6 Ways Freelance Writers Can Brand Themselves to Better Profits

You hear it everywhere. You see it on Pinterest, on Facebook and on Twitter.

What’s staring you in the face day after day?

Branding.

6 Ways Freelance Writers Can Brand Themselves to Better Profits

What the heck is it and why do freelance writers need it?

If you’re new to freelance writing and working from home, one thing you’ll need to start developing early on is your signature brand. Your brand is what will set yourself apart from all other writers in the same niche as you.

It starts with who you are and what you want to portray to your online audience. Maybe you are adventuresome so you want to come off as a flexible person who likes to dive into new projects.

Or, maybe you are analytical and like to see the big picture before you make a commitment.

Your brand also carries across all platforms and remains consistent. And one of the biggest components to your brand is the visual component. This is what people will see and they will learn to associate that with you as a freelance writer.

Let’s quickly look at some visual representations of different brands from freelance writers before we talk about how to create profitable brands.

Writing Revolt

Jorden Roper has an awesome visual brand. She has fuchsia colored hair, isn’t shy to curse, and has a knack for design and comics.

jorden

Wanderful World

Lizzie Davey is a travel freelance writer and she has an eye for design. To me her brand is built around strong colors and a strong framework. This is a new look for Lizzie, and I like it a lot!

lizzie

Brent Jones Online

Brent Jones has got it down when it comes to being consistent with his brand tone. He definitely knows what look he wants to portray – strong and masculine.

brent jones

Okay, so now you’ve visually seen different brands from freelance writers. So why is this so important in making more money?

  • Your brand conveys a more professional look. Freelance writing is a business and if your website or social media profile looks like it’s just a hobby, good luck getting paid to write.
  • Your visual brand gives others the impression that you are committed to your business. Many new freelance writers give up before they really give this a try. When you create a solid brand, people quickly realize you’re here to stay.
  • Without a clear brand look, you’re going to have a hard time commanding a higher rate.

It’s just that simple. Would you want to pay someone $200 for a blog post with the email address [email protected]? Probably not.

Clients want to work with other professional freelance writers. It’s that simple.

If you’re struggling  to land high-paying clients, one area you could work on is your brand.

Here are six ways you can brand yourself to better paying freelance writing jobs.

1. Your Author Bio

For many, your author bio is just a place to feature links to your website or portfolio and explain what you do.

But, to stand out and inject some branding into it, create an author bio that’s memorable.

Let’s look at a couple of author bios with a little bit of branding to them:

Henneke Duistermaat is an irreverent copywriter and marketer. She’s on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to make boring business blogs sparkle. Get her free 16-Part Snackable Writing Course for Busy People and learn how to enchant your readers and win more business.

KeriLynn Engel is a copywriter & content marketing strategist. She loves working with B2B & B2C businesses to plan and create high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience. When not writing, you can find her reading speculative fiction, watching Star Trek, or playing Telemann flute fantasias at a local open mic.

Cherese Cobb was raised in Knoxville, Tenn. A graduate of Maryville College, she has a B.A. in psychology and art. A bibliophile, she considers herself a professional student, as she has an insatiable curiosity. When she’s not writing for newspapers, blogs, or magazines, she splits her time between family, poetry, and cat-worship, and uses coffee to survive all three.

Each of these examples tells you a bit about who the writer really is. Are they geeky, funny, gentle or kind?

There are many prospects that are seeking writers with that certain edge. If you can convey that in your author bio, you can land more clients.

2. Your Headshot

It’s been proven that showing your face can improve conversions by 95%. That’s how important it is to have a picture of yourself on your website, on social media, and if you want, in your email signature.

ariel rule

You have to remember that prospects need to trust you. I mean, they are paying money for your words and that’s a big thing for many people. Having a headshot breaks the ice, develops trust and eases prospects’ minds into giving you their hard earned cash.

Wondering what makes a good headshot?

  • Natural light
  • Clean background
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Personable look

You don’t need a professional to take a photo of you; my husband took my headshot while we were at a park. The point is, instead of hiding behind an avatar or scenic photo for your freelance writing business, use a headshot of you.

