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The Art of Branding Yourself and Your Freelancing Business

Branding, Business | Oct 1, 2009

Just as it is for big corporations, successful branding is essential to the success of a freelancing business and to just one self-employed web worker.

It is often times overlooked, most likely because many don’t realize the large benefits that can come from it.

The first thing we think of when we think “brand identity” is a good logo.

A good logo can do wonders for a self-employed freelancer, but branding identity goes far beyond that, into entire website development, content, business cards, and even into offline scenarios.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at ways to define a brand for something as unique as a freelancing business, and what one needs to do to get started on the right track to a successful brand.Before we get into the specifics, let’s take a look at how a brand can help any sort of business.

A good brand will lead to success now and in the future, and that is essential for a self-employed person that doesn’t ever want to be forced back into a 9-5 job. If created correctly, a good brand will:

  • Create a memorable business
    This will make the clients want to come back to, creating user loyalty.
  • Create a basis for the business to expand in new ways
    When launching a new project, a brand can be used to jump-start it successfully.
  • A good brand confirms credibility
    This is top concern among many potential clients.
  • A properly implemented brand will target the right clients
    This will help finding the right clients looking for exactly your style.
The Importance of Branding

 

1. Define Your Business Goals

Before one even gets started in the design process of branding, one must define what they want the brand to communicate.

In order to do that, we must define a few specific things in general, the first being the freelancing business’s goals.

Beyond helping to develop a brand, defining business goals will help in a number of other ways.

For one, it will help visualize the ultimate goals of the business, helping smaller goals become more proactive in reaching the long-term accomplishments.

It will also keep you, as the leader of the business, on track, from personal self-management, to anyone you may be managing in the future.

Getting off track is why many businesses fail, and why many freelancers eventually go back to a day job they hate. Goals and a business plan will help you to stay on track.

Take some time aside to set goals properly. Write them down, detail them, and think about them critically. Goals can help plan the future of a freelancing career for years to come. Below are ten items to keep in mind when setting goals:

  • Be specific
    Losing sight of where you’re going is an issue that comes from having no goals, but having unspecific goals will also create this problem.
  • Create a business plan
    This should be a separate article in itself, but it is a great way to outline goals as well as include finances and tools into accomplishing those goals.
  • Set short-term goals along with your long-term goals
    It’s easy to turn ultimate dreams into business goals, as we should, but shorter, more technical goals can track success better.
  • Keep committed
    This is an obvious point, but think of lifestyle changes that will help you commit to the goals that are made. For example, if you would like to expand your skill set, set aside a time each day in your schedule to study.
  • It may help to make goals public
    Make your freelancing business and goals associated with it as public as possible. If this means sharing with only friends and family, then so be it. It will help to motivate you to complete goals — keeping your business on track.
  • Be realistic
    It’s ok to dream high, but don’t set unachievable goals for a time given.
  • Have relevant goals
    If a goal ends up providing little or nothing to the growth of the business, then it is pointless. For example, don’t set a goal to take on another client each week that you can’t handle — this will likely only limit the time you have to grow and market the business in other ways. A relevant goal would be, for example, to expand to more than a 1-man (or 1-woman) operation.
  • Create an action plan for each goal
    “I’d like to someday own my own design firm”, is just not good enough. Have a goal-by-goal plan to complete broader goals like this. In other words, make the goal actionable.
  • Keep everything in line when working on a new goal.
    Reaching goals means business and lifestyle changes, so make sure your finances and other forms of security are still tightly in place throughout the process.
  • Take a step back to analyze the progress
    Take what you’ve learned onto the next goal. As an example, if you’re trying to market your portfolio better, what marketing strategies worked? Which strategies didn’t work?

 

2. Define Your Target Audience

After defining business and career goals, you need to define who you’ll need to attract to keep the business alive.

These people are, of course, the clients. Who is your ideal client? Beyond clients, are you willing to work with others on group projects (i.e. developer and designer)? Who would that ideal partner be?

