6 Personal Branding Tips for Freelance Content Creators
When you’re a freelance content creator, your brand is everything. Your personal brand determines what you make, how successful you are, and even the extent to which you enjoy yourself in the business.
What do you stand for, and what kind of voice do you employ to express that? While committing to a personal branding path can be daunting, it can be helpful to remember that your brand doesn’t have to be set in stone. Consider the Kardashians, whose personal branding efforts predated their status as mega-celebrities and blockbuster social media content creators, and who continue to pivot, using those changes to reach greater heights every time.
Especially for beginners, creating a personal brand is easy to get wrong and hard to get right. You might be so busy trying to emulate the success of others that you accidentally create a brand you don’t actually stand behind. Or you might build a personal brand that doesn’t attract the audience and clients you truly want to work with.
These six tips will help you build your personal brand and develop your own creative empire.
1. Let your personality lead
The content creator space is becoming more competitive, as every day, more creatives start chasing their dream of going full time with their passion.
Many new content creators struggle to build a personal brand because they get overwhelmed by trying to figure out the value they offer to audiences. Many creators try to emulate other successful figures, or try to go more “professional.” The secret is to be you, consistently.
The most important thing you bring to the table is yourself: your personality, your way of thinking, your creative expression. If you’re going to build a community of followers who will engage with your content, thereby enabling you to monetize your work, then you need to be authentic.
“The popular content is authentic reports from ordinary people who live their passions with enthusiasm and share them with others,” notes MoreThanDigital’s Simone Belko. “Creatives are realizing their own project and being role models for their fans by doing what they love.”
That’s why the leading component of your personal brand should always start and end with who you are, quirks and all.
2. Brand every space you have available to you
Personal branding is not just about telling audiences who you are. It’s also about building relationships with them, sharing resources, and giving them a method to interact with you when they want to.
So many creators focus on producing perfect content that aligns with their brand but forget the most important step: follow-through.
“The final step in the content marketing process is what happens after pressing publish,” says Foundation Marketing’s Ross Simmonds about content promotion. “It’s the part of the process when you take the asset created by the creator and optimized by the optimizer and ensure it’s spread across the appropriate channels.” A big part of content promotion involves linking to it across your properties.
If you’re a blogger, that means adding a call-to-action at the bottom of your articles and in your bio. If you’re a YouTuber, it means including additional links in your video description. If you’re an Instagram photographer, it means using that precious bit of real estate – the only place Instagram allows you to add a link – and making the most of it.
Using Lightricks’s Link in Bio tool, for example, you can use a wide library of beautiful templates to create custom buttons promoting your various publishing and platform presences, helping to spread your audience’s attention around to where you want it most.
3. Be clear on your value
The most important aspect of your personal brand is what you bring to the table, because this is what’s going to help you as a freelance businessperson. As established above, online space is crowded. The best way to stand out is to be crystal clear on why people should buy services and products from you specifically.
The first step is to understand it yourself. What do you have that nobody else has? Then, use wins like testimonials, media mentions, and awards to showcase that uniqueness with social proof.
Just make sure that this content supports your value proposition and helps to address potential objections people might have when it comes to working with you.
“The social proof psychology principle says that when people are uncertain, they’ll most likely look to others for behavioral guidance,” growth marketing expert Angie Schottmuller says. “In order to harness this concept for persuasion, marketers must first identify the uncertainties of their customers and then buffer accordingly with appropriate social proof.”
4. Be human and build relationships
Many new creators worry their personal brand has to be flawless. But humans aren’t flawless, and your audience and clients don’t expect you to be, either. Your personal brand just has to be true to who you are.
Your personal brand will be much stronger if you let people in behind the curtain.