Dependable. Innovative. Trustworthy. Creative … any one of these words (and many others) could describe your personality as a freelancer. But are you making sure that potential clients know exactly why you stand out from the competition?
If you’re not wrapping your personal brand around everything you present to the world online, you’re going to lose customers to those who are. Here are three simple steps that can help you strengthen your brand in the next seven days.
Step One: Define What It Is You Want To Be Known For
When you’re running your own show, the temptation is there to want to be all things to all people (because you want a a crazy big pile of customers). But a Jack (or Jill) of all trades is one confusing thing to customers. While you may offer multiple services, what you’re really after is being known as “The ______ expert.” In other words, whatever your ____ is, you want people to have conversations that end like this, “Oh, you need ____? Email (you), s/he’s the ____ master.”
- “You need web content? Email Harry and James, they’re the content guys.“
- “You need SEO? Call Christine, she’s the SEO chick.“
- “You need blog help? Call Michael, he’s the blog consultant guy.“
- “You need some help with social media and networking? Email Jon, he’s the social media/networking guy (he’ll even make you want to open a Twitter account :) )”
Since the drop-dead easiest way to get extra business without extra work is by word of mouth, it’s up to you to give all of those mouths the word(s) they need to say.
So give it up: What’s your ______?
Step Two: Define Why You Rock At ______
First impressions are driven by immediate experiences. People have been trained further by media to respond to sound bites and short, catchy slogans that lock in an experience. You have to accommodate that by creating an experience around your _____. Maybe it’s years of experience. Maybe it’s dependability. Maybe it’s luxury, or quality, or youth, or speed, or service … it could be anything, but you’ve got to be able to communicate it in a way that resonates with what your target customers want.
- Are you the writing expert who delivers quality rather than the disposable content of competitors?
- Are you the SEO expert who stays ahead of the competition through creative strategies?
- Are you the marketing expert who delivers big to the small players of the world?
Strong brands can be described in just a handful of words. An emotion. An experience. What’s yours?
Answer me: You’re the ______ who (rocks because …)?
Step Three: Communicate This Every-which-where
Now you’ve got your boiled-down, highly distilled 180-proof branding message. Now you have to make sure you’re telling people about it. Is it the first impression on your website? Do you communicate it in your emails? Do you encourage your customers to share it? Everywhere you turn, you want both potential and current clients to be immersed in the experience they’ll get when they hand over their cash to you.
And that’ll leave you saying, “Holy _____, my phone’s ringing off the hook!” And that’s some good stuff.
Bonus Step Four: Now ‘Fess Up: What’s Your _______?
Take 5 minutes now (not later, now) and answer those questions in the comments. Let the world know why you rock. I’ll see you there!
(For more rockin’ good tips, head over to Dave’s productivity blog and enjoy.)