When you mention the term “brand” to most people, they think of big companies. If you asked someone to name a brand, any brand, they’d probably say “Google”, or perhaps “Coca Cola”. Few people would name themselves – and that’s what’s wrong with the Freelance market today.
Far too few freelance workers think of themselves as a brand. They’re content to be just another faceless service provider or worker in a nearly saturated market. They pick up whatever work they can find, and wonder why it is that they’re always searching for work. They wonder why nobody seeks them out, and yet they’ve never spent the time to make themselves noticeable and memorable.
Your Letterhead is Not Your Brand
There’s a lot of misconception about what branding is about. A brand is not just a logo, business card, and a set of printed mugs to send out to clients. Those things can be a part of your brand image, and can help you to build up your brand, but you need something behind that. When you’re handing out printed carrier bags at an industry conference, what does the literature in those bags say? What sort of people do you look out for to make your sales pitch? Think carefully, because the answer is not (or shouldn’t be, at least) “anyone that will listen”.
Growing Your Identity
In the early days of your career, you probably took any work that you could find, but it doesn’t take long to figure out what you enjoy, what you’re good at, and what you probably wouldn’t want to do again.
Once you’ve figured those things out, you can build your identity around them. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you could specialise in one of the following:
- Sales copy
- Slogans and limericks for marketing
- Blog posts
- Technical writing
- Other specialist areas of expertise
And your extra selling point could be:
- High quality work that’s always error free.
- Quick turn-around times.
- The ability to whip other people’s copy into shape on short notice.
- You’re bilingual, and offer translation services as well as copywriting.
The above are just a few examples – there are other things that you can turn into selling points and a part of your brand. Don’t try to make your brand too broad. There’s a saying that goes “Services can be fast, cheap, or good – pick two of those things. You can’t get all three in one package.” Don’t make the mistake of trying to provide all three in your brand. You might manage to do so for a while, but you’ll burn out quickly. Pick something you’re amazing at, build your brand around that specialism, and price accordingly. You’ll be happier, your customers will be happier, and you’ll make more money too.
Use your printed mugs, letterhead and logo to reflect your identity and remind yourself of who you are and what you provide. Stay true to your brand at all times.
Wayne Barker writes for ukprintprice who supply all kind of branded merchandise that will help you stand out amongst the fierce world of business. Whether you need leaflets, brochures or printed mugs they can help you out.