For a long time, I never felt a need for a brand. Being a freelancer myself, I always believed that it was unnecessary for any freelancer to carve a brand for himself. Will it help? No way, I felt. However, with time, my thoughts have shifted on a more positive note. And now I think branding can make a difference, exactly the way it creates better appeal for products. Clients also tend to have more faith on brands.
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It’s highly natural for anyone, even for you to buy branded clothes, especially when you have little knowledge about the quality of clothes. You feel safe with brands. It brings a sense of satisfaction about the quality you get, and you go back home thinking that you have made the right decision. Imagine if you build your freelancing brand over a period of time, then the results can be immensely satisfying.
Brands tells you a lot
Brand’s value doesn’t arrive on its own. It takes years to build a brand value. You may have any tom, dick and harry name registered as a brand for your company, but for the value to arrive, it takes something else. A freelancer probably has to spend a lot of time and energy delivering quality stuff to its clients, and only then, he will be able to bring a certain value to his brand.
Brands tell what to expect from a product or a service. This also explains why a company like Thomas Cook is preferred more by Tourists to book resorts for their holiday destination. It is simply because Thomas Cook has forced their clients to assign a value to their brand by sheer high quality service. Many believe the company’s brand and they hire services offered by them.
Brands can, in fact, create a profound awareness for freelancer’s potential clients working in any field. You may be a designer, or a writer, and if you have rendered quality service to your clients, they will help create a reputation for your work. Brands symbolize a lasting reputation for freelancers. It is also a certain way to attract clients. If you happen to know about a successful freelancing brand, you can be assured that the freelancer has had a successful freelancing career and can be a safer bet for hiring.
Let’s talk what will happen if your freelancing service is bereft of any brand value
When I first decided to become a freelancer, I faced difficulties at the outset. I found that I had no takers because no one knew how good I was. I had to write a sample piece, and submit it to my potential clients in order to secure a job. I had to do this as I didn’t carry any reputation. It was then I understood how important it was for me to create my reputation.
Again, I also noticed that every time a new client was approached, he would try and haggle. I was not in a position to stick to my asking price. The reason was I don’t bring a brand. People who look for freelancers in my field don’t know about me. Even if they know me, they are not sure about the quality that I may provide to them.
Most importantly, freelancers who don’t carry a brand value will surely find generating gains a tad difficult. Now that brings us to a stage where we need to find answers on how branding can help freelancers.
Once you create a brand, you will find many waiting at your doors
I will like to give a small example here. I stay in a remote location, and on my first trip abroad, I had two options to buy a ticket and Visa, one was right in the same town where I stayed, and the other was a highly prominent travel agency, around 200 miles away and they would help me handle Visa and get me a ticket too, at a slightly increased cost. You might think that I may have chosen the one near my house, but I chose the travel agency, which was popular, simply because their popularity was backed by their brand, and I felt more secured dealing with them. Even though, it meant that I had to travel 200 miles away and shell extra money out of my pocket.
Freelancing follows the same formula. When a client decides to hire, he seeks a freelancer who has already created successful projects in the past. A client doesn’t want to waste time on analysing how masterly a freelancer is, he will simply choose to hire straight away, though, he might have to spend more money.
That’s the value brands provide freelancers. However, unfortunately, many freelancers don’t give substance to creating brands, they are happy to live in the present. Take whatever comes their way, and have little regard for their future. Those who live this way fail to create a buffer for tough times ahead.
Building brands keep you secure
The most striking advantage that brands provides freelancers is the ability to get jobs even during times of crisis. A freelancing profession is such that you may have to live days without any work. It can be sometimes frightfully daunting to face such enormous crisis. If you are able to build your reputation and brand as a successful freelancer in your own domain, there’s every chance that your lap would be full of orders.
That’s what brands are created for – to guarantee jobs and income at all times. Brands help freelancers to stay engaged entirely, and keep them stress free and also help them grow their profile.
By Rajiv Sighamony