If you have decided to work as a freelancer – congratulations. You probably have the skills desired by potential business partners. What you probably lack is an excess of clients. How to stand out from the crowd of professionals making clients come to you? One element of success is personal branding. In this article we will focus specifically on personal branding for freelancers.
Personal branding for freelancers – table of contents:
1. Start with analysis
If you’ve never done this, google your name. See what potential customers can find about you. If you find something disturbing, act accordingly. Try by asking the publishers to remove the information, photo or name from the site. If the deletion attempt is unsuccessful, you can try to position your content. Having a blog based on your name can help you with this.
The second step is to review your social media and accounts like Behance. Make sure you don’t have any content in public view that you don’t want to show to your contractors.
You can always change your privacy settings, or if that’s not possible, delete the content in question. Monitor if the channels you want to brag about are consistent – the same profile picture, for example, will help. That way no one will have any doubts that it’s yours.
Remember to add links to your profiles so that it’s easy to find others – especially if some else with the same name is active. About.me – a simple, free business card site – can help you with this. If you don’t use social media monitoring though we recommend such investment, go to SentiOne – you can carry out a demo search there. Also, keep your online data updated regularly.,/p>
2. Determine your goal
It’s no rocket science that incentives determine actions. Values with which an individual identifies are very important when it comes to personal branding for freelancers. A different set of them will be important for your IT clients and different for buyers of your copywriting skills. Establish priorities. Ideally, break the process down into smaller bits. Review your profiles and your website or blog for exposure to relevant values.
It doesn’t mean holding back from posting personal beliefs or feelings, but you need to be aware that contractors may scan you on different levels. If you don’t have one, open accounts on relevant portals and sites for experts. You might also consider Goldenline or LinkedIn. It’s worth at least updating your resume there. You might acquire new leads there.
3. Plan your activities
It is a known fact that not everyone has time to devote several hours a day to nurture their online image. But as we already proved – personal branding for freelancers is very important, to plan yourself a few minutes every day for this task – regularity will ensure the implementation of activities, and will not consume your precious time.
Consider how you want to create your expert image. Different industries have different desired behaviors. The easiest way is to use content marketing. You can start a blog, submit it to portals and industry newspapers offering expert texts or commentaries. Attending selected meetings or conferences can be of great value. From such meetings, you can upload your presentation on slideshare. There is no rule of thumb whether you should do it for free or for money.
Think about what is more profitable for you: numerous minor-league clients that come quick and easy, or maybe fewer but more difficult and valuable big shots? The second one can be achieved by diving deeper into the topic of personal branding for freelancers. How about your ideal clients- what is important to them? Why will they choose you over other contractors? What price is right for them: one that makes them appreciate the work, i.e., a lot, but still willing to spend that amount. No marketing efforts will work if you don’t know what you want to communicate and to whom.
4. Partners and associates
You can also seek help from others. If you are a programmer, it’s good to know some graphic designers. Do you write texts? Proofreading support can come in handy. You’ll increase your chances in the market by offering your services and the support of other subcontractors.
5. Start with yourself
No branding efforts will help if you don’t take care of your image. How do you sell? At meetings or through your website? How do you schedule them? Where do your customers come from? If you know the process of acquiring leads and converting them, you can work on improving it. Maybe the website needs enhancement because people can’t find content that interests them? Maybe people are expecting more content?
Elements to consider are: recommendations from customers, a case study (if you offer services) or some kind of demo (if you have a product, like an app). It’s worthwhile to brag about the companies you’ve worked with, but mainly when you know they can recommend you – especially if someone is eager to verify your skills. Consider how you can encourage your clients to leave a recommendation. If you give away some freebies, you may get some more opinions.
6. Target audience
Not everyone can be your customer. Not everyone should be. Think about which clients will be the most suitable for you. The clients you cooperate with is a very important aspect of personal branding for freelancers. Those willing to pay a reasonable amount of money or those satisfied with your services or skills. Establish your strengths and weaknesses because it’s easy to take on projects that won’t pay off or won’t be feasible for you.
7. Be careful with your image
Watch out for possible dangers. It is very easy to regret publishing content. You have to be very careful about the information you display. You may find that you violate the terms of your contract and publish something confidential, harmful or personal. But the most obvious danger is that you don’t live up to your potential.
8. Choose your area of interest
It’s hard to have good marketing if your product isn’t good. Research requires the use of social media monitoring, Twitter search, Buzzsumo – a tool for finding popular articles on a topic – or Ritetag, Twitter’s hashtag tool. Be consistent, think strategically. Don’t delude yourself into thinking you can have official work profiles and private channels. Rethink your presence. You can use ifttt, a tool to create relationships between accounts, or Knowem, a system to check if a given login is free.
9. Create meaningful content
Good personal branding for freelancers comes with creating valuable content. People have to see and believe it. Create graphics in Canva, and manage several accounts with Buffer or Hootsuit. Pitch people. Talk. In addition to monitoring, just unfollow will come in handy – it will check who is not worth following, and advanced Facebook queries will indicate who is worth contacting. Remember that you are the CEO and you are the brains behind your personal brand. Manage it accordingly.