Business Development

6 Personal Branding Tips for Freelance Content Creators

Staff writer | 17 February 2022 | 2 years ago

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.

Use tools like Streamyard to go live with an audience across channels; put together behind-the-scenes videos showing how much work goes into your creation; host an Instagram Q&A to get to know your audience. This kind of connection helps your audience feel closer to you.

As a freelance content creator, your audience relationship should be top of mind for your brand.

5. Shine where you can, but delegate too

Many content creators take “build a personal brand” to mean “do everything yourself.” This is a common error that can really weaken your personal brand, ironically.

While creation is your strength, most content creators can’t do it all – and they shouldn’t have to! Focus on building your thing, but let graphic designers, composers, website creators, do the things you can’t.

You can find these talented individuals on job boards like Fiverr, or you can put out a call to your network or on LinkedIn.

That way, your personal brand will have the look and feel you want it to, without you needing to learn a whole new discipline or art.

6. Be consistent, but don’t be afraid to pivot

One of the toughest rules to follow when refining your personal brand is to know when to be consistent, and when a little variation in your personal brand is okay. The truth is, while brands like McDonald’s are strong because they are extremely stable, an individual’s personal brand is allowed to be more flexible.

The main thing to hold steady is the sense of you-ness. Be yourself everywhere you show up, on emails, social media, and even work emails. Develop your personal voice so someone could hypothetically consume your content and know it’s yours, even without seeing a face or name attached.

But like Kim K, you may find that who you are and what you create evolves over time. That’s fine, too. As long as you’re true to yourself, you can gracefully pivot in a way that is still consistent with your brand. Artificially stagnating would be worse.

“Just like in business, you have to embrace change and figure out ways to evolve, remain relevant, and deliver an experience,” Your Choice Coach’s Simone Sloan explains. “Dedicate time to grow and nurture your personal brand. When it is prioritized, it will show up powerfully.”

Personal branding for freelance content success

Most success in business comes down to how you are perceived by others. And personal branding is how you control that image.

The process of creating a personal brand as a content creator is different from branding for a business or company, but it’s just as important. These six tips will help you craft a personal brand that lets you stand out as the amazing content creator you are.

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