Personal branding. Building a personal brand of a freelancer

personal_brand_woman If you’ve decided to work as a freelancer – congratulations. You probably have the skills that potential business partners want. What you’re probably missing is an excess of customers. How to distinguish yourself from many specialists so that customers come to you? One of the elements of success is personal branding. I have some tips for you on how to build a personal brand.

Start with analysis

If you’ve never done this, Google your full name. Check what potential customers can find about you. If you found something disturbing – react. You can try to ask for a photo of information from the site or removal of your photo or name. If your deletion attempt was unsuccessful, you can try to position your content. Keeping a blog based on your name will help you.

The second step is to browse your social media. Check if you have any content in the public view that you do not want to show to your contractors. You can always change the privacy settings, and if it is impossible – delete the content. Make sure that your channels that you want to brag about are consistent – e.g. the same profile picture will help. Thanks to this, no one will have any doubts about whether it is yours. Also, remember to add links on the profiles, to make it easy to find more profiles – especially if other people with the same name are active. About.me, a simple, free business card site, can help. If you do not use social media monitoring, although I recommend such an investment, go to SentiOne – you can conduct a demo there to search for information about yourself. Keep your data up-to-date on the web.

Define your goal

It is known that depending on what you want, you have to take other actions. Different values will be important for IT clients, different if you want to sell your writing skills. Make clear what you care about. It’s best to break the process down into stages. Review your profiles and website or blog for exposure to relevant values. I’m not saying that you can’t publish what you want on private profiles, but you have to be aware of the fact that contractors may scan you at different levels. If you don’t have one, open accounts on relevant portals and expert sites. You can also consider LinkedIn. It’s worth at least updating your CV there. However, I know from experience that you can also get leads there.

Plan your activities

It is known that not everyone has the time to spend several hours a day analyzing their personal branding on the Internet. Plan a few or a dozen minutes every day for this task – regularity will ensure the implementation of activities, and it will not be a thief of time.

Think about how you want to create your image of an expert. Different behaviors are desired in different industries. The easiest way is to use content marketing. You can start a blog, report to portals, and trade newspapers by offering texts or expert comments. It is also a good idea to participate in selected meetings or conferences. You can upload your presentation from such a meeting on Slideshare. There is no universal rule as to whether you should do it for free or for money. Think about what is more profitable for you: many smaller customers, quick and easy, or maybe less, but more difficult and more valuable? Your ideal client – what is important for him? Why will they choose you over other contractors? What price is right for them: such that they appreciate the work (not too cheap), but are ready to spend that amount. No marketing activities will be effective if you do not know what and to whom you want to communicate.

Partners and associates

You can also seek help from others. If you’re programming, it’s good to know a few graphics. Do you write lyrics? It doesn’t hurt to have correction support. You will increase your chances on the market by offering your services and the support of other subcontractors.

6 ideas for using social media in personal branding

  1. Portfolio – you can post your works, projects, or clients on your channels. However, remember not to bore the observers.
  2. Help – a simple method of image building is to help others. Get involved in groups or use monitoring to answer questions by presenting your knowledge and gaining sympathy.
  3. Research – social media is a mine of knowledge. Use them for work. Learn about new trends, learn more about customers, observe the competition.
  4. Collaboration – it is easy to find partners or people who can help you online. You can search for them taking into account many factors and characteristics, e.g. place of residence or the nature of the person.
  5. Personality – show yourself. Stand out. Find your niche.
  6. Image building – the most vivid use. Build your image as an expert, rebel, advisor – whatever you want.6 ideas_Firmbee

Start with yourself

No image-building activities will help if you do not take care of your image yourself. How do you sell? At meetings or via the website? How do you arrange them? Where are your customers coming from? Knowing the process of acquiring leads and converting them, you can work on improving it. Maybe the site needs improvement because people can’t find the content they are interested in? Maybe people expect more content?

Elements to think about are: recommendations from customers, case study (if you offer services), or some demo (if you have a product, e.g. an application). It is worth bragging about the companies you have worked with, but mainly when you know that they can recommend you – especially if someone wants to verify your skills. Consider how you can encourage your clients to leave a recommendation. This is an obvious benefit for you, but also show them what they will get from it.

Target group

Not everyone can be your customer. Not everyone should. Think about which customers will be the most suitable for you. Willing to pay a reasonable amount and satisfied with your services or skills. Estimate your strength for intentions, because it is easy to take projects that will not be profitable or turn out to be impossible for you.

Watch your image

The possible dangers should also be mentioned. It’s very easy to regret the published content. You have to be very careful about the subject of published information. You may find that you breach the terms of the contract and post a few words too many. But the most obvious danger is that you won’t reach your potential.

How to build your brand on social media?

Choose your area of interest. What you are good at. It’s hard to have good marketing if your product isn’t good. Research requires the use of social media monitoring, Twitter search engine, Buzzsumo – a tool for finding popular texts on a given topic – or Ritetag, a tool for hashtags on Twitter.

Be consistent, think strategically. Don’t be under the illusion that you may have official job profiles and private channels. Consider your presence. IFTTT – a tool for creating dependencies between accounts, or Know, a system for checking if a given login is free will help you.

Create good content. People have to see and believe. Create graphics in Canva and manage multiple accounts with a buffer or Hootsuite. Come out to the people. Talk.

In addition to monitoring, just unfollow will be useful – it will check who is worth following, and advanced queries on Facebook will indicate who to contact. Remember that you are the CEO and you are responsible for building your personal brand. Manage it properly.

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