How can you build your own personal brand?
Why is it so difficult for writers to get paid what they are worth?
Let’s see what some of the industry experts have to say about these topics!
From time to time, I like to gather information from different experts across the web so you can read a variety of perspectives in addition to always hearing just mine. A bit of a freelance writing insight-gathering. 🙂
Now, if you want to thrive as a freelance writer in this massive and ever-evolving industry, you need to have the right mindset, the best clients and most of all, excellent personal branding. You also need to be okay with charging enough so that you can meet your income goals. And without a strong personal brand, charging the right rates will be difficult.
The unfortunate reality is that branding is a topic people shy away from. In fact, some freelance writers who are just getting started feel that building a respectable brand from the ground up is impossible because of all the perceived resources they have to procure.
But, this simply is not true…
Personal branding doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. There are many simple, yet beautifully effective ways to create your own unique freelance writing brand without spending a ton of cash (or time). And to help you understand this better, I compiled some content from top freelance and branding experts to see what they had to say on the topic.
Let’s start first with a subject writers find hard to grasp, charging the RIGHT RATES…
Don’t Charge Too Little For Your Work
“I remember the first time I increased my rates. I thought that I might scare away some of my clients… I don’t think I lost any clients, and that was a good feeling to know that OK, I’m actually worth more and people are willing to pay.” Joshua Monen, Josh’s Website Josh’s Twitter Profile
The freelance writing industry can seem strange to newcomers because clients tend to pay wildly different fees for the same amount of work. In the beginning, it’s normal for clients to offer average fees for common projects such as blogging or article writing.
However, as you gain skills and expertise you will slowly realize that you can increase your fees to reflect your current status as a freelance writer.
Will it scare away clients when you increase your fees?
Not necessarily – because once you upgrade your writing rates, you will also begin to attract new clients who are looking for higher quality work. These clients have the financial means to create meaningful and long-lasting relationships with dependable freelance writers.
And it all begins with raising your fees.
Visualize Your Personal Brand
“So personal branding, I think it’s so important because as a freelancer, it’s really all you have – your name, your reputation” Joshua Monen
Your branding should be consistent throughout your social media accounts, website and blog (if you choose to create one). Like Pepsi, Coca Cola and Louis Vuitton, your personal brand is the first thing that potential clients see and it is the last thing they forget.
If you haven’t any idea yet as to what your brand should look like, ask yourself these basic questions:
– What am I really good at?
– What unique advantage can I offer my clients?
– How am I different from other freelance writers?
– What’s my main message to all potential clients?
These questions will help you think of your USP or unique selling proposition.
In marketing, the USP is the first thing that experts think about when they’re trying to promote a new product or service. Why? Because like a buttery slide, the USP will lead your potential clients into “the zone” where they will feel like they’ve found the perfect freelance writer.
Start and Maintain a Professional Blog
“Use a blog as an online platform almost like an online resume or a business blog that will springboard you into other opportunities.”
“The more you publish within your niche and the more you just hammer and hammer and hammer on that niche, the more you become known as an authority on it.”
The great thing about a blog is that there are no limitations as to what you can post. It is a blank slate – one you can exploit gleefully as a freelance writer!
Apart from posting amusing anecdotes about your freelance writing career or life in general, you can establish yourself as an authority figure in your target niche.
For example, if you’ve beefed up your knowledge about medical writing in the past few months, create a separate category on your blog that will highlight your finesse in writing health articles.
Be Generous (Like Santa)
“Give away free content that adds value to people’s lives “until it hurts” and they will love you and become loyal fans.”
This is one of the most established strategies of online marketing: give away free stuff to your readers so they will reciprocate in time. The Law of Reciprocity is quite strong here, which makes it a perfect option for freelance writers who are just getting started.
You see, gaining the trust of new clients can be challenging at times because there’s no way for them to gauge what kind of writer you are.
By giving away freebies such as free reports, white papers or even a whole eBook, you are telling everyone “you’re all my friends – let’s get to know each other!” This approach will garner a positive feedback from your audience.
Know Your Audience
“Understand your audience better than they understand themselves. It takes a lot of upfront research, and often means being a member of the very tribe you’re trying to lead – but it pays off.”
Every freelance writer dreams of the day that he/she can finally touch base with the best clients in a particular industry. Why? Because writers want to write about things they’re passionate about.
But before these ideal clients can find you, you have to find and understand them first.
When building your brand with the express purpose of attracting a specific type of client, you need to show your potential clients that you know how to respond to all of their needs.
There is no shortcut when it comes to familiarizing yourself with a particular industry or niche. You have to roll up your sleeves and “get dirty” by tirelessly researching what makes your target market tick.
Apart from reading blogs, websites and news from your target industry, it would also be a good idea to reach out to actual individuals and experts from your niche to gain direct insight from them.
I hope these words from the experts challenged you to begin thinking more about your brand and also how it ties into your rates.
Do you have any questions? Please let me know in the comments!
Want more advice? Check out my other blog posts related to Marketing for Writers.