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How to Brand Yourself and Get Your Freelancing Business out of the Garage

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According to Freelancers Union’s 2015 “Freelancing in America” report, nearly 54 million people are freelancing in America. That’s 34% of the American workforce….54 million. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How to Brand Yourself and Get Your Freelancing Business out of the Garage


1
How to Brand Yourself and Get Your Freelancing
Business out of the Garage
2
According to Freelancers Unions 2015
Freelancing in America report, nearly 54
million people are freelancing in America. Thats
34 of the American workforce.54 million. Sure,
when all of your friends are punching a clock,
its easy to feel isolated and alone but the
truth is that youre actually floating in a giant
sea of similar workers, and a lot of them are
your competition. Think of a ball pit (you know,
those multi-colored pits of germs and fun?) the
size of a football field. Now, imagine someone
telling you to pick the best ball out of it. What
would you do? If it were me, Id probably look
through the pile for about five minutes, and pick
the best-looking one out of the group closest to
me. People looking to hire a freelancer are put
into the same position they dont have time to
individually examine each qualified person for an
extended period of time. Theyre going to pick
the one who stands out the most.
3
So, whats the defining factor between a
successful freelancer and one who finally just
decides to go back to his or her day
job? Obviously, luck and talent have something
to with it, but oftentimes the real difference
comes with marketing and personal branding.
Youve got to put yourself out there if you want
to get noticed. Clients are not going to hear
your name on the wind and follow it to your
doorstep. The thing about marketing is that
youve got to have something to market, and when
youre freelancing, that can be a little
difficult. How do you market yourself? Youre a
person, not a big company! You may not be a
corporation, and you are definitely a lone human,
but as a freelancer, youre also a brand. The
water can get a little muddy and confusing when
you start throwing out the word brand. Some
people think a brand is a product, others think
its your logo. I think the ever-wise marketing
guru, Seth Godin, says it best
4
A brand is the set of expectations, memories,
stories and relationships that, taken together,
account for a consumers decision to choose one
product or service over another. Everything
that makes up the identity of your freelancing
business is your brand from the service or
product you provide to the signature at the end
of your emails. So how can personal branding
bring you success? Wed love take a few moments
to teach you how to market yourself right to the
top of the giant ball pit that is the freelance
life. Freelancing is not for the faint of
heart. A successful freelancer is one who can
bring in enough business to support him or
herself, but without booking so many gigs that
the quality of that work is diminished. The only
way to pull that off is to have a solid identity
an unwavering feeling of what you stand for and
value. You need to be able to get your name out
and into the public in a way thats recognizable
and memorable.
5
In other words, youve got to build yourself a
brand, baby. Start with the basics and work your
way up. Whats at the heart and soul of your
freelance business? Why its you, you crazy
kid. Your personal brand should be a clear blend
of your talents, skills, and individuality. CLICK
TO TWEET You want to showcase the services you
provide while also highlighting something
memorable about your personality. From here,
youll be able to create a business name, find a
catchy tagline to match it, and create an
ecosystem of mission statements and branding
merchandise that will hold you and your
freelancing work above water.
6
Michelle Schulp, WordPress designer, creative
extraordinaire, and owner of Marktime Media, has
crafted an extremely effective brand for herself.
From her design and presentation prowess right up
to her vibrant pink hair, shes got a
recognizable brand that works. Shes also got
some great advice on getting started Your
voice who are you? What makes you awesome as a
freelancer? Are you fun? Easy to talk to? Super
smart and specialized? Relaxed? Obsessed with
deadlines? How do you want people to interact
with you? If you can put some thought into that
part of it, everything else will start falling
into place. So, lets start with you. Youve got
your home office, a handful of clients, and a few
finished products that youre especially proud
of. This might not feel like a gigantic mountain
of assets, but the truth is that youve got all
you need to work on your personal
branding. First, write down your creative
process. Im serious write out the entire
process as though you were explaining it to
someone who doesnt live inside your head. What
parts of your process would seem appealing to
potential clients? What tactics jump out at you?
Are you extra-thorough? Do you employ surprising
methods to reach your end-goal?
