Every entrepreneur, artist or freelancer gets to a point where they need to realign and redefine. This was me about two or three years ago when I was at a place in my entrepreneurial journey at which I felt like my career goals and activities did not match what my socials were showcasing online. I could feel a real disconnect between the content I was putting out and the engagement from my network, and I knew it was time for me to rebrand, get super clear on who I am, what I stand for and what I have to offer to the world!
The truth is that personal branding is not an instant process that happens once and you are good to go – in reality, we are constantly evolving, therefore as entrepreneurs we ought to check-in with ourselves every now and again to ensure that our personal brand is still in line with our core values and the ventures we take on. Here are four things you can do to take your personal brand to the next level and engage your network to help market yourself as an entrepreneur, artist or freelancer.
Strive for Expert Status
Style Nine to Five’s Founder, Christie Lohr, is often asked “Should I branch out on my own, become an expert in my field? How do I brand myself for this?” Becoming an expert in your field is always a good idea! By positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, people will trust you before they have even met you based on your demonstrated expertise. There are a number of things you can do to achieve expert status such as starting a podcast or guest speaking on one, contributing guest posts to authority sites, writing a book or offering a workshop on a skill that you have mastered. The key in this is filling a gap in your niche market!
Leverage Social Media
There’s no denying the importance of social media in today’s job market. Whichever platform(s) you decide to be active on, make sure it works well with your line of work (i.e. Twitter for writers, Instagram for visual content creators, etc.). Create a business account that clearly represents who you are and what you do, use this account as a portfolio and share your career milestones!
Most importantly, don’t forget to engage with your online community by sparking conversations through comments and captions and taking advantage of any new features introduced by the platform (the algorithms tend to push content made with newer features, such as reels, than older ones). You can then, in turn, leverage your metrics as performance indicators to win new business opportunities – consistency is key when it comes to social media!
Consider Email Marketing
It is crucial to be able to connect with your clientele somewhere other than social media, which is why I suggest email marketing for entrepreneurs and freelancers! With email marketing, growing your contact list is made easy. Creating an email marketing strategy begins with setting your business objectives and identifying your customer base. When you get to know your customer, their interests and habits, you can then send them targeted content to take them from casually browsing to subscribing and ultimately purchasing and becoming a repeat customer. By integrating a sign-up form on your website’s landing page with the help of companies like Mailchimp, you can make it extra simple for your customers to register for your newsletter.
Newsletters are an efficient way to not only promote your services and products, but also to build authority and nurture relationships with prospective customers and clients. Through your newsletters, you can feature your latest projects and achievements, send ‘Welcome” and ‘Thank You’ emails so your clients and collaborators know they are appreciated and give out freebies for incentive.
Highlight Client Testimonials
Whenever I’m about to purchase something online, the first thing I do before sealing the deal is check the reviews. No matter which type of business you run, testimonials go a long way! Collect written testimonials or, better yet, video testimonials from past clients and ask for permission to post them on your website and in your marketing materials. Video testimonials are great because they can be shared more easily and have the potential to go viral, giving you increased reach and exposure! Testimonials solidify your capabilities in the eyes of potential customers and create value for them to see.
There is no need to implement each of these strategies all at once, it works best when you take it one at a time and see what works for you. Keep in mind that this will be a learning experience, trust the process! The goal when marketing yourself is to identify your niche and build from there. All progress – big or small – is progress, so start today and see how far you come a year from now!
Style Nine to Five offers comprehensive career services to guide you through your professional development – book a LinkedIn Profile Refresh session with Christie to polish your online resume and profile!
Anita Hosanna is a freelance fashion stylist and creative consultant with a love for fashion journalism and tech.
Feature Image: Adobe Stock