This is Day 5 of the Freelance in 40 Days series where youâ€™ll learn to freelance just by taking it one day and one task at a time. Todayâ€™s tutorial will introduce you to personal branding for your freelance business.
Branding 101, Do I Really Need One?
I’ve been freelancing for a number of years without a brand thinking I didn’t need one. Then one day, many years later, that cheap 5 watt light bulb went off in my head. I came to realize that I was known as that “Johnny” guy who is a web programmer whenever I was passed a referral. I was branded and I didn’t know it.
Then I thought about how much new business I might have lost by not coming up with a brand way back then. D’oh!
You see, when getting your business “out there,” it’s more difficult for people to recognize a full name. Think about that for a second. Let’s ask ourselves, for example, out of all the blogs that you read on a daily basis, how many can you name out by their blog name?
Now, out of those same blogs, how many names of their actual authors do you know? Maybe a few, but ALL of them?
It doesn’t matter whether its blogging or your freelance business, a brand means recognition. Recognition translates to more awareness of your services. More awareness can lead to more work and you’ll see the dominoes start falling in place.
Branding 101, How Do I Come Up With One?
Coming up with a word or two as a brand name that you are glued to for your entire freelance career is probably the most head-wracking thing you could do at any moment. Oh my, the choices…
The possibilities are endless but a brand should adhere to some simple guidelines:
- It should reflect your personality and services
- It should not be offensive or in bad taste
- It should not be excessively generic or overused (i.e. A-1)
Here are a few ideas to get you going:
- You can try: action verb + random noun + service, i.e. Hopping Donut Web Dev.
- You can go traditional with: color + object that has nothing to do with the color + service, i.e. Blue Carrot Marketing.
- Look around you wherever you are. I just came up with Dusty Lampshade Coders. Ok, maybe not the choicest, but you get the idea.
- Relax for 15 minutes or so, clear your head and take back an adult beverages and just let it come to you.
Your Homework For Today
You guessed it. Come up with your own brandÂ that you want the whole world to know about, then do the following:
- Reserve a domain name. If it is not available, try appending it with your service. For example, bluecarrotmarketing.com is still available. It’s my idea though, so don’t steal it.
- Create accounts with your brand name in Twitter, Stumbleupon, Linkedin and Digg. You don’t worry about doing any activity in these accounts either, unless you feel so inclined. That will be for later on.
For some more insight, in case adult beverages aren’t working (or not a drinker), check out Pamela Slim’s awesome post and video on creating a smoking personal brand.