If you know that you are great at what you do, and yet, you don’t know how to communicate what you do in a way that makes people STOP and say, “I need that NOW!” … then you have to read it.
As more people want to work independently and remotely, the freelance economy is booming. This means that there are plenty of opportunities for new freelancers. That’s the good news. On the other hand, there is also competition growing, so you need to make sure you stand out. To make that happen, start with these essential personal branding tips.
1. What is your mission statement?
How to position Yourself as the "Go To" in your industry without having to spend your money on branding, advertising, or social media likes? First of all, you need to realise that you are not only a service provider. Time has changed. You are a problem solver, you are results, outcomes, shifts, transformation provider. You know what are your clients’ pain points, their challenges and main struggles. Once you know that, you should take your time and write down your professional mission statement. To do that, you need to think about three things:
You: what makes you different and unique compared to what is your competition doing? It is not enough to say that you are a graphic designer, a writer, a social media manager. You are more than that. For example, you write because you believe in the power of words and stories, because stories make people listen!
Your niche: who specifically do you serve? Working moms? Real estate agents? Startups from Europe? Specify!
Your offer: What is the destination you are helping your client to get, and how? You are not only creating logos, or websites, or social media posts. For example, you create social media posts that transform followers into brand’s advocates.
Knowing all three things, now you can write down your mission statement:
I help … (niche) how to …. (offer). It’s different and unique because … (you).
2. Build your social media presence
You simply can’t establish a personal brand without relying on social media or being online in some way. It’s the most efficient, cost-effective way to connect with your target audience, and let them hear about you. Here are a few points to consider:
LinkedIn presence is a MUST. Believe me, this is the place to be. You should spend some time improving or finishing your professional profile - with your professional, but happy photo, your title (remember your mission statement from the above?), your info, and your relevant experience. Don’t forget about networking and referrals!
Build your website. Although websites don’t have to be very sophisticated, it is still good to have one. People tend to check if we have our own freelance website. It means for them that you are a serious professional. You don’t have to spend too much on that. Just choose your domain name (maybe your first name and last name?), a hosting company, and a simple Wordpress template where you show your picture, your portfolio, your services, and your contact details. That is completely enough for the start.
Join Facebook Groups. Join groups where your ideal clients are hanging out. Do the research, see what are the rules, introduce yourself, and start networking. Look for Promo Days - and start pitching yourself. It's not easy to spread the word about you, but you have to start!
Choose social media channels. Focus on one or two social media platforms. Remember when I mentioned your niche? Think about where your ideal client hangs out online.Then show up there, set up your Instagram professional account, or your Facebook business page, or maybe a YouTube channel? Pick no more than two platforms to focus on for the next few months.
3. Share content and be consistent
Now the most fun (and time consuming) part. You should focus on creating and sharing relevant content that shows your expertise and helps your audience in solving their worries. You can start by providing industry related comments and act as a source of relevant advice and insights.
Start slowly, but be consistent, show up, be helpful. Then start writing interesting posts, share new industry articles, raise challenging questions, and finally create your first blog or video post. Your personality is your brand, so being authentic is key if you want your ideal client to buy your solutions!
People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” — Simon Sinek
The freelance market is getting crowded, but you still have time and the ability to stand out! Use those 3 hacks to create an authentic, personal brand to gain an audience and position yourself as an industry influencer!