Businesses need to invest in their brand, but they need to do it right. That’s why, in so many cases, companies will go out of their way to hire freelancers and blog managers to promote their brands on their behalf. A killer brand strategy can have a big impact on a business, which is vital especially for smaller companies just getting their feet wet.
The following guide will help freelance specialists develop a brand efficiently, but they might very well want to apply some of these tricks to marketing them or their blog. Individuals who want to look into applying these for themselves will want to think just like they were managing their own business that essentially consisted of their own selves.
Freelancers usually aren’t used to thinking of themselves as businesses or brands, but in a manner of speaking, they are. While you may not represent an organization of any real size, you do represent yourself and your own brand reflects this. Take a few moments to figure out what your purpose is.
Know the Purpose
One important step when developing a killer brand is understanding your business purpose. This is probably something you’ve already started working on in your business plan, which is good. If you haven’t done this, then devote enough time to this. Knowing your company’s purpose makes it easier to see what your brand needs to say.
This sounds a little philosophical because it is. A business without a clearly defined identity will find it hard to create good brand representation. In essence, you want to find out what issues or problems your business is going to solve for its customers. Chances are that you’re going to say something such as you want to help other people, which is fine, but that’s built like a new baseball manager saying that the team is going to do better this year because it’ll win more games.
Explain why you want to help people and how you’re going to do it. There’s a strong possibility that you’ve become a freelancer for a certain reason. Time is a big causation effect for most people. Quite a few individuals often can’t handle the so-called 9-5 grind, which has gotten to the point where it’s more like a 24-hour grind. If that’s the case, then you could consider spelling this out on your profile in no uncertain terms.
On top of this, you might see many people in your chosen industry segment who kind of remind you of yourself. They might be struggling with their own businesses, which are probably larger than any freelancing work you do but you can still empathize with their pain.
Focus on this and figure out new ways that you could help these people better build their own companies. As you do so, you may notice that your own personal sense of identity starts to grow exponentially. The same would go for anyone attempting to frame a firm that they’re doing contract work for.
Designing Your Blog’s Look
The blog’s overall design is another big step you need to take. The good thing is you don’t have to take this step alone. If you’ve defined your value and your goals, then you can outsource some of this to your fellow freelancers. In essence, you’re going to be hiring artists who can take your ideas and turn them into something digestible like a brand logo and much more. This is important according to the folks at DesignBro. The good thing about hiring a professional is that you’ll be able to find your brand’s look faster than you would otherwise. Remember that you’re hiring these professionals, so if you don’t feel like they’ve developed something that feels right, then continue asking for modifications until you see your company’s spirit reflected in the brand’s look.
Narrow the Audience
You want to pull the weeds out so to speak when you begin developing this strategy. Most freelancers start with a vague idea of who their clients are going to be. That’s the worst place to be. You don’t want a vague idea of who your audience is. The clearer these customers are, the easier it’ll be to target them. If you tried to start a blog without knowing who your audience was, then chances are good that you’d end up never attracting one. Your brand strategy has a higher chance of reaching and creating the right response if you know who you’re reaching first.
You should do some target client group research, and you want to do this a few times until you’ve discovered which group of people seem to respond to your posts more. Many freelancers are surprised to see who responds to their services or products at times. Depending on the type of content you write or post, you might attract people you’d never think you would. That’s precisely how old blogging sites were able to grow so fast.
Understanding the Market Ecosystem
Another important step to take to develop a great brand strategy is to dive into your market ecosystem. Each individual is going into a certain environment, and you need to understand what yours is all about. This step isn’t going to be easy, but you’ll see the value in it once you’re done. What you have to do is figure out who your competitors are.
You’ll want to pay attention to competitors both in terms of actual content as well as keywords you’re trying to rank for. Some are going to be obvious, but this is not always so clear. Once you’ve done this step, you can start to see what your competitors are doing, especially their marketing and branding strategies. These folks are trying to reach the same folks you are, and they’ve been doing so successfully for some time. Use that knowledge in your favor while adding a few of your ideas. This is one of the benefits of being a smaller business, so don’t overlook this.
The Rough Draft
The next thing you want to do is develop a rough draft of your strategy. At this point, you have an idea of what you want yourself to communicate. You’ve done the work and know what your blog should achieve now and in the future. With all of this information, you can start to develop a plan that involves your own mission and values.
The same concept could be just as easily applied to a firm you were doing work on behalf of. You want to work on creating a specific language that’ll help ensure your message communicates clearly. Be sure to be as specific as you can at this stage. Try to come up with marketing tactics that you believe will help your business reach its goals. Even if your ideas at this stage are a little rough, it won’t matter. You’re going to have to work on this plan a few times to refine it.
Individuals who are freelancers or run their own independent blog are likely going to find that they have to occasionally promote someone else or make some company’s brand image appear more focused than it is. This is where the concept of narrowing an audience really comes into play. If you’ve already developed a profile to market yourself and your own blog’s brand or your image on social media, then there’s a high possibility that you already understand this concept and can apply it to those you work with or for.
Imagine taking on a gig work job where you were supposed to start discussing the merits of another individual. Building a client’s brand in this way is difficult if you don’t share their same vision. However, by working from a common frame of reference you should be able to help others build their brands. Eventually, they may even help you by sharing your contact details with others in the marketing industry who need a couple of links from a trusted blog.
If you’ve built up a degree of authority in terms of search results, then chances are high that people would relish a mention of their companies on your own blog. Keep in mind that many other firms will also want to build their brand strategies over time, and that means you might be able to find more work for yourself by reaching out to those who currently lack an image and need your assistance with developing one.
Planning for Updates
You must plan to continue developing your brand. Yes, you might have come up with a great brand strategy that you believe in and know will work. You’re probably right, too, but you have to revisit your brand strategy as often as possible.
A lot of people overlook this step and let time pass them by without them revisiting their strategy. This is a dangerous thing because times change, and what might have worked great before might not work so well later. If you make it a point to plan when you’ll revisit your strategy, then you’ll reduce the chances of becoming stagnant or outdated. That’s one of the worst things you could do as a growing webmaster.
Hopefully, this guide makes it easy for individual writers and content creators to develop a killer strategy. It may take some time, but the more time you spend developing this, the better your chances.