If you are a designer – like I am – you know how important branding is. But a brand is not a logo, espacially not as a freelancer.

Your brand is the whole experience a client has with you. When he first hears about you (what people tell about you), when he visits your website or checks your online profiles, when you are in contact, what work you deliver, how you bill etc.

You are the brand. Not your logo or your carefully picked fonts and colors.

What’s the goal of your brand?

Your goal is the same as for big brands like Tesla. If someone is thinking about electric cars, they should think about Tesla. It’s that simple. How does that translate to a personal brand of a freelancer?

When someone is in need of your skills, they should think about you.

Let’s say you build websites. Do you think it is possible that when a potential client thinks about his website, you come to mind? Or when he thinks about the internet in general? I don’t think so. That space is too big and there are too many people who offer services in this space. When I say Transportation, do you think about Telsa? Would you instantly think about Tesla, when I say car? Not everyone does, there are to many other big brands in the car industry.

Try to be more specific about what you offer. What are you offering that pops into the minds of your potential clients? For example, you could be the woman or man who creates ecommerce websites in the fashion industry. This makes it easier for people to know who you are and what you do.

This does not mean, you can only work in one field from now on. It simply means you should position yourself in one field.

Limit your offer

Limiting your offer is scary to some freelancers because it makes it seem like you are excluding certain groups of people from your client list. You don’t need to limit the fields in which you work, but freelancing is an extremely crowded market. You need to find a way to stand out in your prospect’s mind.

Chose a field in which you actively work. Let’s keep the ecommerce for fasion example. If someone asks you to build a simple website, you could say: “Yes, I can do that, but I specialize in ecommerce for fashion.”

In short: Think about when clients should think about your services. What do they have in mind? Is this what you are communicating? If you are not sure, what they have in mind, ask your clients. Ask, how they heard about your services and why they choose to work with you. Write down what they say and try to find the language that works for potential costumers and yourself.

What’s the one thing you could build a brand around? Let us know in the comments.

About the author

Jonas accidentally started his freelance career at 12 years old when his neighbour hired him to build a website. Two decades later, he has worked at many agencies, cofounded a startup, continued working as freelancer and builds ValueTime to help freelancers understand their business numbers.

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