Branding is the most important part of every business. The success of most businesses relies largely on the popularity of the brands. People remember a brand and follow it, which gives impetus and growth to the business. The goal of every startup is to build a brand name and to maintain it. Therefore, branding is the core objective of every business.
However, in the professional world one should realize that besides the company, business, and industry, every individual is an asset, and popular assets are brands everyone knows. An individual has his/her own identity, which is separate from the business, and the more popular an individual is, the more he or she is recognized and rewarded. Therefore, branding yourself helps you to become popular among your business circle and helps your work become recognized. For a freelancer, branding is much more important. This is because freelancers work in their own comfort zone and their communication with people is restricted. In such cases you need to take more care branding yourself so you are popular with your clients.
One of the important tasks of freelancers is to build contacts and get noticed in order to grab new projects and new work. This is possible only with branding. Now, the question is: how do you brand yourself? Quality work definitely counts and is the top priority in creating a brand, but other initiatives need to be taken to become a big brand in the professional world. This article will discuss the importance of branding yourself and how it serves you in the professional world. We also discuss important factors to consider for creating a brand.
Everyone in the professional world has as a personal brand. Your personal brand is built and recognized through your work, actions, attitude, character, and many other aspects. Every day the actions you perform and the attitude you portray affect your brand; therefore it is so very important to maintain a good profile. Creating brand is important and easy for freelancers. While salaried staff hold a brand of their own, along with the identity of the company, the freelancer holds a brand that is independent of their work. When you are a freelancer, you are free to build your own personality and your own brand. There are many ways to brand yourself. A few of the basic and simple methods of branding yourself are mentioned below.
Simple ways to brand yourself:
These are the basic and simple ways through which you can introduce yourself to the world and brand yourself bigger.
Understanding one’s limitations is important in the process of branding. Whenever you brand yourself, be meticulous and genuine and avoid exaggeration. This is because praise should be awarded by others and not by oneself. Understand that you have to share your ideas and show your personality to the world to make yourself recognized without boasting. You have to maintain a slow and soft way of promoting yourself because promoting yourself aggressively might look egotistical and work against you. There is a thin line between promoting yourself and praising yourself and you have to strongly represent the former to create a good brand for yourself.
Now let’s examine the methods of branding more deeply. You can show your presence to the world in many ways that help build your brand. Any mechanism that helps to create a good brand out of you is effective. Below we discuss the methods of branding yourself with explanations. Following these methods will help you to take the initiative in the professional world to create an identity of your own and make your name a brand.
The first way for people to learn about you and your work is through your Web site. You will be judged and acknowledged through your quality of work and portfolio and profile, which will be visible in one shot through your site. Therefore, keep your site clean and updated. Polish your Web site with all new updates and projects and highlight all the important facts that would interest people coming to your site. Make sure you have given appropriate importance to all aspects and actions in your site. It is beneficial to keep a section on your site about your recent works and projects, the services you provide, and the goals you have achieved. These things will help viewers gain a better and wider view of you. They will be able to look through all your aspects and form a judgment of you, which will help you to create your brand.
Different people will have different interests working in different fields of work. Therefore, everyone will have different aspects to highlight on their sites. If you are a writer, you can share your recent write-ups and link to your articles to display your quality and flow of writing. On the other hand, if you are a designer, you can mention your recent projects and links to your designs to give your viewers an insight into your work. And if you are a developer, you can reflect release codes, Web applications, and related stuff on your Web site. Everyone can display their own interests and actions through their Web site. By doing this you introduce yourself to the world and let viewers know about you and your work. You can also mention links to related sites and outline your skills and services clearly so clients can recognize your name and acknowledge it as a brand for future assignments.
Real-life networking is very important to aspire to as a smart worker presenting yourself to the world. You have to possess certain qualities to promote yourself successfully to others. Below are certain basic qualities:
The ability to speak confidently, present confidently, and therefore leave a positive impression on others is the art of good networking. While these attributes come to a few people naturally, others need to accumulate them to network for their own benefit. Real-life networking is very important in branding yourself because it helps you to meet more people and make yourself known to a wider audience. For freelancers it is one of the best ways to find new clients and services and opens you up to a wider audience. In such cases, networking gives you the opportunity to approach people for newer projects. However, while networking it is very important to have control over yourself. You should try to build a conversation with others and should not always dominate a discussion. However, you should cleverly give your opinion and make your mark on others. Networking should not be pushy and one-sided because this will lead to adverse results.