And don’t be afraid to add some personality in your photo. It could be a hairstyle, makeup look, type of clothing you wear or where you decide to take your photo.

This will help prospects feel more comfortable in hiring you for a content gig.

3. Your Website Design

One of the best tools for your freelance writing business – and one I talk about heavily in my Writeto1k course – is hands down a website.

You need to direct prospects somewhere, and a website dedicated to your services is perfect. There are many ways to attract clients with your professional site, but one way is with your brand.

Recently I rebranded my services website, Innovative Ink. Since I’m still somewhat new to freelance writing – I’ve only been doing this since 2014 – I’m still trying to find my signature look and I think I’ve found it.

new innovative site

From the color to the copy to the logo, I’ve finally figured out something that converts regularly. Your website can demonstrate:

  • Your credibility as a writer through your portfolio and testimonials
  • Your expert knowledge via your copy and samples
  • Your experience via your client list and guest posts

And when you have a brand tied to that  – brand color, logo font, headshot, about page – prospects will get a better picture of who you are and what you can do for them. This translates into a better income for you! Win-win!

4. Your Writing

One thing about freelance writing is the ability to write in your voice (unless you’re ghostwriting for a client).

You may not realize it, but each writer has a certain “way” of forming sentences, conveying thoughts and the examples used in their writing.

For example, I often start my sentences with coordinating conjunctionsand, or, but.

I also like to us en dashes rather than em dashes. Finally, I tend to stick to certain sites for references. Since I’m in the digital marketing niche, citing examples from Hubspot, Melyssa Griffin, Neil Patel, Mariah Coz, or Kissmetrics is common for me.

Even if you’re a writer in the digital marketing niche, you may have other sites you refer to based on your preferences and knowledge of this niche.

By improving your writing and research skills, over time you will adopt a style of writing that prospects like and seek to find in their writers.

5. Your Social Media Profiles

Do you have a Twitter or Facebook account? One way to brand yourself is with your social media profiles.

It doesn’t have to have your logo or same look as your website, but it does have to have the same tone of your overall brand.

Alicia Rades does this well with her Twitter banner. She uses the same color scheme and font on her website to create her social media banner.

alicia

Since Alicia is a freelance writer and author, this banner says it all!

For me, early on I decided to market my product rather than my service for my social media profiles. I may change this later, but for now I’m just getting the word out about my course.

6. In Your Visuals

Many of these tips have been with visuals. So, what do I mean here? If you have a blog for samples and growing your audience, a great way to infuse your brand is with your blog post images.

If you noticed on my blog, I’m actually starting to do this for ElnaCain. Before I found a beautiful image and treated each image as separate from my brand.

But ever since I started branding Twins Mommy and working hard on a Pinterest strategy, I realized how beneficial branding your images can be.

  • People will immediately recognize your post based on your image
  • You’ll develop authority in your niche simply because your branded images look better and are more cohesive
  • Branded images stand out in the Pinterest smart feed

While I love playing with script fonts and colors, I have other blogs where I can unleash my creativity. I chose one font, one look and one color for my feature images for this blog.

One thing to remember is to always add your URL to your images as this is the number one way to start branding them!

To get started with branding your images you can use free image editors like Canva or Picmonkey or invest in getting a Photoshop membership for around $9.99 per month.

Learn More About Branding

I didn’t go into creating your brand or how to develop a vision board for your brand. These are things I learned from other awesome branding bloggers.

If you are interested in creating a profitable brand, check out these ladies:

Over to you – if you’ve developed a brand, tell me how you use it in your freelance writing business!

