What is it that sets you apart from other freelancers in your field? The answer can depend on where you are in your freelancer career. For example if you are just getting started and you are grinding it out job boards and freelancer platforms, most likely you would need to compete on price. This can put you in a tough position. Essentially you are doing more work for less pay. You want to flip that around. How can you do less work for more pay? Competing on price can be a race to the bottom so you need to find other ways you can set yourself apart from other freelancers.
After a few months to a year as a freelancer, you have probably specialised into a niche. This is something you know a little bit more about than the average freelancer. Clients will pay a premium to work with you since you are more expert than the generalist. Now what will set you apart from other freelancers in the same niche? Two writers or designers who specialise in eCommerce will have the work set out for them if a client has to decide between both. The answer is the personal brand. A personal brand allows you to show off who you are, what you are good at, your skills and what clients have said about you. In 2021, it is so important to have a personal brand as a freelancer. The more competitive it gets in your field, the more you will need your brand to stand out. Here are four steps towards creating your personal brand as a freelancer.
Step 1: Create a website
It is difficult to get clients as a freelancer if you are not established in your field. Get on social media and learn as much as you can about the niche you are applying for. Ask industry experts for advice on how you can gain credibility in your field. When I first started freelancing I found it very difficult to get a client. For the first year and a half I did not have a website. When I did start to gain traction as a freelancer I created a website and started a blog. All the things that would help me demonstrate to the clients how valuable I was to them. Blogging By becoming a blogging expert, you will gain trust with your clients and have credibility with your industry peers. The best way to start blogging is to share on other sites in your niche.
Step 2: Put out expert content
The first thing that will stand out to your potential clients is your knowledge of your subject matter. This can be either by writing expert content about your subject matter or by providing clients with the education to work with you. However, if you are writing expert content for a client on a topic that you are not qualified to write, then this could be a red flag. You want to make sure that you are going to the best of your ability for your client. Online shows and podcasts are a great way to generate content. These shows are a great way to showcase what you know about your area of expertise. Podcasts allow you to include audio content that clients can enjoy and show them what you are all about.
Step 3: Publish testimonials
When you publish testimonials about your experience working with clients you will start to build up your personal brand. Clients will also build up their own brands as well. By endorsing your own personal brand, you will be acting as a mouthpiece for yourself. You will be helping to show that you are an expert in your niche. Your clients will think to themselves, "If I hire these guys, I know I am getting good value for my money". In the long run, it can make a difference to clients and their perception of you. Build up your profile Get to know the right people on LinkedIn. One of the things I love about LinkedIn is the power of it. Every client is looking to hire freelancers. They will take the time to look at who is working with them and who is hired for similar types of work.
Step 4: Create connections within your niche
If you are doing freelance writing, creating connections with fellow freelancers and industry leaders will help you build your reputation. You can find them through online networks like LinkedIn and Facebook groups. These networks will help you get your name out there. They will also keep you connected with other freelancers who do what you do. The more connections you make, the easier it will be to stand out from other freelancers in your field. Build your reputation Everyone in your field knows you are a freelancer, but who is your online reputation? You may not have all the skills and knowledge your clients want. So instead of just saying you are a writer or designer, show off what you do and how you can help. Be confident in what you do.
We work with up and coming freelancers everyday and we know how challenging it can be to get your head around personal branding. We created a kit to help launch your freelance business and build a personal brand from scratch. Check it out and create something that can really stand out from the rest of the crowd.