Target audiences are often more related to one that sells products, or to a blog or other form of website that relies heavily on its visitor count. However, selling services is no different. One must recognize this and take the necessary steps to define their target audience.

Both how a brand is designed visually and how it is presented professionally will lean towards a certain type of person.

This person should be someone you’d like to work with, as well as the type of person that will help your brand grow.

audience

When seemingly ready to open up Illustrator and start on a logo design, wait one more second and get prepared for the visual aspect of the brand-to-be.

Below are some questions to ask about the target audience before jumping into the design phase of your brand.


What is your design style?

If it is more creative, you may want to appeal to groups that would need a creative website.

If it is more Web 2.0 and sleek, you’re going to want to appeal to business owners or vendors of “high-technology fields.”

Consulting agencies, app websites, and other sites of the like would be great targets.


To What Level Are you Willing to Help and Communicate?

It’s true; all clients have varying levels of understanding web technologies, and well, technology in general.

Do you want to attract a client that knows nothing of the web world, in which you will be responsible for providing an easy to maintain website? Or, would you rather communicate with a group of web professionals, sending out the final project to one client?

This can dig deeper into clients as well. Attracting a client, for example that is maintaining a site dedicated to some sort of technology may be easier to communicate with about technology if you prefer that.

Any other type of website that coincides with the “offline world” though may hold a client that would need a simpler website.


What work would you like to be responsible for?

Many of us don’t like all the work that comes from freelancing. Especially in the world of website creation, many clients want us to do it all — design, develop, market, and more.

If you specialize in one area though, it may be beneficial to have part of your target audience be those looking for partnership projects.

For example, if you are a designer, you may want to include web developers in your target audience so that they could contact you to partner up on a bigger project.

This way, whether you know how to or not, you wouldn’t be stuck with the coding and you can stick with what you love.


Define it on Paper

After asking these questions and researching a bit more, write out your target audience in a list.

Each item should not be a single-line type of person, like “Clients with a lot of web experience”, but rather a small very descriptive paragraph.

The more detailed the description, the more success you’ll have once it’s time to start the design process of the brand.

Define it on Paper

Further Resources

 

3. The Business Name

Is it your own name, or a more formal and creative name?

This is often times a step overlooked, but it is incredibly relevant to the final goals of the website. If you plan to be the owner of a firm someday, or develop a team of web professionals in any other way, your given name as a brand may not be appropriate.

However, many freelancers chose to grow their business by always freelancing solo, while still outsourcing some of their work. There is a difference in each situation, and a personal name would thrive on this type of business.

Also, bigger names may attract bigger projects, while a personal name would attract many smaller clients. Depending on what you’d like to do in terms of work greatly depends on the brand’s name.

So, in the plainest sense: an alternative name would be more versatile, but your own name as a brand would be more personable and each would lead to a different type of client.

Brand Name

Image credit: Mark McGall, 72 Thinking

 

4. The Logo

The logo is the first step into the design process of the brand. It is the one graphic that your business will survive upon.

Your website, content, and all other design elements must compliment a brand’s logo, as well as work with it towards the ultimate goal of making the sale to the client.

Whether designing it yourself or hiring someone else to do it for you — you’ll need to be the one that decides how it will look.

Many times I get clients that let me have too much creative control when it comes to their brand design. While creative control is always appreciated, when it comes to a brand — that’s a bad choice.

Be sure to research and create a plan for the brand of your freelancing business so you can take control.

Logos

Everything mentioned so far in this article will come into play for the initial design phase of the brand.

The name is an obvious factor, but the target audience and business’s goals will also come into play. Keep a few questions in mind concerning all of this when beginning the logo design phase:

  • What does the overall style of the logo need to be to attract the right audience?
  • What type of colors should be used? As different types of colors provoke different emotions, this ties in greatly to the target audience.
  • How versatile does it need to be? How will it grow with your freelancing as a business?
  • Does it need to be formatted well with print material as well as web material?
  • What shape does it need to be, generally (more rounded/square, or rectangular)? This has a lot to do with what materials you’ll be using it on and the format it will need to take when combined with content.


