Anne sent me a series of questions to answer, one of which was “What’s the biggest lesson you learned [writing the book]?”
Hands down, one of the areas that I became more knowledgeable about was branding myself as a freelance writer. In the book, branding is defined (Chapter 3); why you need one is explained; and a whole chapter is devoted to how to build a brand on a shoestring budget (Chapter 5).
Important Note: The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guidebook is about how to start ANY KIND of freelance career; not just freelance writing. I only reference that here because it’s my specialty.
Following is an excerpt on branding.
On “What Is a Brand” (Page 50)
The official definition of branding according to BusinessDictionary.com is:
“The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”
Well-defined brands are easily recognizable, just from a slogan or logo; buyers know what to expect from them; and the message is consistent.
On “How to Clarify Your Freelance Business’s Brand Message” (Page 76)
… get laser-focused on your message … Until this is crystal clear, you can’t do anything else in the branding process. Following are some key questions to ask to crystallize your branding message?
Who are their heroes; what do they believe in?
What does your brand believe in as it relates to them and their beliefs/heroes?
What the primary purpose does your brand serve for them?
These questions will help you clarify exactly what your business is all about, how it connects with its primary customers, and how it’s different from others. This is at the heart of your unique selling proposition (USP), which was mentioned earlier.
Now, let’s dig deeper into what goes into the making of “a brand,” and how it affected some decisions I made about this site.
Branding Your Freelance Business
As mentioned earlier, The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guidebook book breaks down the different elements that make up a brand, and guides you on how to come up with a plan for branding your freelance business.
After I finished the book, I took a keen eye to this blog. I’ve never officially branded it. It’s always just kind of been “the blog about how to start a successful freelance writing business.”
As the blog is an extension of my professional persona, once I looked back over a few year’s worth of posts – especially the last 2-3 years, I said to myself, “It’s really about how to make a living as a writer – writing for yourself and for others.”
If you spend any time on this blog, you know that I have an online writing company whereby I write for clients (freelance writing), but I also self-publish ebooks and e-classes; and do affiliate marketing.
What’s My Freelance Business Brand?
I’m having the site re-designed; the new design will be unfolded sometime in September. And it will be “branded” as a site for the “Hybrid Freelance Writer,” because that’s what I consider myself.
Since 2010, over half my income has come from ebooks and e-classes I write, develop, publish and teach. As I said in a forthcoming post I did for Jennifer over at Pen & Prosper:
There’s never been a better time to be a freelance writer because there have never been so many ways to capitalize on this skill. Hence, the rise of the hybrid freelance writer.
So give some thought to what your brand is/will be as a freelancer. I’m almost 25 years into my freelance career and I’m doing it for the first time, so it’s never too late to brand your business.
In the word of Maya Angelou, “When you know better, you do better.”
On Money & Self-Worth as a Freelancer
Anne Wayman was kind enough to shed some light on finances and “self-worth” as a freelancer. In my opinion, this is not discussed nearly enough in freelance circles; especially the self-worth part. But everything else flows from this – from how you price jobs to how you market for jobs.
So her contribution filled a huge hole that will be helpful to new and experienced freelancers alike. Read an excerpt of it here (See #6), and be sure to bookmark Anne’s blog (AboutFreelanceWriting.com).
If you’ve freelanced for any amount of time as a writer, you probably already know about it. If you’re new, it’s one of the “go to” blogs on/about freelance writing, so you’ll definitely want to bookmark it.
Thanks again Anne!
More Excerpts Coming Your Way
Every week until the release (perhaps more often and after the release date), I’ll be doing excerpts from the book. I had promised a post on how to mentally prepare to freelance tomorrow. I’ll save that one for sometime next week, so be sure to come back, ok?
FREE Blog Posts
Writing a book is one thing; promoting it is a different animal altogether! So if you have a blog about freelancing and would like to “interview me” or have me submit a guest post, just shoot me an email info[at]InkwellEditorial.com.
You can send me questions – no more than 3 or 4 please; or give me a topic related to freelancing — ANY KIND of freelance, not just freelance writing — that you’d like me to write about. I’ll do my best to get it back to you within 3-5 days, ok?
P.S.: How to Get The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guide Bonus Content
Special Report: 5 Things You Should Know about Freelancing in a Global Economy That Will Land More Clients. To get this bonus content, send the receipt for your pre-order to info[at]InkwellEditorial.com on/before September 1st. Put “Pre-Ordered UFG” in the Subject line. On Sept 1st, you’ll be emailed the special report.
P.P.S.: I’m Ready to Put This Info to Use and Start Earning $100-$250+/Day as a Freelance Writer.
I hope all is well! I just wanted to let you know that this month marked the first month that my writing income surpassed that of my day job.
Thanks to your help and inspiration, I have more work than I know what to do with and have successfully landed a number of clients that give me recurring work. Thanks again for your advice!
SEO writing changed the trajectory of my freelance writing career. It can do the same for you!