What does it take to create a personal brand? There are a lot of freelancers and solopreneurs in the society, who are trying to build their own identity. Many people are still in a state of confusion as to how to get clients and build a rapport or how to market their work efficiently. Now that workspaces and offices come with a timeline tag of a 9-hour schedule, more and more people are opting to freelance as it paves the way to relax and get work done at their own pace. Although freelancing has its advantages, it has its own hassle as well. Personal branding is as important as marketing a company’s business. Without self-branding, your freelance work is as equivalent as developing a product and keeping it behind closed doors. The more awareness is created around your work, the more clients you get. Most freelancers complain of getting work from clients but failing to sustain them in the longer run. Here are a few tips as to how to market your work efficiently and how to keep your clients interested in the long haul.
Most recruiters and clients look at getting work done from the best freelancer they can find. How do you let them find you? All of your social networking activities, freelancing work, and online projects can be tracked. Letting the best information to be revealed, by updating your LinkedIn profile, answering work-related questions on Quora, giving a heads up on your bio at About.me, tweeting about the latest work-related news on Twitter and actively sharing thoughts about work on Facebook can easily get clients to think that you are a good investment in terms of time and money. There are a few good websites like UpWork, UrbanClap, Freelancers and more to register your work and profile, where clients feel safer and more comfortable to choose who they want to hire. This is a very important step as your online presence is more significant than the resume you carry. Now that everything is digitized, it is easy to conduct an online background verification before getting work done from you.
Website. Website. Website
Almost all companies, as well as organizations, have a website for themselves. Creating an identity for yourself through your website is a kick start for your freelancing career. Maintaining a good website is as important as having a good personality as the website may reflect on your work and your creativity in putting all the information in one place. Your website is your portfolio. Your website is your resume. A good website requires a good design, attractive content and your work magnified. Some websites even have contact details of freelancers who can be called for work directly through email or chat. A good website for a web designer may be a website with an amazing design whereas a good website for a content writer may be a website with great creative content. Your website is your gateway to attracting clients for work. From SEO and digital marketing to Google Adworks and Google Analytics, it is easy to push your website to the top of the search page and view how many people visit your website on a daily basis. This gives an insight on where to target and how many people to narrow down on a contract basis.
Word Of Mouth
Starting with ‘Inbound Clients’ is a great way, to begin with freelancing as a career. This includes getting work from friends, acquaintances, family and all those known to have started a business that requires your help. Some suggest doing work for free, for practice and getting familiar with the type of work offered. This is applicable for the most basic and inexperienced freelancers, while others can suggest a minimal amount that rewards their work. This is as opposed to the famous quote by Heath Ledger that goes “If you are good at something, never do it for free”. When a small circle of friends and acquaintances are aware of your work, a chain of references is all it takes.
A rendezvous of similar minded people is the best way to showcase your skills and talents. Events around the city call for networking. People from different backgrounds and interests gather to network. This is the best opportunity for freelancers to team up with people who have similar minds. Business cards always come in handy in such meetings as a simple conversation can land you in a business opportunity. It is a necessity to go out and be an extrovert as you grab any opportunity thrown at you. There are tons of startup events and gatherings that happen around the city. Keeping a tab on such open events is important. If you are a freelance photographer, offering to take photographs of the event is a win-win for the event as well as you. Constantly looking out for the right time to showcase your work is essential.
Keep Your Clients
Sometimes, opportunities flood in all at once and sometimes, you are left free with no pocket money for the month. Knowing how to maintain clients is an art. There are expectations to be met and work to be done on time. Freelancing is a career that is chosen out of interest, mostly done part-time. Clients expect timely work done perfectly. In today’s competitive world, people choose better and cheaper employees over high-end overcharging ones. When new into the job, charging a huge amount may get you to lose clients initially. It is better to expect to gain experience more than monetary rewards. Clients are like eggshells. Gaining the trust of a client takes a long time, while it takes only one simple reason to lose one. Taking up jobs based on your potential is important. Promising work initially and then backing out may lash out a bad impression of your work.
Pricing and Charges
While initially entering into freelancing, it may be confusing as to how to charge clients. Pricing may vary from one client to another and nature of work. One client’s quote may seem exorbitant to another client. Comparing market prices and creating invoices based on work is essential. Beware of being underpaid unless you are gaining experience out of the work you do. There is no harm in turning down clients who expect work for free but negotiating on an amount that seems reasonable is the best way to charge a client.
What is Self Branding and Why is it important?
Self-Branding is the art of selling yourself to clients who require quality work from you. Getting to know whom your target audience is and defining your Unique selling proportion is important. What is it that makes you stand out from the crowd? Why should clients come to you for getting their work done? Marketing yourself in a way that differentiates you from the rest of the competitors in the world is important.
Self-Branding is very essential to bring your work to light. Creating awareness about the work you do may bring a lot of clients. Finding a social platform to showcase your work is important. Building an email list to market your work digitally is also another option. Reviews about your work can create leads and help gain clients’ trusts. Building an online presence is important to drive traffic to your website quite quickly.
Creating a personal brand takes time and effort. Donald Trump is a good example for self-branding as he still serves as an inspiration for many. Tony Robbins is a freelancer whose online presence is massive. One click on Google Search may land you at pages related to his work, his social networking websites and news about his work. His digital footprint has helped him brand himself quite uniquely. The most famous First Lady of all time, Michelle Obama’s online presence is quite impressive. From her speeches on YouTube to campaigns, her presence in events and small gatherings brought her great orating skills to light.
Be it designing, writing, photography, home baking or consulting, self-branding is important to define a perfect portfolio. Initially, a lot of work that gets your hands dirty, is essential. Once the foundation is laid out, it is easier to get clients calling you up without you having to go to them. It might take a year or two but life gets better later on. Nobody ever said that freelancing was easy, but something they would never trade for the world. Freelancing turns into a hobby than a job and might just be the only thing you make a living out of. There are travel bloggers who make nearly $60,000 per month by doing something they enjoy. How do you create a personal brand? Define your statement and your mission. Create your buyer persona. Cultivate new ideas and new innovations to stand out of the crowd. Anyone can become a solopreneurs, if they do their branding right. Are you self-branding? Good luck to that!
Jasmin Ali is the co-founder of We Suggest Software, a leading business software reviews, and comparison platform worldwide.