Over time, a lot has been said about branding and branding identity. However, often times when we talk about branding or branding identity, our first point of call is usually in the aspect of goods and most times, we seldom think about ourselves as brands. We spend a lot on creating and designing logos and so on for our product brands but pay less attention to branding our individual selves as a brand. It is good to give beautiful colors, face, and packaging to our products, but it is greater to also give yourself the right packaging too. In this article, we will walk around creating a strong personal brand identity as a freelancer.
It is no longer news that with the reign of artificial intelligence and breakthrough in technology, dealing or doing business with people might soon become a thing to seek after. This is because so many fraudsters are already hiding under the guise of doing business online to defraud people. This is why creating a reputable and strong personal brand identity as a freelancer is worthwhile. People should hear or see your name and want to do business with you. Therefore, this article will take you round what to look out for to successfully build a strong personal brand identity that will sell and help you stand the test of time as a freelancer.
Building Strong Personal Brand Identity as a Freelancer
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes organizations, individual and products from its rivals in the eyes of their target audience. Whereas, a personal brand identity includes everything from your dressing style to business or name, photos, taglines, bios
As a freelancer, establishing a personal brand identity matters just as much – maybe – more than the product and service that you may be selling. A strong personal brand identity helps you think about your own personal goals and plans. It helps you answer the questions what do you stand for? Where do you want to be and why? And most of all it shows who you are to your target audience or buyers. When I think about branding, I always stand with a simple list of questions that make up a powerful vision and mission statements, and with that, it is easier to create a suiting bio for my profile. To create a strong personal brand identity online you need to provide the answers to these questions.
. Who is my target audience?
. What’s my competition?
. How am I different?
. What benefit do I bring to the table?
What proof do I have to support what I offer?
My own vision statement which can also stand as the description on my profile is something like this: Clients and students see me as an intelligent, generous problem solver and teacher. My personal brand is reflected in my paid work, in my many volunteer activities and in the classes I teach. You can also see my article on creating a personal brand identity statement here
7 Tips to Build a Strong Personal Brand Identity
- SHOW YOURSELF
I didn’t understand the power of a profile picture until I started working on some freelancing sites like Fiver. I used to think that the space for profile pictures was a place to advertise the image of what I do but I was wrong. People want to connect with people, not merely brand. Presenting a great photo of you helps establish credibility and build trust. As long as the world’s economy is gradually shifting to the gig economy, people still want to work with humans and not robots.
Get a great headshot that captures the real authentic you. Invest in a professional photo shot or if you prefer not to part with the money, hit up a friend with a quality camera and command a portrait photograph. Michael Hyatt offers some ideas for capturing yourself in action.
- Working at the computer
- Analyzing your client data
- Coaching one on one
- Facilitating a small group meeting
- Speaking before a large crowd
My idea of this type of photo is simply the one you’re looking into the lens smiling, looking friendly and approachable with no distraction.
- KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
In every business, be it online or real life, one of the single most important factors is to know and understand your target audience. This is because it is not everybody that will need the products or services you sell. Start here and figure out to whom your brand should speak. Is it professionals, male, female, black, white etc. Uncovering your target audience requires research and being good at what you do. The more specific you can be, the more effective your message. The more focus on your target audience will help you develop a sharper and more effective personal brand.
- BE AUTHENTIC
Be good at what you do. Develop or learn every requisite skill needed for your job and resist the temptation to be a jack of all trade, master your craft or trade. Be sure you are promising what you can deliver and position yourself in a way that works for you. Discuss also with your buyer or client about anything that you would need to deliver the job just like they would want it. It’s fine if they can show you samples of what they want.
- STAND OUT
As with any strategic planning exercise, do a Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) on your key competition (other freelancers, other coworkers etc.). Check out their profile and gig descriptions. Look for how to make yours stand out and always request for feedbacks from your clients or buyers. Creating your personal brand shouldn’t be done all by yourself.
It is true, the benefit you bring to the table has to matter to your target audience. Don’t lose sight of the idea of “what’s in it for me’. Of course, you are establishing your brand both for yourself and to win over others. Keeping what you stand to gain in mind while working keeps you motivated to deliver your best. For me personally,
- BUILDING YOUR NETWORK AND HELP OTHERS.
Part of creating a personal brand or gaining an online presence is to join as many online forums for freelancers as possible, depending on your area of specialty. Follow people in your field on the social media and also, when the opportunity arises, help other people with appropriate referrals and recommendations by patronizing or outsourcing to them.
- DON’T FORGET THE CALL TO ACTION.
Oh yes! Make sure to place a call to action on your profile page.
Thinking about building strong personal brand identity is particularly important for a freelancer. By creating a compelling bio for your profile, you would have sold yourself to your buyers even before they place their orders. Your personal brand must suit and reflect your passion and interests or what you sell. To create an awesome bio for your profile for just a token, check it out here.