Brand development is one of the key goals for businesses everywhere. By developing a brand, businesses are able to carve out a customer base and ensure that they keep coming back.
Like many other parallels between working as a freelancer and owning a business, brand development is also an important consideration for freelancers as well. In the same way that developing a brand is beneficial to businesses selling a product, freelancers can use brand development to attract new clients, retain current clients, and even increase the rates that they are able to demand.
If you’re unsure how to go about developing a beneficial brand for your freelancing career, follow the tips in this guide to get started.
In freelancing, it’s often better to do one thing really well than to be decently good at a variety of things. If you can set yourself apart as an expert in a specific niche, finding clients in that niche who are willing to pay you top-dollar rates will become much easier.
For example, a freelance copywriter may establish themselves as an expert at writing product descriptions, or a freelancer photographer may specialize in shooting weddings. While both would still be able to pick up work outside these niches, developing a brand focused around these niches will set them apart from the competition and enable them to command higher rates when they are working within the niche that they specialize in.
Best of all, the niche you choose is entirely up to you. While the more in-demand a niche is the better, you may be surprised by the abundance of work available in a wide range of highly specific fields and niches.
Your Communication is a Part of Your Brand
Freelancers have a few less opportunities to establish their brand than a company selling a product. With this being the case, it’s important to take advantage of every brand-development opportunity that you have available.
One such opportunity is your communication with your clients. How do you want to come across to them? Themes such as professionalism, helpfulness, and astuteness are all themes that you may wish to incorporate into your communication. In addition to these, you may wish to establish other, more unique themes depending on what you want to be known for such as a slightly personal level of friendliness or even quirkiness and humor. In the end, the brand you establish through your communication is entirely up to you.
In addition to incorporating themes into your communication, you may also wish to adopt certain standards such as how you deliver files, your email signature, and more. These standards provide clients with a sense of familiarity when they work with you and may help persuade them to keep coming back to you for more work.
Create an Online Presence
For freelancers who are working primarily online, your web presence is by far the bulk of your brand. This web presence can include your profiles on sites that you are working off of, social media pages, and even your own website.
In all aspects of your online presence, it’s important to consider the brand that you are trying to develop. When creating profiles for yourself, be sure to be thorough and professional, drawing emphasis to your particular skills and specialties. When creating your own website, you’ll have even more control over the design and the content. Think carefully about the ideas you want to convey about yourself to potential clients and try to incorporate those ideas into your website design.
Lastly, you may wish to make use of social media in order to better connect with your clients and establish your brand. However you go about building an managing your online presence, keep in mind that it is the most effective tool you have available for establishing your freelancing brand. Take advantage of it as best you can.
Create a Logo
The first step of brand development for most every business is to develop a logo that captures the theme of their business and helps convey a message to potential clients and customers. As a freelancer, you too can make use of a great-looking logo to help make your web presence look more professional.
Whether it’s true or not, clients often associate logos with experience and professionalism. Take advantage of this association by having a logo designed for your freelancing business and displaying it across your online presence.
Having a great logo is especially important if you are working in any sort of design field. Before you can convince clients to let you design their projects, it certainly helps to display some great designs of your own.
Develop a Bio
When you go into business as a freelancer, you are selling yourself. Many clients will want to know a little bit more about who they are working with, and, therefore, it’s a good idea to put together a thorough bio.
While this bio should certainly focus on your work-related skills and accomplishments, don’t be afraid to include a little personal info as well. Where did you grow up? What are some of your hobbies outside of work? Giving clients a little glimpse at the person behind the work may help them trust you more and make them more likely to give you their business.
Make Use of Marketing Materials
Freelancing these days may be a largely online pursuit, but that doesn’t mean that more traditional, physical marketing materials such as flyers and business cards have gone the way of the dodo.
Quite the contrary, you can make use of these physical marketing materials to reach clients who may have never otherwise stumbled across your web presence. You never know who you are going to run into, and handing out business cards to people who are interested in your services may help you land a few new clients. Likewise, putting up flyers at events and other spaces can also help you attract new interest.
In the grand scheme of things, these kinds of marketing materials may be a relatively small part of building your brand. However, they are still worth having around in case the opportunity to put them to use comes up.
Create a Blog
No matter what services you are selling, creating a blog centered around those services is a great way to attract new visitors to your website, develop your brand, and showcase your skills.
Creating a blog allows you to further demonstrate the style and voice you want your freelancing brand to showcase. Better still, it can help show off what you are capable of. For example, if you are a freelance copywriter you can use your blog to showcase your powerful prose. If you’re a freelance graphic designer, use your blog to show off and talk about some of your designs, and if you are a photographer you can use a blog to tell the stories behind some of your photo-shoots.
People love stories, and providing them with stories centered around your brand is a great way to increase their trust in your services and pique their interest. As an added benefit, writing a blog is a great way to boost your SEO and drive more visitors to your website.