To improve your networking skills you should follow all the points mentioned above. You should have the ability to introduce yourself well and confidently. Your introduction should reflect your business, your ideas, and your skills well and present you as a striking figure who leaves an impression from the start. Therefore, it is beneficial to prepare a good introduction to make an impact. You should be presentable in front of others. Maintain a dress code as the occasion demands and present yourself properly. Also, maintain your etiquette and table manners to create a warm atmosphere. Besides self- preparation, there are other attributes you should develop to shine within a network.
You should start talking to people you know initially, and then move on further with other people. This helps you build confidence and flow while addressing new people. Introduce yourself first and try to build an interesting conversation thereafter. Be a good listener and a good speaker. You can go with the idea of exchanging business cards to take the conversation further and make use of it for your services. Do not hesitate to offer your business cards and ask for the cards of others. However, make sure you do it naturally and don’t make it look cheesy. With all these prospects in mind and a little preparation, join all the possible networking functions and conferences you can and build up a wide network to make yourself visible and prominent.
These days social networking sites play an important role in helping you build your own brand. It is one of the best ways to stay connected with your clients and meet more people with similar interests and share the same fields of service. There are different kinds of social networking sites: a few, such as Linkdin.com, are maintained for professional networking, while others, such as Facebook.com and Twitter.com are designed to serve as platforms for sharing ideas and meeting people. Be active on such sites and maintain an impressive profile so you succeed in creating a good brand name.
LinkedIn and Facebook are the most popular contemporary social networking sites. LinkedIn helps you to create a profile of your own stating your interests, skills, and relevant fields, and offers you a forum where you can meet professionals with similar interests. It is a professional site that enables you to connect with more clients and gain projects. Facebook, on the other hand, is a site where you can connect with your personal and professional contacts. It offers you a wider audience to create an impact. Such sites offer a great number of opportunities. There are fields where you can search people you are looking for. They, in turn, offer suggestions relating to your interests, contacts, and services. You can be in contact with colleagues and clients past and present and keep yourself visible for future referrals. Be active with your contacts by sharing ideas, commenting on their ideas, and so on. Maintain all the elements mentioned for real-life networking to create a good impact on others. Apart from this, try to maintain your similar username and preferably your business name on such sites. This helps other people find you easily and get connected simply. Maintain a proper profile and mention your interests, skills, and position, and also a link to your Web site, so people can get to know you better. Social networking sites are great for building communication and making yourself recognizable.
Blogging is an important way to create your brand. It is one of the most popular methods used by people in the professional world to build a space of their own and show it to the public. Blogs are simple to set up too. You can create your own domain name and build a blog of your own to express yourself. Many sites offer free blogging software to create your own blog, and WordPress.com is the most popular. On the other hand, there are blogging sites where you can create a blog and start expressing right away such as Blogger.com and Tumbler.com. These sites give you the opportunity to post your write-ups and upload images and videos for a stronger impact and a wider review.
Blogging sites have multiple ways of reflecting writing and reaching a wider audience, but just managing your blog is not enough. It is important to read other blogs and participate in them by commenting and offering ideas. This will help bring others to your blogs. Also offer a topic of conversation and comments for readers on your blog. Maintain a professional style while managing your blog so readers coming to your site understand the seriousness and relevance of it.
Other than blogs, another important way to generate interest in your site is by writing articles. This is an effective way of branding yourself, and although you may not be a good writer, you can always share your ideas and knowledge with your audience. Start writing articles and publish them online and offline so people come to know about you and your views clearly. Pick up relevant topics in which you excel and publish write-ups on those topics. You can also provide help through your articles and let people recognize your skills and services. This will lead to future prospects involving different projects. There are many online article Web sites that are very popular. These include Buzz.com and Articlebase.com. Read the submission guidelines and publish your ideas on such article sites. Writing different articles related to your field of interest will improve your professional networking and generate a larger reading audience.
Marketing and advertising your name are very important in establishing your brand. One powerful way to market yourself is through press releases. Create a striking story, add relevant ideas and issues, and make a press release through online sites, newspapers, or magazines. This will help you reach a wider audience. You can use link building and directory submission for your sites to let the audience know about your sites, which will direct them from your work to you and therefore let them know your name and your services. Do not hesitate to market yourself to an audience. Speak about your work confidently and try to make an impact through your marketing pitch. Ask for help from your friends and colleagues to advertise yourself or make a referral and also stay active in freelancing sites. Improve your profile by adding skills and make it more impressive for your clients.
All these actions will help you create a brand for yourself. While branding yourself, never compromise with your work because, after building a brand, you must be able to maintain it through quality work. Also realize the fact that you can never become a brand in one day, so don’t step back after the first few initiatives. Try to follow all the mentioned methods and develop your network and interaction with audiences to make yourself more visible to others. Accumulate correct interaction, powerful networking, and valuable service and you will be on your way to branding your name.