Should Freelancers Focus on Business Branding or Personal Branding?

Should Freelancers Focus on Business Branding or Personal Branding?

When doing business as yourself, it can be hard to know where lines need to be drawn between your personal life and your business.

For most, it can be impossible. Part of how you built your notoriety up to begin with probably started with word of mouth and personal recommendations. As you grow and choose to expand, do you continue to keep pace with putting your personal self out on the social media line or do you make a plan to transition to the collective and camouflaging “we” of doing business.

The short answer is that it just depends. Let’s look at a few guiding factors.

Personality and Uniqueness

Dr. Seuss said, “There is no one youer than you.”

In the freelancing world, your personality, voice, and uniqueness are the things that will make you stand out. A lot of people like to do your type of business with a familiar face.

They want to know the person taking their family photos or designing a logo. They want the the warmth of a personal relationship and the personal recommendation from a friend. So in this case, building on your personality is a dynamite plan of action for freelancers. A great way of using personalised branding is using something like US Imprints Koozies. They’re basically personalised drinks holders, but you can personalise them with your company logo or slogan. They’re eye catching and I can almost guarantee no one with a similar business to you is using them as a form of marketing. Make them personal and unique, and everyone will want to know who you and your business are. When you have a business, you’ll want to make sure that you can build and grow it. There are many ways that this can be done, not just through personalised drink holders. For example, there are marketing companies out there that can help you with this, so if this is something of interest to you then you could check out The Top Class Agency here to help you with this form of marketing.

As a business owner, you are also permitted to push the envelope when it comes to your digital presence. You get to interact with people online as a living, breathing person, and not the collective “we” of a larger business.

What Does Your Client Prefer

When beginning a business plan, it’s always advisable to take a really long look at your target audience. Who does your target audience prefer to do business with?

Are they formal? Would they prefer the careful marketing of a well-oiled business? Do they prefer working directly with a person and hearing a familiar voice on the phone every time they call? While this may not be your sole marker for making the decision on how to brand, analyzing your clientele effectively will never steer you wrong.

As you further get to know those you are working for, you can fine tune your branding approach and grow your social platforms to cast a wider net.

Selling Yourself (Short)

Another factor when deciding how to brand is whether or not you can sell yourself and your services appropriately.

Can you strike deals that are worth your time and effort without apologizing or flinching? The answer to this question will determine whether you should keep it personal or go the business route.

You don’t want to make the mistake of building up your likability only to let that be a disadvantage when it comes to closing a deal.

If you feel like your business will be more lucrative with a business brand, then think through the sacrifices you are making by moving it in that direction.

What Does the Future Hold?

Will you always be a one-man show? If yes, then a personal brand is your yellow brick road. If you intend to grow and build a thriving business then it’s probably best to head out the gate with that type of branding.

It would be difficult to become a household name and go through the painful and uncertain process of rebranding once your endeavor exceeds your solitary abilities. You can still start out with a unique approach and use word-of-mouth to drum up business.

Those initial successes will be residuals from your personal branding up to this point, but have a strategy for reaching clients while maintaining a warm persona.

Freelancing businesses are often one person’s pursuit that involves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. The decisions surrounding branding are critical as you begin to get clients and want to expand your reach.

Deciding whether to keep with a personal branding style or break out into a business model depends a lot on what your goal is. Either way, you have to take a look at what your online reputation is doing for you right now.

Analyzing your target clientele and who they prefer to do business with is a great first step. Then you can dream about your goals. Do you want to run your photography business as a one man show where clients always do business directly with you? Or would you rather grow the reach and employee base of your company by hiring and turning it into more of a small business?

Ultimately, understanding your clients and what kind of business you want to represent are the most important questions to answer when deciding how you should market your freelance business.


Sabrina ClarkSabrina Clark is a proud Marist College alum with degrees specializing in public relations, business administration and Spanish. While at Marist, she co-founded the Marist Student Entrepreneur Network to support students with entrepreneurial aspirations. Upon graduation, she accepted a marketing position with a tech startup focused on the home improvement industry where she managed integrated marketing, sales and strategic partnership initiatives. She is excited to now be a part of the BrandYourself team and help sculpt the future of the online reputation management industry.

Drowning Your Enemies (in Positivity) Is the Best Option. Always.

 

Ever had that moment of blind rage where your sister says something catty, a coworker calls you out for something you didn’t do in a meeting, or someone cuts you off in traffic and you imagine leaping at them and drowning them in a shallow bowl of soup?

