You hear it everywhere. You see it on Pinterest, on Facebook and on Twitter.
What’s staring you in the face day after day?
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.
Katie Jenison has an awesome visual brand. She has a modern, monochromatic brand that’s professional and trusted.
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!
Lindy from the Freelancer’s Year has got it down when it comes to being consistent with her brand tone. She isn’t afraid to use different brand colors and fonts to make an impact.
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.
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.
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 conjunctions – and, 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.
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
Over to you – if you’ve developed a brand, tell me how you use it in your freelance writing business!