This is a guest post by Brittany Robinson.
Ahhh so you’re a freelancer. You make your own schedule, rules and chase down clients for payments. What a life!
If you’re just starting out you’re probably excited about your upcoming projects and client work and you should be.
The questions are, do people actually know what you do? Does your list, audience, and social media following know exactly what you do? If not, why not?
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What’s the point of having this awesome freelancing business if no one knows about it?
Well, fear not, I am here giving you simple tips to help you brand yourself as a go-to freelancer. Let’s get started
Tip 1: Let the world know you exist.
Having a business is more than having a website, with a sales page or shopping cart filled with your design products. Trust me no one is just browsing Google looking for your website. Just because you have a website and a products page doesn’t mean the money will just pour in, you’re going to have to do some work! Now, you will have 3 main lines of defenses.
Your first line of defense is word of mouth. Update your family or friends on your new business venture. They may need or know someone who may need your services. When I first started my freelance design business 100% of my clients came from family and friends.
Your second line of defense is social media. Your social media profiles are your first introductions to the unknown world. When someone comes to your Instagram page, they will see your bio. Does your bio say anything about you being a freelancer? People won’t automatically know that you’re an amazing photographer or designer. It’s your job to tell them.
Your third line of defense is your previous clients. A powerful testimonial can be wonderful for your business. Don’t forget to ask your previous clients for a testimonial about the time you worked together. Then post those amazing testimonials to your website and social media pages.
Tip 2: Know your target audience
Now that you’re in business, you have to make sales right? If you don’t make money, your business won’t last. But the first thing you should remember is everyone isn’t your target audience. Everyone doesn’t need or want your products or services and that’s ok.
Years ago I opened an online clothing store and I thought everyone in the world was my customer. I was not clear on who my target audience was, so I targeted everyone. I focused on selling, and never took any time to cultivate a warm audience who would actually be excited about my brand. And as a result, I made NO money.
Know who you’re selling to and WHY
Make sure you’re focused in on who your target audience is. Know their gender, ethnicity, pain, struggles and even favorite social media platforms. It’s your job to solve a SPECIFIC problem in their lives. And it’s your job to find out what that SPECIFIC problem is. You’re going to have to do some research and ask some questions. But that’s our job as entrepreneurs, we solve problems.
Be sure to be very specific about who your audience is. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, what’s your specialty? Do you specialize in luxury condos in New York City? Then that’s who you should be branding yourself as, the go to luxury condo real estate agent in New York City. If that’s the case then your marketing strategy is going to be geared towards individuals who desire to live a certain luxury lifestyle.
Tip 3: Become the GO TO expert
When it comes to your niche, you want to be considered the “Go To” expert. If you’re a photographer, you want your audience to consider you a photography expert and come to you for help or services. How do you do that? Offer consistent FREE content. You should be making it very easy for people to hand you their money. Start using your blog, YouTube channel or Periscope videos to establish your expertise.
I am a Brand Stylist and Web Designer. Every chance I get to talk about branding or designing I take it. I talk about it on my blog, I create free courses about it, I have Facebook groups dedicated to it and am constantly using social media to further establish my authority. Now it’s gotten to the point that if anyone needs to know anything about branding people are ALWAYS mentioning me. Whether it be my inner circle or audience, someone is always referring someone to me. Establishing your expertise helps your brand to become easily associated with your niche. When your audience thinks about Photography, or designing they should automatically think about you.
Tip 4: Put yourself on display
Put your freelance work on display for the world to see. Post your work on Instagram or Facebook or whatever platforms you use consistently. Encourage your clients to share their finished products with their audience as well. It’s always fun to post before and after pictures to further establish your authority and prove to your audience that you can get your clients the results they are looking for.
You should be creating valuable content on a consistent basis. Posting once a month on social media isn’t going to bring you very much visibility. Consider creating a social media posting schedule that fits your needs and gives your audience ample time to warm up to your content.
Some great ways further establish your authority is collaboration through guest posting, joint webinars, or interviews for different podcasts.
Bonus Tip: Your Visual Brand
Your visual branding should invoke a certain vibe or personality that you’re trying to portray to your audience. If I have established that my brand’s personality as chic, inspirational, encouraging and pretty, then I am going to post visual content that aligns with my personality. If you take a look at my Instagram page, you’ll notice very chic, pretty, inspirational and encouraging posts. So if you’re a luxury brand, you need to have luxurious visuals on social media and your website.
As a brand, you’re selling your audience a desired lifestyle, and it’s through your products or services that they will gain this specific lifestyle. If you’re posting those luxurious pictures on Instagram, guess what you’re going to attract the audience who desires to live that lifestyle and those are the people who end up on your email list and become repeat customers or clients.
And last but not least, have fun. If you’re not enjoying your entrepreneurial journey, you’ll make things A LOT harder than they need to be. Be yourself and be awesome!
Written by: Brittany Robinson
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My name is Brittany and I am a brand stylist for creative women entrepreneurs. I’m a self-taught graphic and web designer. I’ve been doing graphic design since I was in the 8th grade, I’m 25 now, so yes 12 years of web and graphic designing.
I taught myself how to code HTML websites and mastered Photoshop and Paint shop pro in Middle School. I created some pretty cool Blackplanet and MySpace profiles back in the day for myself and followers just for fun and that’s when I fell in love with designing. Since then, my love for design & styling has spilled over into event and home styling, but graphic design has always been in my heart.