7
Next, take a look at your portfolio. What are the
common, positive factors shared by all of your
finished projects? Choose a few descriptive words
based on what you see in all of your past work
and use them to build a personality for your
brand. What are your strengths? What is unique
to you? How can you craft an identity that
communicates to a potential client what your
skills are, and what sets you apart from others
in your field? Focus on your clients. While
representing yourself is important in personal
branding, youve also got to keep your potential
and current clients in mind. The meat of your
brand has to revolve around the services you
provide to the people who pay you money. This
means you need to do some serious thinking about
things like your mission statement, elevator
pitch, and tagline. When it comes to naming your
business, you can be as concrete or abstract as
you want as long as it matches your target
audience.
8
If you choose to take a more abstract route,
youll need to ensure that the heart of your
business and the services or products you provide
are clear and easy to understand. This can be
done through methods like elevator pitches or a
tagline, which will help you stick to your
creative decisions while communicating important
information to your potential clients. Even if
you choose to simply use your name as your brand,
a tagline is especially important. Something as
basic as your location and occupation can be
enough to communicate just what it is that you
do, but something catchy and creative is ideal.
Take ApproveMe, for example. Its a title that
embodies what we do, but doesnt say it
explicitly. If you head to our website, however,
youll see the headline Use Your WordPress
website to Sign Documents. Clean and to the
point. An elevator pitch is a way to succinctly
explain the mission of your business in a
compressed amount of time. Not only will this
come in handy when youre networking, but it will
also force you to boil your ideas down to the
basics.
9
A mission statement will be longer and more
thorough than an elevator pitch, and is great for
the About Me or Services portion of your
website. This will give you a chance to elaborate
on how your services or product will not only
serve your potential clients, but also set you
apart from the competition. Gather your building
materials and get visible. This is the part that
can get overwhelming. Theres a small chance that
youre a branding or marketing expert, but
theres a bigger chance that youre a different
kind of freelancer who simply wants to get your
name out there. How do you turn your
brainstorming into branding reality? Michelles
got more wisdom on this intimidating part of the
branding process the most important part of
freelancing is people being able to get a hold of
you, and seeing youre good at what you do. So,
you probably need a) a website, and b) some sort
of thingy to give people when they meet you. But
how much effort you put into that stuff depends
on what you actually do for a living.
10
She goes on to explain that a web developer
should focus on a clean website that showcases
their coding abilities rather than worrying too
much about impeccable graphic design, and a
writer might be better off with a template that
allows them to concentrate on the words they fill
it with. So what about you? A website with a
recognizable logo would be a good start, along
with a few things that get people to that
website. Look at your business and your audience
to decide what would work best for you. Business
cards? T-Shirts? Stickers? Skywriting? Bottom
line evaluate your business so that you dont
waste money on unnecessary marketing
materials. A few tips -Market within your
means. Remember, youre building a brand. If you
cant afford a super-fancy custom website right
now, find a satisfying WordPress theme and make
it work for you.
11
-Theres no shame in using your name. If you
simply cant come up with a good business name,
its okay its better to use your name than
picking something on the fly that youll regret
later. Its a good idea to buy a domain with your
name anyway, so that you can use it to redirect
people to your official URL if you think of
something later on. -Pick your best traits and
push them. Take a look at yourself, your process,
and your work. Write down all the descriptive
words you can think of that consistently crop up
in this reflection and weave them into the fabric
of your personal brand. -Ask satisfied clients
for testimonials. Potential clients are
especially interested in what former clients have
to say about you, and the satisfied clients who
love you the most will be more than happy to
provide a positive testimonial. -Give a blog a
chance. Its rare to encounter a business that
wont benefit from a blog. Its a good way to
provide brand-related information to your
followers and keep you visible, all while
boosting your pages SEO through frequent fresh
content.
12
-Find your favorite freelance resource. For more
help with branding and freelancing in general,
Michelle suggests Freelancers Union, Envato
Blogs, andBidsketch Blog. (We, of course, have to
throw ApproveMes growing freelance blog into the
hat of resources, as well.) A solid brand will
set you apart and push you to the top. Having a
defined brand when youre freelancing shows that
youre invested in your business, and thats a
trait that instills confidence in potential
clients. If you can learn how to brand yourself
and collect enough of that confidence, youll be
working away for years to come. Who knows, maybe
youll be able to buy yourself your own damned
ball pit one of these days. Article
Resource https//www.approveme.com/freelancing/br
and-get-freelancing-business-garage/
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