal story in a compelling and authentic way is a simple and effective way to connect with people on a personal level, which leads to stronger professional relationships and more business.
Think carefully about your business brand
If you’re planning to establish a business brand alongside your own personal brand, you should think carefully about your mission, vision and business values to ensure they’re aligned with your personal beliefs. This will help you make sure that both brands complement each other nicely and work in harmony—when one gets a boost, both benefit.
Define your visual identity
A brand’s visual identity is one of the most powerful branding assets. It’s a way to build and strengthen associations as well as to make your brand more memorable. The power of colors on the human brain is a real phenomenon, so make sure you do your research before settling down with a color palette, illustration style or your brand’s font.
Get a personal website up and running
And once you have the visual identity defined, you can move forward with creating an eye-catching logo, registering a unique domain and building your personal branding website. Luckily, with a range of affordable, easy-to-use website build platforms out there, you don’t need to invest a lot of money or time in building a professional-looking site. But a well-designed website can give your personal brand a serious credibility boost—so, no cutting corners on this one!
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