Personal Branding for Freelancers


Last November,  I presented a seminar at The Language Show with my colleagues Martina Eco, from 3P Translation and Vasiliki Prestidge from Greek to Me Translations.

We focused on Marketing Strategies, Tools and Branding. 
Martina emphasised the importance of having a marketing plan and following a strategy in your business as a freelancer. She posed thought-provoking questions and excellent examples of how the right channel can bring you the clients you are looking for. Vasiliki listed a number of useful tools that could inspire freelancers with ideas for blogging, help them save time, design attractive digital materials and increase their online visibility.

I explored the idea of WYSIWYG Branding. Branding may be considered as a concept which combines your business personality with the public perception resulting from the way you define and present yourself. However, defining your business personality, from my point of view, means focusing more on your essence than on what the others will think of the image you project. If your essence is in conflict with the Brand you are creating, you will end up forcing yourself into a fake standard that may feel too uncomfortable to embrace. The public might sense that your Brand is not consistent with your personality and may distrust your offer. However, if you ask yourself questions relevant to your essence, the value you offer, the ways in which you shine, the strengths of your character, the projects that fill you with enthusiasm and the uniqueness of your experience, you will create a Brand that is authentic and the best version of yourself. 

I did not mean that public perception had to be disregarded in branding. On the contrary, it should be taken into consideration as a means to an end. Through the definition of your brand, you may gain an insight on the best clients you would like to work with. Therefore, finding the right channels to connect with them, the problems you may solve for them and the reasons why they would choose you as their preferred service provider, means you will be analysing aspects of public perception to your own advantage.

WYSIWYG Branding is a concept I created to highlight the aspects which work best in branding.  WYSIWYG [What you see is what you get] implies that your Brand is genuine and true to your personality, values, interests. This triggers confidence because your image is in alignment with the best of yourself. As a result, you deliver what you promise and your clients expectations are fulfilled, leading to relationships of trust and repeated business in the future.

Another aspect of Branding I talked about, was related to the visual identity of a Brand. I focused on the following components:

1.      Name: As a translation professional, the name of a Brand should be easy to pronounce in the languages you work with. You should check that the name is not used already, that the domain for a website is available or that a similar name is not taken by other business,  or on social media platforms.
2.      Tagline: Although it is an optional component of a brand, the tagline may prove very useful if you would like to emphasise in a few words (no more than 5) the mission of your business, the date when it started, or where it is located. The tagline for 'Translator in London' is 'All About Communication' and although I chose it for personal reasons, which I explained at the Show, that tagline turned out to be the foundation of my business and of my personal life.
3.      Colours: Different colours may be associated with different business personalities. It is advisable to use a colour scheme consistently throughout different channels so that the colours of your brand immediately trigger an association with you in the mind of the general public. Marketeers also recommend that you use two main colours with a touch of a third one in all your graphic content.
4.      Logo: Even if you are not keen on design, you may use tools such as Hatchful byShopify to create your own logo, to edit it and to have it available for publication on different platforms. Another effective tool you could use for design is Canva.

 Last, but not least, the message of your brand will be conveyed through Content. When you develop content, you should think of what your potential clients would like to read. How relevant will the content you publish will be to them? What sort of information will make their lives easier? If the content is relevant and valuable, the possibilities of engaging a greater number of clients will be higher. 

If you have any other ideas relevant to marketing and branding, business personality, public perception and image identity, please leave your comments below!

For inspiring questions and more information on this topic, have a look here at the slides of our presentation.


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