How To Brand Yourself As a Freelancer

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As of 2024, there is an estimated total of 1.57 billion freelancers all over the world. If competition was tough back then, it’s nearly impossible now. 

How can you stand out from the crowd in this saturated market? The answer is branding.

image of a male freelancer working on his computer

Branding is not just reserved for big brands such as Nike or Apple. Branding can also be done by freelancers to build a specific look or identity that can be associated with them. This helps distinguish them from the competition and also keeps them on top of mind for potential clients.

Looking to get started on your branding? In this article, we’ll share some expert tips on how to get started on your brand and elevate your freelancing career. 

8 Tips on How To Brand Yourself As a Freelancer

Here are the steps to follow to start your brand: 

Define Your Niche

Identifying your niche is the most crucial step as a freelancer. 

Having a niche means that you have a specific skill or specialization that you are an expert at. It gives you a better shot at getting hired by clients for a specific task or to market yourself for a specific target audience. A niche also makes it easier for you to create a focused personal brand, since you have a specific identity to build upon. 

Start with these questions: What makes you, you? What skills do you specialize in? What makes you unique? Why should clients choose you over other freelancers?

For example, let’s say your field is graphic design. Your niche can be a character designer for games, particularly specializing in pixel art. Or you can be a content writer who specializes in B2B marketing articles

The more specific you are, the better.

Create A Logo

Want to look more professional? A well-designed logo can just be what you need.

Logos, while traditionally associated with brands and businesses, can also be used by freelancers. After all, you are indeed running a business – except that your skills and talents are the product. A logo is a great way to look more professional and credible in your client’s eyes as well as instantly communicate your skills and personality. 

A great logo is simple yet memorable. It should also match your personality and identity. Let’s say you are an artist. Do you create fun and bold designs? Or minimalist and chic ones? The look of your logo should reflect that.

You can create a logo through online logo generator tools or by hiring a logo designer. However, if you have the skills for it, feel free to design your own. 

Some freelancers prefer using their own photo instead of a logo. That’s fine too, especially if you are planning to build your brand based on your face and name. If that’s the case, make sure to have a professional headshot taken to ensure that your photo is high-quality and professional-looking.

Decide on your Name

Freelancers have two choices when it comes to their professional name. One is to use their real name. Again, if you are aiming to build a brand based on yourself, this is a great move. In fact, tons of freelancers, content creators, and influencers just use their real names.

The second option is to create a business name or a stage name. This is for people that want to have a separation between their personal and professional identities. If you have a too-common or too-complex name, creating a business name is also a smart move. 

Take a look at famous content creators like Bretman Rock, Jeffree Star, Pewdiepie, Markiplier, and MrBeast. All of them are using a stage name for easier marketing. 

Try to come up with a descriptive name that sums up what you do. Alternatively, you can just go for a name that is catchy and easy to remember. If you’re stuck, there are tons of business name generator tools out there that can help you get started. 

Establish A Visual Identity

Next on the list is to create a consistent visual identity. This includes your color scheme, typography, illustrations, photographs, art style, or any other visual element. 

Think of the Coca-Cola red, Starbucks green, or the IKEA blue and yellow. Even if you don’t see their logo, just one look at their color scheme makes you think of their brand. That is all due to their branding.

The same goes for the fonts used by Disney, Google, or Netflix. You’ll recognize it anywhere.

Similar to your logo design, your visual identity needs to match your personality, niche, and professional identity. Then you need to use them consistently across all your platforms – from your website to social media, to establish it in your client’s eyes and minds. 

Build Your Website

Your website serves as your office in the digital world. It’s how your clients can find you or where they’ll go if they need more information about you. 

A website can give you a huge credibility boost – it shows that you are professional and dedicated enough to create a website for your work. If you worked with clients before, you can also put their reviews and testimonials to serve as a virtual thumbs up for your work ethic and quality. 

Your website will also serve as a platform to showcase your portfolio. Showing all your previous works and accomplishments can help clients decide if you are the right person for the job. It can also display your skill set and the scope of work that you can do.

What’s more, your website can also give you a way to build your brand. Aside from making sure your website follows your set visual identity, it can also host blog articles, videos, or other content to establish yourself as an expert and also build your professional identity. 

Have A Strong LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is known to be a networking hub for professionals. It lets you connect with clients, hiring managers, industry experts, and peers. At the same time, it can also serve as your resume and portfolio.

This is why having a strong and well-crafted LinkedIn profile is important. An optimized profile highlighting your skills and expertise makes it easier for clients to find you. Meanwhile, sharing your thoughts and insights on topics in your industry can position you as an expert in your field.  

To have a great profile, make sure you use a professional photo or logo. Don’t forget to have a well-designed banner as well.

Make sure to write a strong “About” section that succinctly highlights your skills. Fill up your work experience as detailed as you can. Lastly, try to get endorsements on your skills. 

Build A Strong Social Media Presence

Having a presence in professional spaces is great, but you’ll also need to get your name out there and market yourself.

The best way to do this is via social media. Social media is not just for personal use or enjoyment. It can also be used to build your brand, find clients, or drive more traffic to your website.

You can use social media to give people updates or behind the scenes of your projects. You can also do some Q&A videos about your industry, create tutorials, or share your story about how you got into your field. All of this content can help build your following.

Make sure to apply your visual identity consistently across all your social media platforms. The way you write your captions or the type of content you create should also match your brand identity. For example, if you are positioning yourself as a smart and professional authority in your field, you shouldn’t be making TikTok meme videos. On the other hand, if you have creative and witty branding, sharing some funny stories about your work experience will work well. 

Create Custom Digital Business Cards

Business cards can be used by freelancers during networking events, conferences, or job fairs as a convenient way to share your information. 

Whether you use a traditional paper card or a digital business card, it’s important to always have one on hand to make sure you won’t miss out on any networking opportunities.

The design of your business card needs to be strategic as well. It should have your logo or photo, use your color scheme and typography, and have an overall look that matches your identity. The more visually appealing your card looks, the easier it is to stick to your client’s mind. 

Wrapping Up

Creating a brand might seem like a task reserved for big companies, but that’s not the case. Freelancers can benefit from strong branding as well since it can attract clients and get more opportunities. Simply follow the steps above to grow your freelancing career! 

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