Personal Branding & Freelancing

Why how you present yourself matters

As a freelancer, you represent yourself. Therefore, in today’s valued online, social landscape, that self better be the very best presented version of you.

As workers around the world seek various types of assistance, clients must sift through countless profiles determining who to entrust and relinquish their responsibilities to. It’s a leap of trust. However, for a freelancer, it’s not just your past experiences that will land you the gig, but how you present yourself.

Developing a strategic, creative and professional image of ourselves is becoming increasingly important as we live more of our lives online. The secret to developing that enhanced presentation lays in rising trend… It’s called online personal branding.

Personal branding, in short, is the act of identifying, positioning and promoting one’s genuine self. Personal branding asks the question “Why you?” and helps you become conscious of how you are perceived to others. It are these differences in combination with deliberate showcasing, which will allow you to stand out from the pack.

In 1997, author Tom Peters published his article, “A Brand Called You.” Here he wrote…

“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

How we brand ourselves and specifically what we share online has monumental consequences for better or worse. Our profiles, photos, comments and data are forming our online personas, and we must become aware of its widespread, lasting effects. These digital footprints, unlike sand footprints, cannot be washed away.

According to CareerBuilder, 60% of hiring managers are now turning to social media to screen candidates, and this number is rising year over year. More so, over 50% of them are looking for online personas. That said, it’s now more meaningful to clean up and exhibit yourself rather than hiding yourself online.

Once something is posted online though, it forever exists in some capacity. So not only is personal branding our future, but it’s a permanent one as well. Thoughtfulness here is key. Furthermore, now that all of our profiles exist online even when we close down the computer, we’re essentially always “living” online. This means that anyone can view your online persona, anytime, anywhere. What are they seeing?

Our reputations matter, especially on freelancing platforms. We must remember, it’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. While you may be more qualified than Freelancers A, B and C, they may be communicating and presenting themselves in a more attractive and convincing manner. It are these actions, which enhance their personal brand. As a result, this can ultimately secure them more opportunities.

In his renowned article, Peters continued to share…

“It’s this simple: You are a brand. You are in charge of your brand. There is no single path to success. And there is no one right way to create the brand called You. Except this: Start today. Or else.”

So today, you must look at yourself in the (digital) mirror and ask two questions. First, “Why me?” and then “How can I present my differences in the most strategic, creative and professional fashion?” How you brand yourself makes all the difference. So what are you waiting for? Reach out so we can work on your personal brand today.