Some Examples

Alex Arts

The above logo says “professional, fun, and personable”. Notice how the varying colors in the web design turn into a more playful approach, which in turn makes it more personable.

The smooth curves in both the font and the image portion of the logo also take the strict factor away, making him as a business person approachable.

This freelancer runs as a single freelancer, branding his business as him — most likely returning to him one-on-one clients with great communication and many smaller, more creative projects.


Outline 2 Design

This brand is a group of designers working together under one website. The brand has a more generalized name, and even a more professional, company-like feel.

Furthermore, looking more into their portfolio, one can see that the image compliment on the logo highlights their design style: clean and sleek with a hint of outside-the-box creativity.


Momono

The abstraction of this logo tells the viewer right away about the style of this designer. Also, a bright color also plays into it. It is simple, effective, and portrays the designer’s intentions well.


Yodaa

Playful, light and super creative is what this brand is all about. The logo complimenting this brand is incredibly creative, and lacks a more formal look. That’s not to say it isn’t effective though. Its overall look is still professional while being quirky and original.


Valen Designs

This is a single freelancer with a portfolio full of Web 2.0 material. The logo quickly reflects that, and the nature theme provides a calm, cool, and collected tone. The brand says professional and high-tech, but not rigid or boring.


Southern Media

This brand is the most classical of all the logos above. Along with it comes a business that is more traditional and formal. This likely creates more credibility for them as a team, rather than a single freelancer, allowing them to take on bigger clients.

 

5. Your Website Design, Business Card Design, and Everything Else

Now that you have a logo, you’ve gone through much of the design process for nearly everything else that will require design. It only takes a bit more planning to complete the design process.

If your brand is very personal, a hand-drawn website design may work well to compliment the logo and brand as a whole. If the brand is Web 2.0, you’ll want a sleek web design, sleek business card design, and sleek, high-end stationary and other printed material.

Because the rest of your design needs can be based primarily off of the logo design, most of the target audience and business goals implementation will come into place naturally.

Still, keep them in mind as you develop the brand further. Don’t lose sight of the goals, and always pertain to the original message you’ve planned for.

Examples Continued

Outline 2 Design

This group keeps to their image with the rest of their design as professional yet creative.


Momono

The colors, wireframe, and work featured on this portfolio are all abstract, just as the logo is. It is also very clean, to the point, and has a lot of whitespace — again mimicking the logo and brand design.


Yodaa

The web design of this brand is the primary focus, and it is playful, personable, and approachable. It mixes very well with the logo and highlights the brand very well.


Valen Designs

The web design is super clean and web 2.0, just as the logo is. Furthermore the design is laid out in a way that is systematized, letting visitors in on all the information necessary, which is a very professional, company-like approach.


Southern Media

This web design is very traditional, attracting clients that would like a straight approach to their web services. Like the logo and appeal to the brand, it is “gimmick-free” and professional. A high level of credibility is present in the web design as it is in the entire brand.

 

6. Write an Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is traditionally used offline when trying to sell your services in about 30 seconds or less.

Pre-planning a small speech to sell your stuff can help to include everything you need to, while still having a crafted pitch that is likely to sell.

However, as the technologies of web work expand each year, elevator pitches are becoming increasingly important for online freelancers as well.

An elevator pitch is very much a part of a brand. What is said in the pitch shares what you do, what your business does, and what you and your business can do for the person reading or hearing your pitch.

When a prospect asks what you do, you should not respond with, “I’m a freelance web designer” or “I’m a freelance writer”. Instead, this is a chance to say, in about 15-30 seconds, what you do in detail.

Nobody is interested in a “freelance web designer”, “freelance web developer” or a “freelance writer”.

What potential clients are interested in is “a web designer that focuses primarily on user-centric web designs that are both creative and professional” or “a web developer that creates website apps focused around users needs — apps that are designed to sell”.

Elevator Pitch

Realistically, elevator pitches should be even better than the above. Furthermore, they can be used as an introduction to a portfolio, or used on the about page to help make sales there, too. To find out more about elevator pitches and how to write the perfect pitch, check out the resources below.

