Ahhh so you have an awesome business. You make your own schedule, rules and chase down clients for payments. What a life! If you’re just starting out you’re probably excited about your upcoming projects and client work and you should be. The questions is, do people actually know what you do? Does your list, audience and social media following know exactly what you do? If not, why not? What’s the point of having this amazing business if no one knows about it? Well fear not, I am here giving you simple tips to help you brand yourself as a go to expert in your industry . Let’s get started!
Tip 1: Let the world know you exist.
Having a business is more than having a website, with a sales page or shopping cart filled with your design products. Trust me no one is just browsing Google looking for your website. Just because you have a website and a products page doesn’t mean the money will just pour in, you’re going to have to do some work! Now, you will have 3 main lines of defenses.
Your first line of defense is word of mouth. Update your family or friends on your new business venture. They may need or know someone who may need your services. When I first started my freelance design business 100% of my clients came from family and friends.
Your second line of defense is social media. Your social media profiles are your first introductions to the unknown world. When someone comes to your Instagram page, they will see your bio. Does your bio say anything about you being a freelancer? People won’t automatically know that you’re an amazing photographer or designer. It’s your job to tell them.
Your third line of defense is your previous clients. A powerful testimonial can be wonderful for your business. Don’t forget to ask your previous clients for a testimonial about the time you worked together. Then post those amazing testimonials to your website and social media pages.
Tip 2: Know your target audience
Now that you’re in business, you have to make sales right? If you don’t make money, your business won’t last. But the first thing you should remember is everyone isn’t your target audience. Everyone doesn’t need or want your products or service and that’s ok. Years ago I opened an online clothing store and I thought everyone in the world was my customer. I was not clear on who my target audience was, so I targeted everyone. I focused on selling, and never took anytime to cultivate a warm audience who would actually be excited about my brand. And as a result, I made NO money.
Rule #1 : Know who you’re selling to and WHY
Make sure you’re focused in on who your target audience is. Know their gender, ethnicity, pain, struggles and even favorite social media platforms. It’s your job to solve a SPECIFIC problem in their lives. And it’s your job to find out what that SPECIFIC problem is. You’re going to have to do some research and ask some questions. But that’s our jobs about entrepreneurs, we solve problems.
Be sure to very specific about who your audience is for example if you’re a real estate agent, what’s your speciality? Do you specialize in luxury condos in New York City? Then that’s who you should be branding yourself as, the go to luxury condo real estate agent in New York City. If that’s the case then your marketing strategy is going to be geared towards individuals who desire to live a certain luxury lifestyle.
Tip 3: Establish your Authority
When it comes to your niche, you want to be considered the “Go To” expert. If you’re a photographer, you want your audience to consider you a photography expert and come to you for help or services. How do you do that? Offer consistent FREE content. You should be making it very easy for people to hand you their money. Start using your blog, YouTube channel or Periscope videos to establish your expertise. I am a Brand Stylist and Web Designer. Every chance I get to talk about branding or designing I take it. I talk about it on my blog, I create free courses about it, I have Facebook groups dedicated to it and am constantly using social media to further establish my authority. Now it’s gotten to the point that if anyone needs to know anything about branding people are ALWAYS mentioning me. Whether it be my inner circle or audience, someone is always referring someone to me. Establishing your expertise helps your brand to become easily associated with your niche. When you audience thinks about Photography, or designing they should automatically think about you.
Tip 4: Put yourself on display
Put your freelance work on display for the world to see. Post your work on Instagram or Facebook, or whatever platforms you use consistently. Encourage your clients to share their finished products with their audience as well. It’s always fun to post before and after pictures to further establish your authority and prove to your audience that you can get your clients the results they are looking for. You should be create valuable content on a consistent basis. Posting once a month on social media is going to bring you very much visibility. Consider creating a social media posting schedule that fits your needs and gives your audience ample time to warm up to your content.
Some great ways to do this is collaboration through guest posting, joint webinars, or interviews for different podcasts.
BONUS: Your VIsual Brand
Your visual branding should invoke a certain vibe or personality that you’re trying to portray to your audience. If I have established that my brand’s personality as chic, inspirational,
encouraging and pretty, then I am going to post visual content that aligns with my personality. If you take a look at my Instagram page here, you’ll notice very chic, pretty, inspirational and encouraging posts. So if you’re a luxury brand, you need to have luxurious visuals on social media and your website. As a brand, you’re selling your audience a lifestyle, and it’s through your products or services that they will gain this specific lifestyle. If you’re posting those luxurious pictures on Instagram, guess what you’re going to attract the audience who desires to live that lifestyle and those are the people who end up on your email list and becoming repeat customers or clients.
And lost but not least, have fun. If you’re not enjoying your entrepreneurial journey, you’ll make things A LOT harder than they need to be. Be yourself and be awesome!
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