The new part-time economy is opening up amazing opportunities for freelancers around the world. We live and work on our terms, in locations we love, accepting projects that inspire us and turning down work that conflicts with our values or lifestyle design. This new age of freedom is untethering us from our boring 9-5 desk jobs and allowing us to design and live the life we choose…not what others choose for us.
Unfortunately, this freedom can also come with a new form of stress: trying to keep a full pipeline of projects to work on.
We all want to focus on the work we love and I have yet to meet a freelancer who says they love spending all of their time looking for new projects and work. The freelancers who have broken the code and enjoy continual deal flow are the gurus with a strong personal brand.
What it Takes to Build a Strong Personal Brand
In the freelance market, strong personal brands are built on trust and results. Nothing else matters! To build a strong personal brand that others will trust we need to do the following.
- Be easy to work with.
- Always produce great world-class work.
- Deliver the work on time.
- Offer fair rates.
In the freelance economy personal brands are our most valuable asset, and a good brand will travel far and wide when backed by recommendations. It’s our best form of advertising.
Why Freelancers Need a Strong Personal Brand
Not only am I a freelancer on the side, I am also the president of a business. I have personally hired many freelancers to tackle projects for our operation and continue to leverage freelancers as a critical part of our work force.
Every project I farm out to a freelancer is under a tight deadline. I always need great work delivered on time and on budget. I have developed faith and confidence in a number of gurus who always go above and beyond the call of duty to deliver world-class work.
As a result, these people have become members of our family. Our staff holds them in high regard and treats them like a member of the team. I continue to go out of my way to recommend them to other businesses and close contacts to help them with deal flow when we are between projects.
The inverse is also true. I have had some bad experiences with freelancers who made promises, delivered work late with average quality, and charged premium prices on top of it all. Not only will I not use them again, but I will never recommend them to my network of business contacts.
When a freelancer develops a strong personal brand based on results of honoring commitments, delivering on time, producing world-class work, and at fair prices, that freelancer will always have a pipeline of business.
Trust is everything in this market! When you have earned trust you will have earned a personal brand that will continually deliver business to your doorstep every day, even while you sleep. You will never have down time or wonder where your next project is coming from.
How to Get Started Building Your Personal Brand
Gary Vaynerchuk recently posted a video on YouTube talking about “One is better than Zero.” The concept applies in the freelancer realm as well. As you look to build your personal brands, all you need to do is focus on one client and provide them what I’ve previously mentioned.
The goal is to over-deliver and wow them with your work, service, price, and commitment to excellence to help them with their project. That one client can and will be the start of spreading the word about your business.
Once you have built a book of business and worked with a number of clients, I highly recommend highlighting that work on LinkedIn and your personal website. List the projects you have worked on, include examples if you are able, and most importantly get recommendations from clients that you can post.
When you are done with a project always ask your point of contact if they know of another business they would be willing to recommend you to. Don’t be afraid to ask for business! This simple request has opened many doors for freelancers and led to great contracts and greater business.
As you enjoy the freedom of this new part-time economy, remember that success will follow those who build a personal brand that people trust. When you build this personal brand you will be a guru in high demand and your pipeline of projects will always be full!