Further Resources

 

7. Write an About Page

Your about page is where clients and others who may want to work with you can get to know you, before having to make any sort of contact. It should reflect yourself, and the way you do business.

Is your brand fun, professional or to-the-point? Most likely, your brand so far has reflected your personality in its own sense already. It’s now up to you to write an about page that can “make the sale.

If a person has become interested enough to check out the about page, you have somehow convinced them to become at least half-way interested in your services.

Hopefully, you’ve attracted the right person based from your declared target audience. If so, how would you talk to this person?

Content-wise, you’re going to want to keep to your original style. For example, if you want a more company-like approach, write more formally. For a more creative approach, be personable and fun.

Your career choice as a freelancer and the work you do probably already reflects your personality a great deal, so just being yourself is the best option when trying to find a writing style for the about page.

It is of utmost importance to not try to sound like anyone else — your own voice is what makes you different from every other freelancer on the planet.

After figuring in the writing style and how to approach the page, one must outline what to include. Below is a minimum:

  • Your history in the field and what you do.
  • Your professional experience, and possibly school experience if present.
    (A written résumé)
  • Perhaps a link to a more formal resume.
  • Contact information, or a link to the contact page.
  • A relevant note to their problem, and how you can help them.
    (They need a website, you can make one for them.)

One may want to include other sections that further define their personality and business.

The more a potential client feels they know you, the more likely they’ll be to make contact because you and your business will seem more approachable. (Keep in mind though that it need not be a 10 page autobiography!)

Example About Page

Further Resources

 

8. Get Clients to Reach You

Now that you have a brand, it’s all about marketing and having clients find you.

You’ve created a target audience, identified business goals (both present and future goals), built the brand in a design sense around those two definition, and created content that helps sell your material.

This is all great, but at this point your brand is unknown and inactive. Don’t worry though — your brand is supposed to do the work for you, and given the time, it will.

Let people know about your brand by getting listed on job websites, doing guest posts, or leaving messages in forums. Generally, marketing is the same — but now you must market your brand as opposed to yourself.


Keeping Consistent

In my own experiences with branding, I’ve found myself re-branding and trying out new things.

It all came down to the fact that I had never taken the time to correctly brand my business, and specifically, that I had never taken the time to find my true target audience.

That forced me to revamp my brand to meet my needs as time went on. I could have avoided the whole mess if I would have taken the time in the beginning.

In the end, that has hurt my business because clients, readers, and other people that keep my business alive didn’t recognize me and my business after each revamp, and it also hurt my credibility.

It is essential to keep a brand consistent, for the reasons mentioned above, and for a number of other reasons. Once you lose the brand, you lose all of the benefits that come along with it. If you change a brand, even if it is being changes to better match goals today, it will have to start marketing from base zero once again.

Here are a few articles and tips on how to keep a brand consistent.


Updating a Brand

As we change as professionals and as people, there is no doubt that we will want to change our brand too. We may grow into a design firm rather than a freelance web designer, or a web developer more so than a designer.

Much of the time a person will be focusing on one area of web work, only to find over time that their skill set and interests have expanded into something completely different.

  • That’s fine; that’s life — we live, we grow, we change.
  • The trick now is to not change your brand, but to upgrade it, and develop it further.
    This is where our initial goals step into place. With the correct planning of our goals in the first place, we were able to plan ahead for moving forward. Perhaps you were a single, lonely freelancer back in the day you created your brand, but now you’ve finally got a team together as a firm, just as one of your goals stated. If you planned the brand around that goal successfully, you may only need to make a few tweaks, while still making your brand recognizable and overall, the same.
  • To upgrade a brand, keep a few things consistent: the name, the style, and the main color combination.
    The name is the most recognizable part of a brand, so that is something you will never want to change. The overall style is very tightly knit into your target audience, and in order to keep your current client base, you’ll want to keep that. Lastly, color is one of the most memorable aspects visually, and most likely is the driving force visual for your brand. Keep this, and you keep the tone and memorable factor of your brand.


