“You need to brand yourself!” In the age of social media, you’ve probably heard that sentence more than once. And even if your first instinctive reaction is to say “I’m not a brand, I’m a person!” as a freelancer, there’s a case to be made for treating yourself like a brand in the marketplace. No need to register your name with the trademark office or start printing t-shirts with your selfie on it (although why not?), but there are a few easy steps you can take to create an attractive and engaging persona (if you prefer that word to brand) when you’re introducing yourself and your skills to the world and potential clients.
1. A coherent look
Pick 1 font, pick 3 colors (a dark, a bright and a bold) and keep your typography and your design style consistent across all your marketing material – business cards, websites, flyers, invoices… Just like a brand or a business, it makes you stand out and clients always appreciate that they can recognise you simply by looking at your material. It also creates reassurance that you’re an organised professional, even if it is just you and your laptop.
2. Everything in one place
If you are a video professional, create one demo reel on top of providing individual samples. If you’re a designer, combine your designs into one online slideshow. If you’re a contractor, copy and paste reviews from google, yelp… on one page of your website. You want to make it easy for your potential clients to determine if you’re a good fit. If they have to go to three different sites or watch five different videos, they might give up before they have a chance to see how talented you are.
3. Content is king
Write a blog and post it on Linkedin. Share news articles about your field on social media. Marketing is no longer all about dropping flyers at your local coffee shop or putting an ad on TV promoting your skills, it’s about sharing content and being a voice online. By staying active on social platforms, showing the world you’re staying up-to-date with the trends and news from your industry, you’re part of the conversation even though you’re not in the coffee room with everybody else. And by keeping yourself and your digital profile in front of your peers, you increase the chances of them thinking of you when that job comes up!