Your response is half right. You can still drown all of your enemies; just do it with positivity. Many of them may not realize they are being rude, they may be having a miserable day, or they might be fools who bumble about completely unaware.

Rage won’t solve anything and will only compound the negative effects of stress that you are feeling. Instead, help these bumbling fools to be better by drowning them in complete, honest positivity. It’s the best way to stop them from being idiots who upset you and it’s the best way to maintain your interpersonal relationships. Help them be better by being better yourself!

Why It Works

If your positivity is genuine, then drowning your enemies in it has several possible outcomes: they will see your side quicker, any problem solving needed will be more effective, it will improve your mood, it will help out a potentially negative situation, and won’t escalate the situation. You don’t want to be upset, since being upset is silly and mostly useless.

Plus, if you are in the wrong (heaven forbid), sitting down and talking about it calmly will help you realize where you went wrong. Which is much better than developing a bad case of foot-directly-in-the-mouth disease.

How to Stay Positive

Staying positive sounds so easy. It’d be wonderful if we could all be robots with fixed smiles that other humans agreed were real and genuinely helpful, but that’s not really how people work. There’s a few tricks you can do to ensure that you don’t snap, give that creepy “I’m so angry smile,” or burn down your office building because Stacy doesn’t have her stuff together. You can stay positive even when things get a little hectic.

Exercise, Eat Well,& Be Healthy

Exercise is no fun. It can be exhausting. You can make exercise fun, but if you aren’t into running or moving or anything that involves leaving a climate-controlled version of a Roman reclining chair with high speed Wi-Fi, you can rest assured in your sweaty hell that you are making yourself happier in the long term. Exercise helps you stay generally positive, especially things like yoga and pilates which involve deep breathing and dynamic stretching. It’s a wonderful mood improver to add into your life on a regular basis. Being healthy is good for your mood and reduces the amount of sporadic mood swings that can occur. Taking care of your own emotional state is a big part of remaining positive when you feel upset.

Breathe

Boom! A fire of rage and sass hit the top of your mouth and you’re about to let the razor tongue slip across all the words that your cousin just spilled out of her mouth, tearing them into a thousand shreds. They will be shredded just like the useless nonsense they are, and your cousin will feel the same for having made them. Stop, for half a second, give a filler phrase, and start asking her about what she said.

Step #1: Stop.

 

Step #2: Filler phrases like “that is an interesting perspective” or “Hm. Tell me more about it.” can give you time to defuse a situation, maybe disassociate a little if their rant has nothing to do with you, and figure out why what they said upset you.

 

Step #3: Talk to them about why it upset you. Or if it’s a personal problem, keep it out of their hair. Did they use faulty information? Is their point a common misconception? Could you use this time to educate the ill-informed person who just made you really frustrated? Perhaps ask them about why they think what they said.

Mindset

There’s no rage. There’s no anger. If the reason you are upset is external, which means that you are not in the wrong, it is a perfect time to teach a lesson. They may not know the same rules that you do. They may not be as well informed as you. It’s a time to bring more people into your mindset. It’s time to drown them in positive love and support while giving them all the tools to succeed where they have failed to recognize your emotional needs. It’s also how you win any battle. It’s never the person who yelled louder that appears to win from a spectator’s point of view. Keeping the goal of winning with positivity in your mind’s eye can help you stay calmer. You are going to get your enemies on your side!

Should You *Sometimes* Break Eggs

There is a time and place for you to break some eggs — to get angry. It’s hopefully pretty rare. You’ve learned to drown your enemies in positivity, and how to give them the tools to be helpful members of society instead of jerks. But when is it appropriate to bring out your rage?

There’s a ton of times to bring out your rage: When someone litters. When a coworker gets bullied. When boxing. Bringing out your rage will help for immediate reactions.

Don’t slap someone. But there are times to yell. Times that you don’t have an infinite world to sit and explain and help someone be better. Yell at litter bugs. Yell at people who start illegal fires. Yell at subway gropers. But be selective with your rage. Negative reinforcement doesn’t help anyone stop being a bad/annoying/fiery rage-inducing insect of a human being.

 

Drown your enemies in positivity. You probably have to spend some time with them and you definitely want them to stop being terrible. Win every battle, create friends out of your enemies, and keep being positive.

 


Mary GraceMary Grace is a magical unicorn of a human being from the gorgeous Boise, Idaho. She loves hiking, skiing, and human interactions with technology. Email her anytime at marmgrace@gmail.com or connect with her on Twitter.

