As things begin to open up again post-lockdown, there’s fierce competition for freelance jobs, especially in sectors where permanent posts have diminished, and more people have jumped into freelancing. If work is a bit quiet at the moment, freelancers can use this time productively to build their brand, increasing their chances of winning work in the future. But how do you brand yourself as a freelancer? It’s not quite as simple as a fun logo and a catchy slogan (although we’re never against those things!). In this blog, we take a look at some simple steps to help freelancers think through what their brand is, and how to build it up through simple tasks and ideas that will fit into your usual work schedule.
Define your brand and what your strongest asset is
Creating a brand for a product is tricky enough – creating a brand for a person is a whole other ball game. One way to try to unlock this is to figure out what your unique selling point is. What exactly is it that makes you a great freelancer? You can then build your brand around this aspect. It’s also worth thinking of brand-building as an ongoing project, one that is never complete and is constantly evolving, to take into account both the shifting landscape of your sector or industry and your own developing skills and experience.
Build that network
We know, we hate the word too. But it is undoubtedly very useful for building your brand and winning clients. Referrals and word-of-mouth are one of the most powerful marketing tools you can harness. There are lots of not-too-arduous ways that you can network, especially in the age of remote-working. Social media and platforms like LinkedIn can help you connect with potential clients. Online events and networking can help you make freelancer friends in your field, who might send clients your way if they don’t have the availability to fit them in. Check out our tips for getting more referrals as a freelancer for more ideas on how to build a reputation in your field, and get the clients queuing up. Networking is all about making a space for yourself in a busy freelancer marketplace – so stand tall and get involved.
Be a website whizz
We hate to state the obvious, but if you’re building your freelancer brand, you need a website. A website is probably the first place a potential client will head to check out your credentials and what you do. Having an up-to-date, professional-looking website that is in line with your brand can really help to sell you and your skills. A website – where you’re not limited on space or characters and can harness a variety of visual tools – is the best place to define what you do and demonstrate how you can help your clients. If you’re not sure where to start with designing a website, our guide to the top ten free website builders can help get you set up with the necessary tools.
Get your voice out there
If your website is the solid foundation of your web presence, you can also think about ways to embellish your brand with regular original content that showcases your unique talents, insight or viewpoint. A web series is a great way to get your voice out there and build a name for yourself in your specialism. This can be in whatever form you feel most comfortable with – a blog if writing’s your thing, a podcast if you love a natter, a YouTube channel if what you do is very visual. For some ideas on what other freelancers have put together, we’ve got rundowns of our top blogs and podcasts on the Dinghy Knowledgebase.
There’s nothing more powerful for a brand than the words of satisfied customers. Asking your clients for testimonials can be a nerve-wracking experience, but you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by the feedback they give. Not only will this help to “sell” your services to other potential customers, but it can also help you see the aspects of your brand that you might have missed yourself. Often clients will mention something that has impressed them about your work that you hadn’t considered as a selling point. From here you can pivot your branding messages to push this newly-identified aspect – backed up by an honest opinion from a respected client. You can also ask other freelancers for their seal of approval, especially if you’ve worked with some who are further along their career path than you are.
Whatever your brand, you want it to be professional. A clear marker of professionalism is that you’ve thought about the responsibility and risk involved in what you do, and taken steps to protect yourself and your clients. Dinghy business insurance offers professional indemnity and public liability policies that are tailored specifically to the needs of freelancers, offering peace of mind to you and the people you do business with. It’s a great thing to be able to boast about as part of your brand. And once you’ve purchased, you will get a personalised Dinghy webpage that shows your cover, which you can pop on your shiny new website so potential clients can see you have insurance in place. A quote takes just seconds by heading over to our website.