As a freelancer in 2020, your personal branding matters just as much as your skills and experience. The gig economy is growing at an unprecedented rate. This means while there’s more opportunity nowadays, there’s also more competition.
Now more than ever, you need to stand out in a sea of competitors who offer the same services as you. So regardless if you’re a writer, a digital marketer, or a web developer, you need to build a personal brand that can attract potential clients and reel in projects.
In this blog, we’ll be taking a dive into how a well-crafted yet authentic personal branding can help you shine more. Let’s get started!
Personal branding refers to the conscious effort you take to create and influence how others perceive you. It often involves positioning yourself as an authority in your niche, elevating your credibility, and differentiating yourself from the competition.
It serves the same purpose as branding for businesses in that it increases your value as a professional. This helps you land your most coveted projects or clients easier.
Your personal brand is built on your uniqueness and reputation as a solutions provider to your clients. It’s that distinctive mix of your skills, experience, personality, and the solutions you’re putting out into the world. It tells your story while reflecting on how you can provide the solutions that your clients need.
It’s the image that people see when they think or hear from you. It is a reflection of how they perceive you based on what you project out into the world through the information available about you on various platforms including on social media and your professional profile.
Ultimately, it’s that memorable impression you make on your clients that lets them know what to expect when you work with them to solve their pain points. It’s what distinguishes you as the better choice among the rest.
Building a strong personal brand is crucial if you want to take your freelancing career to new heights. It’s part of the strong foundation of a lasting business and here’s why:
It can help you position yourself as an expert in your field regardless if it’s content creation, graphic design, or app development. Your status as an authority figure strengthens your reputation. This makes it easier not only to get referrals from your satisfied clients but also to get inquiries from people you haven’t work with before.
In the long run, you can bank on this trust and loyalty as you move to bigger and better projects with your clientele.
Having a strong personal brand is important for freelancers because it adds a tremendous amount of value to your business. It gives clients a rock-solid reason to choose you instead of your competition.
However, building it takes consistent and intentional efforts. Here are 8 things you need to keep in mind to lay a strong foundation for your personal branding:
The first thing you need to do when building your personal branding is identifying what makes you unique. You have a one of a kind set of skills, passions, personal qualities, core values, and a story that no one else can replicate, so keep that in mind when building your brand. Think about how you can combine all of these into a valuable solution for your clients in the future.
There’re thousands of freelancers all over the world offering the same services as you. But there’s only one you. What is it about you and your solutions that others don’t have? Go beyond the services you provide and think about how you can solve your clients’ pain points.
Services like graphic design, blog writing, and SEO are a dime a dozen these days. So focus on what you can provide beyond your basic deliverables. What are your strategies that can help your client satisfy their needs and meet their goals?
As a freelancer in 2020, you need to have a little corner on the internet that’s completely yours. A personal website is not only an effective tool that lets clients know you exist, but it also gives people an inside perspective of you, your values, and your work experience.
Your website can showcase what you are capable of and what others think of you in the grand scheme of things. It’s also a great place to highlight how you work towards solving your clients’ problems.
Don’t just tell people what you do. Instead, make sure that your website tells people how they can benefit from your solutions.
Incorporate a gallery of your past works, a page for testimonials, and a blog where you can highlight your expertise in your field. Don’t forget to include contact information so people will know how to reach out to you.
Your visual identity is one of the most important branding assets you can have. Being associated with a certain color or image can help make your brand more memorable to your clients.
As a freelancer, you need to think about the color palette, illustration style, and font faces that you’ll use for materials like your business card, your website, and even your social media pages. Think of a combination of these elements that will make a lasting impression on potential clients.
Social media is at the forefront of bringing people together. As a freelancer looking to build your personal branding, it’s important to leverage this tool to your advantage. Use social media to gain more exposure for your solutions and services.
It’s important to know where your clients hang out online so you can reach them effectively. Don’t forget to create engaging content, follow your clients’ profiles, comment, and like their posts to build a strong connection with them.
You can also use social media to expand your network and connect with industry leaders. Use social networking platforms to initiate conversations and ask questions. Don’t forget to share their content and subscribe to their newsfeeds too.
A strong network is one of your most powerful tools as a freelancer. Look for opportunities to expand your network on platforms like Slack or Meetup.com. Establish yourself as a resource in your network by helping those around you.
Collaborate with other professionals, share your knowledge, and leverage the relationships you’ve built.
Part of building a strong personal branding is making sure that you leave a positive impression on your clients. Their experience while working with you is what they’ll always remember and will improve the odds of getting referrals from them in the future.
The best way to do this is to stay friendly, professional, and always be responsive to feedback. Be sure to understand their needs and let your work reflect that.
Effective communication, maintaining a positive attitude, and sharing your knowledge goes a long way in making sure your clients have an exceptional time working with you.
A key part of building a positive reputation as a freelancer is making sure that you are as reliable as can be when it comes to your deliverables. It’s always a good idea to submit your tasks on time, if not a little earlier than assigned.
You can also exceed your clients’ expectations by doing small things for them that may not necessarily be on your contract, but you know will help them in some way. You can explain your working process with them so they have a clear idea of what you’re up to. You can also ask questions proactively and offer constructive suggestions.
Today’s gig economy has made personal branding an essential part of advancing your career as a freelancer. It gives you a competitive edge by highlighting your unique value proposition as a solutions provider.
Apart from setting yourself apart from the competition, it also helps you to forge strong and lasting relationships with your clients and with other professionals in your niche.
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