4 Tips to Get Your Life on Track After A Break Up

4 Tips to Get Your Life on Track After A Break Up

 

There are many people today who struggle with the direction their life is going in. Planning out your life can be hard in a lot of cases. After you end a relationship with someone you care about, this can be especially difficult. Not only did you put a lot of time and money into the relationship, but you also invested a lot of emotional energy.

Over time, this led to a lot of issues that caused you to forsake other areas in your life. Getting your life back on track is one of the most important things that you can do for a variety of reasons. Not only will it make you happier, but it will make you more productive as well.

Start a Hobby

One of the best ways to get over someone after a break up is to start a hobby. If you have always been interested in music or the arts, now is the time to start that. Studies show that people who have hobbies tend to get over things faster than those who do not. The reason for this is that the brain has something to concentrate on other than the relationship ending.

If you do not have a current hobby, start thinking of things that you could be interested in. Some people prefer to try and make money with what they do on the side. Although this is not a requirement, it is something that can add some incentives in to what you are doing. Over time, a lot of people have had success with what they are doing to get over a break up by following this direction.

Exercise

Exercise is one of the most important things that you can do for your body and your mind. A lot of people think that exercise is just a way to look better. However, there are a lot of mental benefits to exercise as well. With all of the things that you have to deal with in a relationship ending, a good exercise routine will help in a lot of ways. The better you feel about yourself, the better the chances that you will succeed in other areas. If you’re pregnant, make sure to follow precautions when you exercise.

There are several different categories of exercise that you can try out. One of the most common is running. A lot of people like to wake up early and go for a run that gets them ready for the day. Other people prefer to lift weights and work out periodically. Whatever you want to do, make sure you find something to get your mind off of your current situation.

Work a Second Job

With all of the freelance opportunities in the economy today, working a second job can really help get your life back on track after your relationship ends. You are going to have a gap of time that you used to spend with your significant other. Instead of sitting around watching television, you can use that time to improve your personal finances in a number of areas.

Before you decide to work a second job, make sure you pick something that you are going to enjoy. Remember, you are not looking for something that you are just going to make money at. You are trying to get your life back on track and should pick something that uses your knowledge and skills at a high level.

Get Out and Socialize

When something negative happens in our life, people tend to want to be alone and with our own thoughts. However, a great way to move on with your life is to get out and socialize. When you meet new people, you are able to learn a lot about them and make new friends. If you have a dog or other pet, you can take them along as well.

With all of the different technology today, this is easier than ever before. There are a lot of websites dedicated to helping people with common interests get together. In a short period of time, you should see an overall improvement in how you feel.

Overall, a relationship that ends is a tough thing to get over. The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can start taking your life to a new level.

 


Angela

Angela is on the content team at www.sleepcomfortably.org. She can be found around the web writing about relationships, family and other lifestyle concerns. Angela enjoys cycling, comedy and spending time with her young family.

3 Ways to Raise a Super Confident Daughter

3 Ways to Raise a Super Confident Daughter

 

Any mom knows that when raising a daughter, instilling a strong sense of self confidence is one of the most important and essential parenting tasks. Though our society may very well have progressed towards certain levels of gender equality, there is still a long road to travel, and our daughters will continue to face challenges that their male peers could never even fathom. A woman with a high level of confidence is a woman who will defend her rights and follow her vision, no matter what challenges and obstacles may come up. To help your daughter develop that sense of confidence, here are three quick guidelines on how to raise a self-confident daughter.

Let Her Pursue Her Own Interests

By allowing your daughter the freedom to find her own interests in life, you will be giving her the chance to develop confidence and high self-esteem. Girls who are taught to be obedient and only engage in activities that their parents expect of them rarely develop the courage to believe in themselves and their own interests.

Let Your Daughter Know That Being Confident is Okay

According to a recent article by WebMD, many girls think that showing confidence and self-esteem is the same as being conceited and arrogant. As a parent, let you daughter know that it is entirely okay to be confident, no matter what the boys (or other girls) think. Men who are confident in their style and grooming regime are almost never criticized, and should neither women (nor girls) be.

Do Not Be Over Protective

When you see your daughter visibly struggling with some peer-related problem, it might be almost second nature to want to come to help. While any parent needs to show concern, there is a fine line here, and you need to learn when to offer your concern and support, and when to let your little girl face up to the situation herself. The more confident your daughter becomes, the better she will be prepared to face any emergency or difficult situation that arises throughout her life.

