A Freelancer’s Branding Essentials

According to Tears for Fear, ‘Everybody wants to rule the world’. From a freelancers perspective, everyone wants to be brand famous. Looking at advice from Linzi Boyd (Branding specialist), I’m about to delve into the essentials for anyone looking to create a bespoke brand. As freelancers, we have a tendency to jump in at the deep end wading in blind with no armbands and taking zero head of the shark-infested water signs! That’s our super-power! But it never hurts to be a little forearmed so let’s learn how to make our brands beautiful!

Brand Famous by Linzi Boyd is a book I highly recommend. It takes you through five simple steps that will help you develop your brand, whether you already have something that needs refreshing, or you are right at the start of the journey, looking for a sat nav to help find your way! Boyd explains how to apply her methods to different types of brands, at different stages of development.

Boyd offers starting points for three different stages which your brand could be at.  The first stage is build. This is when you are at the very start of your brand, you have your idea but you need to find it’s place in the world. Whether it’s a product or your passion, you need to create a brand around it to bring it to life! The second stage is called Renovate. Boyd claims that this type of brand know who and why they do what they do, but there’s not a strong structure being adhered to, or the brand is lying dormant and needs some help for a mighty comeback! The third stage, is the Refresh stage. Maybe you want to take your brand to the next level, make it famous, or you’re simply looking for a fresh branding strategy! Whichever stage your brand is at, Boyd reminds us of some essential lessons when it comes to branding.

To start, we need to get underneath our brand. Linzi suggests that to fully understand your brand, you must define what it is and what it is not. For instance, my brand is a service to help those who hate to write, or who don’t know where to start with blogging and website copy. My brand is not full of jargon and not something that follows a crowd, preaching the same thing as many other copywriters. Once we have considered what our brand is and isn’t, Boyd asks us to think about what our brand could be in the future, and what might be holding it back.

Throughout the book Boyd refers to the five simple steps to achieve brand fame! Once you’ve gotten underneath your brand, established where you are headed and how to combat the obstacles holding you back, you are ready to start the five steps! Step one is entitled Discover, which refers to what I’ve previously mentioned. It pinpoints why you are doing what you do, but it also considers your ideal client. This is important for any business, whether it be a product or service, you have to consider your ideal client. What do they need? What questions do they want answered? What age range are you aiming for? Are you a business to business service? All these questions will help you identify your ideal client.

The second step is to create. Within this section Linzi discusses creating a toolkit for your business. Gather the spanners and screwdrivers, sorry, I mean a branding toolkit! Linzi defines a toolkit as ‘a set of promotional material needed in any business in order to promote your brand efficiently and effectively’. Essentials you should have in your toolkit are:

  • Website
  • Viral Videos
  • Promotional Videos and Events
  • Mini Press Releases
  • Sales Brochure
  • Look Book if product related
  • Biography of The Owner
  • Headshot of The Owner

Have you got any of these? When I first glanced at the list I was a little concerned as I had big gaps on my list. However, bare in mind, some of the essentials are tailored to product-based businesses, for example, the Look Book. In order to incorporate all the elements, you have to construct them to suit your business. Each element has to work for you and your brand. For example, if you are a service based business, (you don’t offer a physical product, but you offer a service to clients like copywriting), your version of a look book could be a service scrapbook filled with tips and tricks for your clients. Normally in my line of work, if you offer something helpful for free, a client is more likely to remember the helpful advise you offered and visit your site.

Step three is all about connecting product to audience. Within this stage, Linzi asks you to define your product, including things like whether you offer a business to business product or a business to client product. Boyd encourages you to think about how your product will be sold and, the pros and cons of retail. Step four is the communicate stage. Having your brand talked about, seen, and heard is important, especially if you want to reach the lofty heights of brand fame. The five touch points (places your brand will connect with your audience) she mentions are traditional print, social media, brand partnerships, retail engagement, and experiential events. Boyd makes it clear that these touchpoints must all connect in order to link back to the brand!

The final step, EVALUATE! After creating your amazing brand you can’t just stop, there’s always room to take things one step further. Nowadays trends move so fast, there will always be something new to add to your branding!

Now go forth and brand!

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