Further Resources

 

Wrapping Up

Brand creation is definitely an art in itself, and takes a lot of time to plan.

Don’t rush through this essential step of a freelancing career — having a brand can not only benefit you as a web professional, but also avoid fallbacks and can aid as a form of security.

No matter how big your business is — how big your client base, your team, or your popularity is — develop a plan, a brand around it if you haven’t already.

Then, stick to it, be consistent. It may also be helpful to take a step back if you already have a brand to analyze it. Can it be upgraded or further developed? Are you missing anything essential to your brand thus far?

There are, of course, many more tips and suggestion that could be mentioned, and much of it is a matter of personal experiences.


Written exclusively for WDD by Kayla Knight.

Please share any further tips or experiences you’ve had with branding as a freelancer. What have you learned from your own mistakes?



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  • http://valendesigns.com Derek Herman

    Thank you for the nod, being included in this list is awesome. However, your screen capture of my site (Valen Designs) is not correct. The sIFR is showing blocks of gray, can you please fix it?

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      Sure, thanks for pointing it out, it’s been corrected.

      Btw, awesome portfolio!

  • http://www.ryvondesigns.com Ryvon Designs

    WOW. Talk about a detailed article! By far one of the best ones I have read for insight and detail on each point made (versus making excellent points but not expanding). I always like to add, that a brand is dynamic, and it will grow with you, so expect to update, revamp, and adjust direction as you and your career grow.

    Thanks!
    Pam

  • http://valendesigns.com Derek Herman

    Thanks for fixing it, that was super fast!

    • http://www.webdesignerdepot.com Walter

      You got me at the right time :)

  • http://www.area1.info Opariuc Mihai

    Wow! You did a great job with this article :)

  • http://engagetheweb.com Matt Morrison

    Awesome article. I am just in the process of upgrading (not re-doing) my brand and so much of this applied directly to my process. This was a great read. Thanks.

  • Rahulfow

    thanx for sharing such a great info.

  • http://www.moinid.com Most Interesting Ideas

    Beautiful article. Very useful for me

  • http://www.teknikomputer.com Zulqa

    You always give me inspiration ,,, Thanks

  • RoaldA

    Long article! Great stuff thou, just what I needed! :D

  • http://www.hombretranquilo.com DAF

    Don’t you think that show the graphic design portfolio y easier than show the ad portfolio? Because I’m a creative director and ever work in advertising, but I’m Art Director too, and I ever feel that for once work I have to explane a lot concept, estrategic, the brief, etc etc

  • http://investinmyidea.com Invest Man

    this was a fantastic article, love your work and i even love the website! classic example of practice what you preach : )

  • http://isabelbarros.blogs.ie Isabel Barros

    Excellent article!
    Thanks for the tips.

  • http://darrellwilson.co.uk Darrell WIlson

    This looks seriously useful – too much to absorb in one sitting, have bookmarked for future reference.

  • http://www.aledesign.it aledesign.it

    A good article. Sometimes make a good business plan is all..But important is study in correct way your goals for your life! In a short-term if possible. I prefer study step by step…and no with a long time!

  • http://www.vmwstudios.com/LevelMeUp Ray Wenderlich

    Very nice post – especially useful for those of us just starting out!

  • http://www.studio646.com Tadd Mencer

    Great article! I’m in the middle of a portfolio redesign – so the information here is perfect and right on time! Thanks!

  • http://www.wordsoftheweb.com Carson Shold

    Fantastic article! Definitely one to keep bookmarked. I’m in a class right now where our major assignment is to brand ourselves with a logo and portfolio website so I’ll be sure to pass this post along.

    Cheers

  • Jorge Elvir

    Wow! awesome article, right on the money, thanks!

  • Eric

    Excellent Article!

    Some times things in life hit you at the right time, and this is one of those cases for me. I am in the midst, like many others, of rebranding my freelance business which, after reading this article I realize, was never really a brand to begin with. No mission, no goals, no plan, no identity, no web presence, no logo, no nothing. Thanks for the inspiration and tips to make a fresh start.

