When working for yourself and by yourself as a freelance professional, it can be easy to overlook the importance of branding. Even though you aren’t part of a large firm with multiple employees, you still represent a business and a brand. Hey, you are the business and it’s just as vital for you to nail your brand identity as it is for any other company.
Whether you’re working for an in-house firm or going it alone as a freelancer, branding is a crucial aspect of any business operation. In fact, we might be as bold as to suggest that it is even more important to get it spot on for freelance professionals as they don’t tend to have a team of salespeople and marketing managers working away in the background. As a freelancer, you are relying solely on yourself and while this is great for sneaking in a few extra holiday days every month, it’s not so ideal when it comes to spreading your brand.
While you’re tied up with clients and a never-ending workload, the creation, maintenance and reinvention of your business branding can get left behind but it’s paramount that you factor in time for this in your hectic schedule. No matter what the size or scale of an operation, we’re all here to grow and win business and knock-out branding will help you generate the leads that you’re going to need in order to do this. A strong brand strategy gives you the upper hand in an extremely competitive market so listen up, freelancer!
Okay so branding is just my logo, right?
Wrong. You would be totally off the mark in thinking that that’s all that comes under the umbrella of branding. Brand identity is an entity all of its own with a whole host of contributing factors that come into play to create one awesome business profile, both physically and digitally. Admittedly, a logo is the face of the business and should therefore arguably be at the very top of the priority list but it certainly doesn’t stop there.
Colour scheme, typography, web design, taglines, templates, social media behaviour, tone of voice, marketing approach, business cards, physical presence and the type of content you share are all amongst the items that included in the branding process. If you want to attract the right demographic and win the right clients, it’s important to get these features right. For example, if you’re a freelance wedding planner who specialises in destination ceremonies, you aren’t going to want the type of branding that would be successful for a freelance web developer.
Think of branding your business as dressing yourself in the morning. First of all you make sure your face looks clean, bright and attractive then you add on all of the extra details that define your individual style like your choice of clothes, shoes and accessories. Then you fine tune wider features such as tone of voice, disposition, your hobbies, even down to things like your regular Starbucks order and what music you listen to. The same goes for your freelance identity when you treat a logo as the face that establishes who you are and all other factors as being the unique aspects which affirm your brand profile.
Make sure you’re reaching out to the right people
Getting all of these features in check and working in harmony will ensure that you’re maintaining your existing customer base as well as attracting the right newcomers. With the marriage between modern technology and today’s business landscape, it’s likely that most potential clients will be searching for their freelancer in shining armour via the internet and your branding will provide that all-important first impression so it’s vital that you make it a good one.
Brand strategy creates a visual and physical representation of who you are and to make this memorable, you need to invest some serious time and commitment to the cause. Poor, unprofessional, slap-dash branding will suggest that that’s exactly what you are, while a strong brand profile will inspire confidence in new customers. The right look and feel that your project through your branding will ensure that you’re touching base with the right demographic and vice versa, will reassure the customer that you’re exactly what they have been looking for. Branding influences and manipulates how people perceive you by planting pre-conceived concepts into their impressionable minds – magic!
Love what you do and others will do too
The freelance lifestyle means you are taking on a lot more responsibility and tasks than a business with an army of employees but every cloud has a silver lining and with this working capacity comes the autonomy and artistic freedom over your branding. This is your chance to really show who you are and what you’re capable of so have some fun while you’re doing it! Established branding will also permit you that important divide between business and pleasure so you too can take advantage of down time in the same way a 9-5 employee would when they walk out of the office on a Friday evening.
Oh and remember to make your branding something that is easily translated into a variety of mediums so you can cater for a range of outlets. When creating your brand identity, bear in mind that you could use it to take advantage of a whole host of things including digital and print marketing, tangible products, video, moving image and banners. The world is your oyster, freelancer.