By Jonathan London on 18th June 2014

Developing your personal brand as a contractor

In the modern age of the internet, the value of a good brand is essential. For a contractor or freelance worker, building your own brand is very important – after all, you are the face of that brand.

Brands are an important way for a company to connect with its audience. This is also true for freelancers, as it allows you to market yourself effectively as well as build credibility. These are things that may help you secure future contracts or open doors for new work opportunities.

Creating a brand is not easy, but with things like social media and an increase in smartphones allowing people to stay more connected than ever before, you can look to start developing your personal brand from scratch.

Where to start

The first thing you need to work out is what your brand values are. For freelancers this can be much easier to ascertain than a huge corporation, as you are fully in control of what your brand stands for.

Your brand could be based on your career passions, specialist skills or personal traits. At this stage, you need to decide what it is that your brand will stand for and, in turn, what you want others to feel when they see your brand.

Get online

A website is a must. Here you can showcase your skills, values, testimonials and everything else that defines you as a contractor. Giving people the ability to see these things in the flesh will create a much stronger bond with your personal brand.

On your website, prospective clients can view your credentials and get a better idea of who you are.

Writing a blog with constant updates is another good way to develop your brand and the relationship you have with your target audience. Here you can demonstrate your skills and knowledge by providing unique content that those seeking your services may find useful.

Socialise

As we mentioned earlier, the connected world of social media is a great asset when it comes to creating a brand. It also allows you to spread your message further.

Social media is a great place to network and interact with new people. By joining groups that reflect your skills and interests on Facebook and LinkedIn, you can reach out to others in these areas and expand your network further.

Through these platforms, you can also offer your opinion and advice on certain topics relating to your profession. You may find it useful to hold a question and answer session online where you can engage with prospective clients.

Logo or no go

A huge part of a brand’s identity is often its logo. Iconic companies like Apple, Coca Cola and Nike all have recognisable logos which are so strongly associated with that business that the actual name of the company is not needed.

But do contractors need a logo for themselves? This really depends on whether you want one or not. A personalised insignia like this can look very professional on a website or business card and having one in place certainly won’t effect your brand.

However, that being said, it is essential that you do hire a professional to create your logo (unless you happen to be a graphic designer) in order ensure that it is done properly and does not make your brand look amateurish. This is doubly important when considering copyright law. Even the smallest of similarities can result in a lawsuit, which you definitely do not want.

Be the brand

Ultimately, your brand will be based on your values and skills (as we discussed earlier), and as a result of this, it’s crucial that you uphold these qualities in your work and with how you interact with clients in general.

Although it’s true that social media is a great place to showcase your skills and engage with potential clients, it can also be a place where unhappy patrons openly discuss what they didn’t like about you or your service.

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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