What All Freelancers Should Know About Branding | Personal Branding Blog


What’s a personal branding tip that’s great for freelancers, regardless of their industry?

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

 

1. Create Full Profiles and Provide Detailed Information

As someone who hires many freelancers, I think the thing that sets people apart is how well they complete their profiles on various freelancing platforms. Usually, the profiles that don’t provide much information about what a person is good at and has accomplished get overlooked immediately. The more good info that you can provide, the less perceived risk there is in hiring you for a gig.   – Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers 

2. Understand Your Niche

Your personal brand isn’t all about you. To be effective, your brand has to appeal to the people who will pay for your services. Be authentic, but do your research and develop a clear idea of who your potential clients hire and how you can demonstrate value in a way that captures their interest.   – Vik Patel, Future Hosting 

3. Show Your Fluency

When I meet a potential freelance for hire, I like to see that they have a specialty, but also that they are fluent in many areas. I like being assured that I could use the freelance long-term, for a variety of work. Even more so, an impressive and diverse portfolio shows me their talent, experience, and an initiative in learning and testing their abilities.   – Phil Laboon, WUDN 

4. Make Your Website Clear and Concise

It it imperative for freelancers to have an easy-to-navigate website. I want to be able to find specific photos, videos, case studies, and other content quickly and easily. I get annoyed when I research someone and find that I have to dig around to find relevant information. Everything should be organized in a clear and concise manner.   – Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media 

5. Personal Details Help Build Credibility

It can be really simple to get a website set up these days. Between WordPress, Wix and Squarespace, you can get a good one done in a long weekend. Make sure to add a “My Story” or “About Me” page. It makes you feel more human and approachable. Don’t be afraid to get personal either. More details will help you build more credibility.   – Krish Chopra, United Medical Rotations 

6. Focus on Telling Stories

Regardless of industry, everyone has a great story or two to tell about their experience. Instead of focusing on dry statistics (38% improvement in X), try reframing that success to connect and engage the person who will read it. Talk about the “why” behind your work, and how you positively impacted that organization through your efforts. Don’t be afraid to be a bit quirky, and show your passion!   – Jeff Jahn, DynamiX 

7. Offer High-Level, Actionable Advice

Brands, corporate or personal, are followed and respected when they are legitimately experts in their space. Provide value by “donating” your time towards helping others, but only if you truly bring a unique perspective, and actual experience and value, as people can generally sniff out the BS. Offer high-level, actionable advice that people can truly leverage and build off of; avoid the fluff.   – Scott Levy, Fuel Online 

8. Don’t Be Afraid to be Different

If you try to copy what everyone else in your industry is doing you will just blend in and have a hard time getting noticed. But if you push the status quo and aren’t afraid of what others in the industry might think, it will help you stand out. Think about it this way: If there were 100 green apples in a line with 1 red apple, which color apple would stand out to you?   – Chad Keller, Eyeflow 

9. Position Yourself as an Educator

A great way to distinguish yourself as a freelancer is to show that you not only practice your skills, but you set the standard for others by teaching those skills. Whether it’s through higher education, events or online courses, by finding opportunities to teach others, you demonstrate an expertise beyond the casual freelancer.   – Ross Beyeler, Growth Spark 

10. Display a Great Headshot

A picture’s worth a thousand words, which is why every freelancer, regardless of their industry, should have a great headshot. Most freelance marketplaces and social media platforms require some type of profile photo, so don’t use a grainy, cropped photo from your last family vacation. Invest in yourself and find take a great professional headshot that will catch the attention of potential employers.   – Jared Brown, Hubstaff Talent 

11. Let Your Personality Shine

Get your personality into everything you do, including content, video content and social media interaction. Include personal pictures, and share your story as part of your marketing. This can help you stand out and make connections with your audience.   – Drew Hendricks, Buttercup 

12. Leverage Podcasts

Podcasts are a great personal branding tool regardless of what industry you are working in. Whether you have your own podcast or you appear as a guest on one, it’s a growing trend in personal branding and can help establish you as a thought leader in your industry. Becoming a regular contributor to influential sites, which are popular among your target audience, also helps.   – Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc. 

13. Highlight All Skills

While I may hire a freelancer for content development, I’m thrilled when I find out they take photos, dabble in graphic design, and even know how to code. Your personal brand should highlight all the skills you have, so you can promote those and find the people who appreciate you can offer so much more.   – Cynthia Johnson, Ipseity Media 

14. Define How You’re Perceived

You can’t ask for a million dollars if you don’t look like a million dollars. You can’t call yourself an authority if you don’t sound like an authority. You can’t sell your brand if you don’t know what your brand is. Ask yourself: Who are you? What do you do? Is the perception of the people around you in line with your belief of what your brand is?   – Fabio Viviani, Fabio Viviani Hospitality LLC, 

15. Curate Your Portfolio

While it’s tempting to fill your portfolio with as much work as possible to show your range, it’s best to only include work that represents your ideal client. Even if you’ve done great work in another field, leave it out of your portfolio if it doesn’t represent the kind of work you want to be doing now. You can always send additional samples if people want to see more of your work.   – Kyle Goguen, Pawstruck 

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