    I’ve got to get to work, I’ve got a future to build.

  • http://evelt.com joel k

    i really appreciate this post
    im currently in this proses and this is a breath of fresh air

    thanks Kayla Knight. I’ll test it :)
    and thanks Walter
    keep it rocking :)

  • http://www.chotrul.com/ Mark Carter

    Great article with much food for thought. As I’m thinking of transitioning from permanent to freelancing, this is a really useful post. Many thanks :-)

  • http://kaigadesign.com Craig Scott

    Great article! There are some good pointers here – I think I need to go back and consider my target audience/ideal client before starting on a logo design.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.amberweinberg.com Amber Weinberg

    Great tips for beginning freelancers. I find many beginners often forget their own branding, and wonder why clients don’t want to hire them for their own branding.

  • http://www.empfehlenswert-wien.at wien

    super artikel, very helpful, thanks

  • http://www.em3.rs Milos

    nice article!

  • http://nicolasviroga.com Nicolas Viroga

    An article exelente! Thank you very much for sharing these skills.A greeting

  • http://www.bebop-cafe.com BebopDesigner

    Brilliant article! So well explained and detailed. Thanks for posting.

  • http://jobpic.com Breck

    Thanks Kayla! Interesting post & helpful links.

    Love the WDD design btw.

  • http://johanweb.net JohR

    Very detailed and very informative. This kind of article is always a source of motivation. Thanks a lot!

  • http://www.absolutelyvirtual.com.au Monika

    What a great article!! Thank you for providing this and all the details.

    PS: Love your website and thank you for sharing your knowledge for the benefit of others :-)

  • http://www.creativebrandmarketing.co.uk Nigel Lamb

    A well put together introduction to brand and branding. Well done.

  • http://addcreative.co.uk AndyDriver

    Great article, thanks. Always nice to be reminded of the things we take for granted and therefore lose focus on.

    Mad header.btw :)

  • http://www.flience.com L Dash

    Awesome article.

  • http://www.w2point.com Web 2.0 Tools

    Great article, thanks…

  • http://www.crecemedia.com Francisco

    Great article. Still have to say one of my worst mistakes is wanting to improve my “brand” every time I can, even changing the complete layout of my websites. I simply can’t stop thinking “hmm this would look better this way” or “my website needs a redesign!”

  • http://wpswitch.com Matt

    The hardest part for me is coming up with a name for a brand. Most of the time the best ones come to me when I am really not even thinking about it.

  • http://juju-design.blogspot.com/ JuLi

    Wow, great article!
    Saw that elevator pitch stuff a while ago on TV but forgot about it – thanks for bringing that back to my mind!

  • http://www.logobliss.com Logo Bliss

    Nice list, I really like alexarts.

  • http://www.skinyourscreen.com/site mrbiotech

    Great article! Wonderfully selected examples and a very broad but specific treatment of the field. Your experience shows!

  • http://www.sametomorrow.com/blog Adam

    Good and helpful post

  • http://www.bostondigitalmedia.com Daniel DiRico

    Great article! There is enough helpful information in here to go way beyond the web designer crowd. This is useful from many, many viewpoints of the web business world. Really nice job on this.

  • http://the2designers.com jonatan

    good article guys!!!

  • http://www.netvibes.com/pharmacy-store Online Pharmacy Store

    thx for the tips

  • http://www.quickenwebsites.com Quicken Websites

    Great tips for beginners! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.720media.com Taa Dixon

    Thanks for your article on branding. I think many small business owners can figure this stuff out if they have a road map, and you have provided just the right tips!

    - Taa in Colorado Springs, CO

  • http://www.boraacemi.com BORABORA

    Great roundup post!
    Thank you for putting all this together.
    Best wishes
    BORABORA

  • http://www.crazyxhtml.com Victor

    Thanks! very useful!!!

    :)

  • http://www.design-manchester.co.uk Design Manchester

    Awesome post. I am just in the process of setting up myself and this will come help out a lot!

