How to Brand Yourself as a Freelancer

Over the past decade, the employment landscape has drastically changed. Today, more and more workers are escaping their corporate 9-5 jobs and joining the freelancing bandwagon.

And you can’t blame them. Freelancing offers a pretty lucrative deal; flexible working hours, good pay, and best of all, no manager to boss you around.

Nonetheless, as the numbers of freelancers keep rising in the market, so does the competitiveness. You, therefore, have to put in extra effort to stand out from the crowd.

But how can you do this?

The answer is simple. Branding. You need to brand yourself to survive in this new cut-throat market effectively.

Below are six ways to build your brand as a freelancer.

 

  • Build your portfolio website

 

Regardless of the industry you specialize in, investing in a well-crafted portfolio website is the first step to getting discovered.

The portfolio provides you with a platform to showcase samples of the work you’ve done, and prove to clients that you can deliver what they need.

Your website content should be evidence of some of your successful projects. For instance, photographers can post pictures, software developers can have case studies of positive deployments, writers can have blog posts, etc.

Besides showcasing your work, your portfolio website plays a crucial role in your branding as a freelancer.

It makes it easier for clients to find you and makes for a killer first impression with visitors. Creating a portfolio website will also improve your credibility in the market.

Finally, your portfolio website can transform clients who are unsure of your abilities, to clients that understand you and are confident in what you can deliver.

In essence, you can make your portfolio website, your greatest salesperson.

 

  • Register your domain name and have your own email (don’t use free domains)

 

When starting your freelancing journey, you probably started with a free email domain, the likes of gmail.com or yahoo.com.

However, as a freelancer who’s keen on upscaling your operations, you need to avoid such emails. For one, they look downright unprofessional and may send the wrong message to your audience.

Secondly, free email domains are well-known to be a hacker’s best friend. As such, using one for your business not only endangers your data but also shows clients that you’re not keen on privacy.

Free email domains are also more likely to be identified as spam mails. Consequently, you may be losing out on many jobs because of this.

On the other hand, registering your domain name and having your private email offers a wealth of benefits to your brand.

For one, it improves your public image by portraying you as a professional, reliable person. As such, it becomes much easier for your clients to engage with you than when using a free email.

A good custom email domain also acts as a free marketing tool for your services. It does this by continuously presenting your brand name whenever you use your email to correspond with clients.

Having a custom email address means that you have control of all the mails you receive, something clients love.

It also gives you the flexibility to create as many emails as you like for your different departments – even if they don’t exist!

 

  • Create your logo

 

You might be wondering, “Do I really need a logo? I’m just a small freelancer”. Well, consider most of the top business brands we have in the market today.

Take Coca-Cola, Nike, Adidas, or even MacDonald’s; you’d recognize their brand by just looking at the logo – even if their name wasn’t inscribed on the logo.

That’s what a logo can do for you as a freelancer.

Studies today show that people have an attention span of about two seconds. As such, you have a relatively short time to impress your clients.

A logo is the quick attention grabber you need. Since most freelancers haven’t invested in logos, you gain a significant advantage over them with a logo to your brand.

Moreover, a logo creates a good first impression for your clients, it’s memorable and adds a touch of professionalism to your brand.

Well designed, colorful logos are also a great way to draw clients to you. The logo brings out a client’s curiosity, prompting them to look at your products/services and, hopefully, purchase them.

They also help in fostering brand loyalty among your clients and customers, giving them something they can connect with.

 

  • Have a professional About Me section

 

The trick to success in freelancing is learning how to connect with your clients even without speaking to them. And what better way to do this than with an About Me section?

People want to feel a connection when working with others, and that’s what an About Me section does. It gives the potential client a little background history about you, your experience, and maybe your skills.

Clients do this to discern if they can trust you, and if based on your story, you can understand their problem and help solve it.

That’s why you need to pay attention to this page.

Write a killer, creative, but professional ‘about me’ section that tells your story; one that is customer-centric but still memorable. A section that proves you are more human, not a robot.

Lastly, ensure that you end the section with a call to action that’s authentic and well crafted. It prompts the client to take action.

You can also add some links to your social media sites like Facebook, and Twitter for clients to engage with you.

 

  • Have a professional picture

 

It’s not enough that you have a portfolio website, a logo, or even an About Me section. Your clients want to see who they are working with. They want to see your face, not a picture of a cute puppy or flowers.

Particularly as a freelancer, a good professional picture of yourself is proof that you’re not a robot. Moreover, clients are more likely to trust someone with a picture than a person without one.

Using a professional, high-quality picture, like a headshot, portrays you as a confident, friendly, approachable person. It also gives you the advantage of an excellent first impression.

You, therefore, stand a better chance of getting noticed, even on very competitive platforms like Upwork.

 

  • Connect your website with social networks

 

According to research by Statista, as of 2019, there were about 2.95 billion social media users, a number that’s risen to 3.08 billion in 2020.

These numbers show that, with the right strategy, you can attract a large number of your customers and clients online. No need to leave your desk!

That’s why, now more than ever, you need to have your social media links on your website, and vice versa.

Professional social sites such as LinkedIn provide you with a vast audience to attract clients to your website. You can also use sites like Behance, Pinterest and Shutterstock to showcase your work.

Additionally, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have proven to be great marketing tools for many top freelancers.

Using these sites helps increase your online presence, and to build good networks with other freelancers. This will be crucial when promoting your brand.

Final thoughts

Branding yourself as a freelancer is the only way you are going to succeed in the market. Therefore, you better do it right.

Build a good portfolio website, invest in a good logo, register your domain name and email, properly craft your About Me page, and choose a professional picture.

Also, don’t forget to connect your social media to your website. It’s an invaluable asset.

With that in mind, you stand a chance of succeeding in the freelancing world.

Good luck!

 

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