Many freelancers make the terrible mistake of assuming that branding doesn’t matter when you are self-employed. You might think that only large corporations have to worry about such lofty issues as developing a brand. But this is where you’re wrong. Do you think Coca-Cola started out as multinational corporation? Nope. It was just a small-time operation selling sodas to drugstores until it launched the first coupon campaign, giving away thousands of bottles of Coke to make their brand a household name. The point is that branding, for any business, is an important part of creating a successful and well-known operation. And if you want clients to come looking for you instead of the other way around, there are a few branding promotion techniques you’ll definitely want to try.

  1. Form an LLC. Okay, so some freelancers are not keen to go through all the rigamarole required to incorporate. You may not want to come up with a name, pay for a business license, and draw a salary as an employee. But there are a couple of reasons this is an important step for anyone running their own operation. First and foremost, having a limited liability corporate to operate under protects you personally. It sets your business apart from you so that if you were sued, for example, the claimants couldn’t come after your personal assets (like your home). But even more than that, it shows clients that you are serious. They might not think they can rely on a person who is self-employed, but they may feel more comfortable working with what they see as an established brand. Creating an LLC does not a brand make, but it could help to take your brand, and your business, to the next level.
  2. Create a logo. You won’t get far without a recognizable symbol that people associate with your business at a glance. Nike has the swoop. McDonald’s has the golden arches. Apple has the…um, apple. Okay, that one is a bit obvious. The idea here is that a logo is an important identifying mark for a brand. Some companies use unique lettering (Coke), color schemes (T-Mobile), or even people or personas (KFC) to visually promote their brand. But a logo is a simple way to set your business apart from others and brand your work (both literally and figuratively).
  3. Join forums. You might not think that this qualifies as a promotional tool when it comes to expanding your brand, but joining industry forums is a great way to get your name out there. For one thing, it’s never a bad idea to network with your peers. Getting to know colleagues can not only net you loads of useful advice, but also opportunities. By making colleagues aware of your brand and its strengths, you may be able to form partnerships, take on overflow work that others can’t handle, and ultimately grow your business.
  4. Create a website. These days it’s not enough to advertise through print, radio, and television. But most freelancers couldn’t afford these tactics anyway. What you can (and should) do is create a business website. This virtual calling card is an essential outreach strategy for any modern business that wants to build a brand. If people can’t find you online, you may as well not exist.
  5. Expand your online presence. A website is a good place to start when it comes to promoting your brand and using the right website software can ensure that your site is up to snuff. But once you’ve got your home base on the web up and running you need to optimize it for maximum visibility, expand to social networking platforms, and seek out mobile solutions as well as online expansions. This is the future of branding and promotions.

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