  • http://www.philippineglobaloutsourcing.com Philippine Outsourcing

    This has been very informative and helpful since my business is into outsourcing various services. Thanks for this wonderful post, this can really be of great help! =)

  • http://www.bname.ru/ Alexander Osipov

    Nice article for my own web-portfolio, thank you very much!!)

  • http://www.christoph-brauer.de Christoph Brauer

    WOW! Great article. I’m currently in the process of upgrading my brand, so this might be very useful. Thanks for that!

  • http://www.rocket55.com Minneapolis Design Guy

    What an amazing post, a bit of information overload, but for the most part extremely useful. I’ll definitely have to come back and go over this post again.

  • http://www.revelrystudios.com Revelry Studios

    Great write up. Seems like a lot of no brainer stuff but a lot of people struggle with it, myself included.

  • http://www.limeexchange.com?affiliate_id=2489 aalisha rai

    Nice post! I think that Networking is the most important guideline for every freelancer to promote his business and services online. There are end number of social media platforms and freelance job websites available which help in getting and establishing business online.

  • http://www.zimliu.com Jimmy Liew

    This article is really helpful for those who would like to start their own entrepreneur path. At least some preparation and overview of requirement needed. Are you qualify?

    Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to read more most like this.

  • http://texgrubbs.wordpress.com/ Tex Grubbs

    Great stuff! Thanks for the thorough post.

  • http://ripplenet.co.uk Tim Read: Ripplenet web design

    Wow. Great article – more than I can take in in one go. Thanks! The point about creating a clear brand – which come from really knowing your target audience is spot on. The problem though is that you sometimes need to start out, and try a few things before you really know where you want to head.

  • http://ukhosting.uk.com/ UK Hosting

    Many thanks for this good article.

    I am sure you have spent lot of time writing it and it was really useful.

  • http://himslhunterillo.blogspot.com/ Blake Himsl Hunter

    nice post, it gave me lot’s to think about.

  • http://www.RobTheDesigner.com Rob Christianson

    This is a wonderful article, Kayla. I find myself in the middle of expanding my new brand – I have the logo done, and the look is carrying through to my Business Cards, social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, my online Avatar for posts such as these, etc.

    I am currently migrating my site to WordPress, so that will probably the the next thing to pick up my brand, once I port my portfolio over. But I definately recognize the value in branding yourself as a freelancer, and it’s a process i’ve had to work into about a year after going full-time freelance just because of projects and priorities.

    Thanks so much for sharing this wisdom again Kayla!

  • Jason

    Very cool article. Thanks for all the info – I’ll be starting up my own gig soon and this was a great

  • http://webhaber.com haber

    thankyou very very good

  • http://www.seobyexpert.com seo expert

    great article and very good tips for freelancer, thanks for the post.

  • http://www.eggdesign.ie Web Design Kerry

    Brilliant article. I feel alot more optimistic about my business after reading it. Some great insights! Thanks.

    John

  • http://www.pccca.org L. Bush

    Wonderful and insightful information for web designers and others who want to make sure their site is designed properly.
    Great stuff.

  • http://365dog.blogspot.com/ Aaron S.

    Thanks for this amazing article.! I agree with Taa. This is the “road map” I have been looking for and I am now able to fill in some huge holes in my freelance business.

  • http://www.ingledow.co.uk David Ingledow

    There are a lot of very useful tips in this article. Consider it retweeted!

  • http://www.emlakx.net Emlak

    Fantastic article! Definitely one to keep bookmarked. I’m in a class right now where our major assignment is to brand ourselves with a logo and portfolio website so I’ll be sure to pass this post along

  • http://www.seo-creative.co.uk Web Design Girl

    This is a great post we work with a lot of freelancers (as 2 freelancers turned into a company) and many people forget that as a freelancer yoiu pretty much have to do everything a business does including market yourselves, sales and admin this is a must read for anyone starting out on their own!

  • http://www.deysonortiz.com DeysonOrtiz.com

    Thank you very much for this informative article.

