The year 2020 came in like a wrecking ball but one major plus to come out of the wreckage is that many companies shifted toward remote-first structures.
What does that mean for freelancers? Organizations are now hiring remotely or outsourcing talent to take on positions that were once performed in co-located teams. Despite there being a higher demand for outsourced talent around the world, the challenge that freelancers now face is distinguishing themselves from the competition.
Building your personal brand in 2021 should be a top priority for freelancers, it helps you gain recognition and makes you more memorable. Not only will you get noticed by potential clients but it will be a deciding factor for choosing you over a competitor. Think of your personal brand as a marketing tool that tells people who you are, the skills you possess, and how you’re going to solve a customer’s pain points.
Let’s delve a little deeper into personal branding.
What is a Personal Brand?
The actual definition of a personal brand is how you promote yourself to your audience and how they perceive that image of you. That entails your history, skillset, and the traits of your personality. Your personal brand could be based on information from a number of platforms, including your website, LinkedIn, face to face interactions, and even your nDash profile.
A personal brand is a tangible asset that can help to increase your earnings and further your career when finely tuned. When your audience and customers feel like they know your brand story and understand you on a deeper level, they feel they can trust you and your solutions to their pain points.
One of the best ways to nurture your personal brand is to make a unique value proposition (UVP) to companies looking for your skills. A unique value proposition; sometimes called a unique selling point is a positioning statement details your story, strengths, and skills in a succinct way. It’s important to create a UVP because it highlights the benefits of choosing you over a competitor to your prospects.
Creating Your Personal Brand’s Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Developing your personal brand should always begin with knowing who your audience is and understanding what they’re about. That goes beyond demographics, you need to know what their problems are so you can solve them. With that information, you can build out your messaging so you can provide outcomes and solutions to potential clients (remember they need your services because they have pain points and challenges).
Differentiating yourself from your competitors is a great way to garner fresh leads for work, furthermore, it helps you nurture existing relationships for future work. Don’t forget, your positioning statement is a way to communicate that you have what it takes to successfully solve your customer’s problems.
Here’s an example of what a Marketing Copywriter’s UVP may look like:
“I have over 3 years of agency experience, working with big B2C brands to develop multi-channel campaigns. You’ll find my quips on the likes of Boohoo’s ads and KFC’s Twitter Feed. I help brands like yours get more from campaigns by connecting with audiences on a personal level to boost your bottom line.”
It’s important to explain how your skills and experience are going to help your customers achieve the desired result. Be concise about how your experience can add value to them.
How to Market Yourself With Your Positioning Statement
Your positioning statement can help your clients gauge whether you’re going to be a fit for them when working together. Whether you’re placing your UVP on a landing page, a line of copy on social media, or through ads, the positioning statement needs to be about who you are and how you’re going to help.
Here are four questions you need to answer:
- Who you are: tell your brand’s story, the history of who you are, and where you came from. It doesn’t need to involve every little detail of your life but it will enable your audience to trust you and become emotionally invested.
- Your offerings: detail what you offer to customers and why it’s beneficial to work with you. Make your strengths very clear.
- Your audience: Get very concise about who your messaging is aimed at so you can personalize every aspect of it. Your tone of voice is very important because it should vary, depending on the demographic you’re speaking to.
- Your audience’s objective or mission: survey your audience, ask them questions and find out vital information about what they like and dislike. This can be done in a number of ways, depending on your industry.
These questions will be the basis for your positioning statement and at first, may look like a paragraph of text. It can be refined as you get better at developing your UVP, eventually starting with a question that looks like this “Are you looking to generate new website leads through SEO content?”. This question helps your future customer relate to you if they have a similar problem. Then you can add an additional line into your statement that says “After working at a leading marketing agency for 3 years, I now help online stores improve conversion rates by 300% by driving sales through SEO content.”
When building your personal brand, you’ll need to be patient with yourself and your audience. Research is the key to understanding who your prospects are and how you can relate to them on a level that secures future work for you. Be genuine and be authentic when telling your brand’s story so that you can develop the strongest personal brand for you.
With so many companies outsourcing work to freelancers at the moment, it’s essential to build your personal brand in 2021 to help you stand out. Remember, your personal brand is your reputation, and developing a unique value proposition allows you to speak directly to companies and tell them you’re the right fit for the job.
About the Author
Anup Sohanta is a freelance copywriter and content writer, with 5 years of experience in the writing field. He’s also the author of a little book called From the Universe’s Lips to My Ears. To learn more about Anup — or to have him write for your brand — check out his nDash profile.