The freelancing industry is on a never-ending upward trajectory, driven by tech advancement and the rising gig economy. What’s more, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted leaders around the world to outsource various business processes, embrace remote work, and rely on freelancers more than ever before. Without a doubt, the time is right for you to start building a thriving freelancing career.
That said, this doesn’t mean that the lucrative and opportune freelancing industry guarantees success to newcomers. In fact, the sheer competitiveness of the sector is driving prices down and creating a culture of cheap labor that many clients are keen on exploiting.
If you want to stand out and actually make a decent living as a freelancer, you need to build a powerful brand. The quality of your services might be comparable to other freelancers, but it is your brand that will inspire clients to choose you and gladly pay more. A powerful brand will help you gain new clients and retain the best ones of the long haul.
With all of that in mind, here are the five awesome tips you should use to brand yourself as a freelancer and ensure long-term success in your niche.
Create a personal brand identity
First and foremost, every brand no matter if it’s a corporate or personal one, needs to have an identity. A brand identity encompasses everything that makes your brand truly unique in the competitive market, including:
- A brand personality.
- A brand tone of voice.
- Brand values, mission, and vision.
- Brand visuals and all aesthetic elements.
- Unique brands strengths and value proposition.
- The brand’s promises and messages.
- The brand’s culture.
- The brand’s attributes.
It is imperative that you identify and implement all of these elements into the brand-building process in order to develop a unique and memorable brand identity that people will know and love. Your goal should be able to spark the right emotional response when people come in contact with your brand, and to connect with your brand persona on a deeper level. To achieve this, you have to make the right first impression with your avatar.
Develop a recognizable avatar and name
Having a unique avatar and brand name that portrays your brand’s personality in its look and feel is one of the best ways to become more identifiable in the oversaturated online world. Remember, you’re building a personal brand as a freelancer, so it’s important that your brand’s name is easy to remember, type into the search box, and that your avatar complements your overarching brand identity.
It’s also imperative that you use both your brand name and your logo consistently across all your online and offline channels. This ensures brand consistency and memorability.
For the avatar, you can use a photo of yourself, an artistic depiction of yourself, or you can create a logo. Both are great choices and it will come down to the preferences of your target demographic. Whatever you choose, make sure that the avatar is consistent with the brand, the industry, and that it sets you apart from the competition.
As for the name, you’ll typically want to combine your field of work with your name, such as Jeff’s Graphic Design, or Mat the Writer. These are basic examples, but you get the gist – make it short and to the point, and use your brand name to immediately tell people what you’re all about.
Personalize your website as much as possible
It should go without saying that to set yourself apart from all other freelancers, you need to build a personal website. As a novice, you can rely on popular freelancing platforms to get gigs, but if you want to start getting those high-paying clients, having your own website is a must.
Of course, it can’t be just another freelance website, it needs to be a personalized, engaging online presentation. Start by choosing a branded domain name and extension like .me to create a personal website that is memorable and recognizable. Continue by adding your unique logo and brand name to the homepage, and then focus on creating website copy that’s tailored to your audience.
While you can’t hope to personalize the experience to the individual, you can definitely tailor the copy to the unique likes of your target demographic and the market as a whole. To achieve this, you will need to develop your unique brand voice, which brings us to the next crucial point.
Create a distinct brand voice
In a world where many freelancers look and sound the same to the majority of potential clients, you want to stand out with your professional yet recognizable tone of voice. Having a unique tone of voice will not only set you apart from the competition, it will also help you get new clients and retain old ones over the long haul because your voice will help you develop a more meaningful relationship.
Again, as a freelancer, you need to optimize your brand’s tone of voice according to the needs, values, and the unique sensibilities of your audience. So do your research first. Be careful and spend some time fine-tuning your voice, though, because the wrong kind of voice can do more damage than good.
You don’t just want to stand out, you want to attract clients by talking in a way that they understand. After all, a sparkly tone of voice might alienate people in the legal sector, but it can do wonders for you in some other industry – so make sure to optimize it properly.
Develop an engaging bio
Lastly, be sure to write a killer biography for your website and all other marketing channels. Creating a winning biography is an essential part of the brand-building process, because people want to get to know the professional before investing in your services.
The main mistake freelancers make is that they focus too much on themselves and their achievements. Yes, talk about yourself, but don’t overwhelm the reader, because at the end of the day, all that clients care about is themselves and their needs.
So, talk about yourself and your achievements, but transition quickly how you help clients achieve their goals, and what you can do for the person who is reading your bio. Link a few of your best projects in the bio to lead people to your portfolio and seal the deal.
The freelancing market might be on the rise, but building a thriving career is still a tough challenge. Use these brand-building tips to elevate yourself above the competition and the noise, grab the attention of the best clients, and finally charge your worth.