The concept of branding yourself as a freelancer might be the last thing on your mind. This is true especially if you are working hard or having to jump from agency to agency.
You might at some point thought that only big businesses like Coca-Cola, Luis Vuitton, Toyota etc. focused on branding. Maybe considered branding as having a business card with your name and logo on it, this is far from true these days.
Branding yourself or company includes having a logo as a starting point, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s like baking a cake, your logo is just one ingredient. Branding is in every facet of your company from conceptualisation to actualisation, from brand awareness to customer acquisition and after the purchase.
Let’s break it down!
Your Logo and Design
To truly start to be considered the “BEST”, you’re logo and overall brand design has got to scream professional as well as show people your unique personality (brand)! If you aren’t skilled with Photoshop or designing, you could either hire someone to design it for you or learn how to do it yourself. No matter which one you choose, it is vital to know what is needed to make a logo and design unique.
Here are a few elements to consider when creating a logo and defining your brand’s image:
- What adjective best describes you?
- What do your competitor’s logo and design look like?
- What colours best represent your brand? Why? (click here for basic colour theory)
- What typography should you use?
- Should you have a logo and text or should the logo and text be one e.g. Coca-Cola, the RollingStones magazine, FedEx?
- Do you even need text? For example Nike’s swoosh, Apple Computer’s Apple logo, Playboy’s bunny logo, Disney’s Mickey Mouse silhouette etc.
- Would adding a hidden meaning to your logo work? E.g. Amazon, Baskin-Robbins, FedEx, Sony Vaio, NBC (click here for ideas)
“I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man.”®
In the past businesses were able to dominate the market because the form of media (TV, Radio or Print) was limited so they were constantly in front of a captivated audience. But these days with the rise of social media, gaming systems and a wide variety of communication devices, companies are questioning whether traditional media is dead in or not.
The internet has disrupted traditional media. We now gravitate towards brands which are authentic or have a captivating message; transparency is the best form of branding in 2017. Social media gives us the opportunity to get up close and personal with a wide variety of users.
You are now able to connect directly with anyone, find specific niche groups and interact with them. This also works the other way too, you can be reached by anyone who is specifically searching for you or just found you by chance.
This means you can’t always know where your potential client(s) are going to come from.
So, gone are the days where working in your business and hoping your efforts are enough to bring in new business, you MUST become the brand as well.
Jay Z said it best in the song Diamonds from Sierra Leone, “I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man.” Don’t just work in your company, work on it and be the voice of it too. Your brand should be an extension of you, the you that works 24-7, the best you.
Build Your Personal Brand by Creating Your Voice
You are probably aking, “How do I build my personal brand?”
Developing your own opinion is vital to creating your brand. To be the brand, people need to know who you are and what you stand for which means having to develop an opinion and a unique way of seeing things. It doesn’t have to be something you must have right away, but something that requires development.
Read more on branding here: 12 definitions of what branding is.
Here are some people who had or still have strong opinions:
|1. Jesus Christ
2. Winston Churchill
4. William Shakespeare
5. Nelson Mandela
6. Donald Trump
7. Martin Luther King
8. Mahatma Ghandi
9. Mother Theresa
10. Karl Marx
11. Henry Ford
12. Ken Kutaragi
13. James Cameron
14. Jeff Bezos
15. Elon Musk
|16. Charles Darwin
18. Muhammed Ali
19. Margaret Thatcher
20. Pablo Picasso
21. Pope John Paul II
22. Malcolm X
23. Sigmund Freud
24. Bill Gates
25. Steve Jobs
26. Mark Zuckerberg
27. Barak Obama
28. Jack Ma
29. Bruce Lee
30. Masayoshi Son