  • http://www.elliscreative.com.au Dan Ellis

    Thanks for such a detailed post! I am in the beginning stages of launching a new web service, and this post will prove invaluable in getting it on track early – thanks again!

  • http://www.imago-visual.com/ Tarquin

    Thanks for a very thorough post! Putting this one away for future reference. Cheers -T

  • http://non Mohummad Omar Masood

    thanks for adding my comments at your page with prominency.
    willing to know yours further thought provoking – observations and suggestions favourable to all of us in improving branding ourselves.

    • http://non Mohummad Omar Masood

      At the moment i recieved yours news letter topic is baranding your’s self i have a suggestion regarding to it and that is : as for example : my contract to my employer is ending after 2 – weeks and now i am forcasting keeping in view the cut throat bussiness environment – i have to take every step in a very calculated order regarding to my evry move as freelanceer – as a design consultant – as communication strategist what should be the marketing strategy. Hence : as a test case if i share with you all companions an inventry in terms the blue print of my current positionning regarding to the market trends and on going practices- and request you all to craft my branding in accordance with yours valuable joint group discussion . could it become a research case study – and the concerned group communicate through e -mails or online direct messaging – ultimately a diversity will emerged due to the multi cultural associations of all companions based on varied I.Q level of their belongings and threading to their norms and beliefs and business practices – the bottom line vision is how to craft a path among the galaxy of multinational advertising companies and heavy weight publishing houses. not confronting them but taking advantage to their business strategies. in favour of yours own branding –
      that the client will not underestimate you just because of yours weightage – the client will not sieze your’s last amount which you have described at the sign of agreement – or he will not over rule any bindings which you have done with your conttract.
      client should always in a feeling that he is getting gold in silver price.
      so these are my thought provoking ideas for you all to think and move.

  • http://www.gaboesquivel.com Gabo Esquivel

    great post !

  • http://www.psprint.com/business-cards Keith G.

    I am having problems with my elevator pitch :) Am a shy guy and it’s really difficult for me to speak in public, but this is for another post :) But sometimes I wish there was a way to just open a portfolio in front of a potential client and run away and hope they call you. But anyway, thanks for these tips. I agree that you would have to constantly update your brand — which is you :). You can’t change for the worse, only get better in time!

  • http://zmgcreative.com/ Jason Graham

    I love the information about the elevator pitch, so simple yet so important. Great info!

  • http://www.weplan.com.au decorating ideasa

    This is a great post we work with a lot of freelancers (as 2 freelancers turned into a company) and many people forget that as a freelancer yoiu pretty much have to do everything a business does including market yourselves, sales and admin this is a must read for anyone starting out on their own!

  • http://www.rowswooddesign.co.uk Donna

    Wonderful article – lots of very informative info – thanks for taking the time to share

  • http://rmhowe.com Rachel Howe

    Great information here, Love it! I am interested in social media strategy and development and was just making some plans to own my own business in the near future. This has helped me realize that there is a lot to think about that I was prob missing, and the logo design is more important than I thought.

    Thanks again.

    -Rachel

  • http://www.selfemployednews.com Self Employed Ragu

    Great Article…Branding is vital for a freelancer .But we have to make sustained efforts to brand ourselves.

  • http://idastudios.com shahram

    very well thought out. htp://Brandstack.com would be a great resource for picking out a name and finding the right look and feel.

  • http://www.trailertrashdesign.us joe

    One key thing that I think should have been in this article is to always be yourself. Too often freelancers pretend to be something that they’re not. Personally I don’t care if you over sell yourself and get burned for it… serves you right. But being honest about who you are and what you can do for your clients is key. Upfront in every new client meeting, I set the tone of how your relationship will be. Casual, approachable, real.

  • http://www.john-mcduffie.com John McDuffie

    Great article! I read it twice )making sure I didn’t miss anything(

    I love it when people refer to an “elevator pitch” – it reminds me of the good old days when we designed things on paper and used tape and glue for layouts and mockups.

    Thanks!