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

Leave a Reply

18 Comments

Thank you for this awesome post, Elna! I always look forward to reading your posts, especially the ones I find on Pinterest. I’m gearing my website around a brand design this go-around. I’ve always heard to build the website first and THEN brand it. I’ve learned through personal experience, however, that this isn’t the case. My website looks so much better with a clear brand in mind rather than bland-ness.Reply to Lisa
Hey Lisa, To each their own, right? If creating your brand personal first is what will help you get a solid plan and your blog up and running, then do it! I lean on the…just slap it up and deal with it as you go mentality 🙂 For me, it can take a long time to find a good and solid brand..and I change often too! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, A very informative piece you did put up here. I actually bookmarked this page previously. While going through it again, I had a new idea and a push to work even harder – in the area of the huge B! Let’s see how it all goes. My Fb friends will definitely love this. 🙂Reply to Favour
Thanks Favour! Glad you came back and found some more insights. And thanks for sharing it with your friends 🙂Reply to Elna
Amazing information! I’ve had a personal blog for about a decade and have decided to see what I can do beyond that. I think these tips will help a lot!Reply to Niccolea
Hi Niccolea, Thanks. Yes, branding is key to standing out helping prospects find you. Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
Wow Elna! Thank you so much for mentioning in your post! I love that although branding isn’t your expertise you’re pointing fellow freelancers towards others that have helped you and you feel can help them! That’s awesome!! 🙂Reply to Aukele
Hi Aukele, Ha, yes, branding isn’t my expertise, but I have picked up some great tips from branding experts.Reply to Elna
I’ve been trying to make some money doing freelance writing but I am only just starting to realise where I’ve been going wrong. I’ve been a blogger for a while and have a ‘brand’ for that, but nothing for my freelance writing! I’m definitely going to be setting up a website now and getting cracking on sorting things out! Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.ukReply to Stephanie
Hey Stephanie! That’s great to hear you are taking action. Sometimes the most obvious things slip our minds! Branding isn’t something we think about when starting a freelance gig. Good luck!Reply to Elna
Thanks for including me, Elna! 🙂 It’s crazy how much of a difference a strong visual brand can make — definitely something I’ve noticed while marketing my business!Reply to Jorden
Hey Jorden! When I found your site (don’t remember how or when) I was in LOVE with it. Love your colors, design elements and copy. You’re an awesome freelance writer girl!Reply to Elna
Elna, Thanks so much for the mention in this post. I am the first one to admit that branding and design are not my strong suits. I realized that, in order to be taken seriously as a brand and a businessperson, I had to improve at it. It took time and a lot of help from my wife, who happens to be rather good at this sort of thing. It was when I re-branded my blog this year that I finally decided to get my visual strategy right. Excellent topic for a post, because it’s one of those things I think a lot of freelancers (writers or otherwise) don’t give much thought to. Sure, you might be an excellent writer, but as the saying goes, how we do one thing is how we do everything. And clients know this. Will be sharing! Thanks again, BrentReply to Brent
Thanks Brent! Yeah I really like your rebrand! It’s awesome when you have a partner that’s into that sort of thing. My husband helps with the development and other design elements. It’s fun to brand. I think you are right though, many new freelancers are stuck at thinking of price, instead of value. You can show value with a strong brand and clients won’t be thinking which writer is the cheapest; instead, they’ll look at your brand and professionalism and say what does this writer have to offer. Branding can be a game changer for sure.Reply to Elna
Hey Lizzie, Love your site and images! You are a good designer and have an eye for fonts and colors 🙂 My kind of gal. Yes, it is amazing how important branding is. Prospects will remember your brand and look and that will help them decide if they want to hire you over someone without a strong brand presence online.Reply to Elna
Branding is so important so it’s really good to see you cover this topic! From writing posts about branding myself and public speaking about the topic too, I’ve found that a lot of bloggers and freelancers don’t think of themselves as a brand, but we all are! I feel like my own brand has really developed over the past few months through two main things – my content and my visuals. I used to use stock images but since I started taking my own photography, my brand has really come into its own 🙂Reply to Holly
Holly, That’s awesome. I wish I had the time and resource to make my own images. I took a photography class in High School and still remember everything I learned 🙂 I love taking pictures but with twins and a busy life, I just don’t have the time. You are right; freelancers don’t think about branding when they start a online business. It’s the number one way to stand out.Reply to Elna
Thanks so much for including me, Elna! I’m really starting to see how important branding is as a freelancer. Loving all the examples you’ve shown here 🙂Reply to Lizzie