 


aron james

Aron James is the founder of StubblePatrol.com. Stubble Patrol is a site on male grooming. He loves to write about his personal experiences.

Meet Dawn Wallace: Photographer & Founder of Daybreak Photo Co.

dawn wallace

Meet Dawn Wallace, mother, photographer, and owner of Daybreak Photo Co. Dawn is a free-spirited, adventure-seeker with a unique and extensive resume. Dawn has spent time studying marine biology, driving trucks, and has spent her fair share of time in the sky as a flight attendant. Dawn now resides in sunny Florida where she has launched Daybreak Photo Co. She is living the life of her dreams, photographing love (weddings + engagements) with her husband, second shooter, and business partner, Brad!

You’ve done a little bit of everything, from studying marine biology, becoming a truck driver, a counselor to a flight attendant. What called you to launch Daybreak Photo Co.?

 

It’s funny because I never saw myself as an entrepreneur. I mean, yeah, I started the sticker club when I was 10 but that’s a different story. When you ask about a ‘calling’, it’s such a weighty question because it’s truly something you have to think about and something we spend most of our life trying to figure out. I was called into this by my desire and passion to seek out what I was put on this planet to do. It’s also a means to provide for my family so if I knew I could do that and get to creatively express how I view the world and people…just how lovely they are, then I was moving into that ‘something’ more that I wanted. So it’s more of ‘who’ was calling me into photography than ‘what’:)

What is the biggest lesson you learned in launching your own business?

 

I learned very quickly that it doesn’t just HAPPEN. It’s not an instant gratification field of work. You have to work for it and you have to learn and network and surround yourself with encouraging people. I didn’t go to school for photography so I definitely was learning from scratch. I thought by picking up a camera and starting a My Space business account, I was a photographer. There’s so much more to it.

What was the best piece of business advice you were ever given?

 

I’ll tell you the advice and then proceed to tell you that I haven’t followed it well. It’s something that sticks with me often. One of my favorite photographers in Atlanta,GA once told me that she didn’t look at anyone else’s work. I was in shock because I was asking her if she knew certain photographers and their work? It took me back at first but now I get it. I’m sure she didn’t mean she never looks at colleague’s work but it was more of a….I don’t sit  there and compare myself to other photographers. It’s such an easy thing to do with other artists. If they don’t inspire you and the wrong thought comes to your head, “Why isn’t my work like theirs? What could I do better?” then don’t follow them and learn to change our mindsets. Learn to appreciate each other’s talents and move on from there. The comparison trap is a real thing and it’s exactly that, a trap.

What are some of your biggest successes you have experienced?

 

In work: Published in Celebration Society magazine, Old City Life, and Jacksonville Magazine

Traveled for destination weddings(this year we get to go to Italy)

My work has been in several blogs including “Style Me Pretty” and “Martha Stewart Weddings”

I count every family and couple a success.

In life: Married my miracle, birthed 2 more miracles and living in my dream city.

Success to me is more about daily living than awards and tangible rewards.

Along with running Daybreak Photo Co., you’re a wife, and a mother of two! How do you find a healthy balance with a busy schedule?

 

I always tease and say there is no such thing as ‘balance.’ I do not have it all together so don’t be fooled. I’m all about honesty and raw and real moments and I can say my house is a mess most of the time; I’m wearing yoga pants and t-shirts during the week and you’ll find me dealing with the work life-mom life balance often. It’s a hard one. I DON’T have it all figured out and I want other mompreneurs to know that’s ok. I wish I could say I was such a good planner and had rigid schedules and frozen meals ready for the crockpot. I drink a lot of coffee(especially Kookaburra), work late hours, and try to eat good foods but the struggle is real. I will say having a community of uplifting mom friends and mompreneurs has really helped since we moved to St. Augustine and most importantly, my Jesus who keeps me grounded when I’m seeking peace.

What advice would you give to other women who are pursuing their passions?

 

Everything is a season. Don’t give up when you have one setback or failure. Also, passions take time…they need nurturing and time to grow. I think one of the most important lessons I learned while working a desk job I despised for 2 years(8-5) was that I needed to learn contentment in that moment because in the ‘transition’ period, in the ‘muck and mire’ is where we usually learn the most and grow our faith so we can pursue and persevere.

Have fun and most importantly, perfection is not what we’re going for. The strive for passion will often leave you flat on your face so strive for passion…strive for your best and that’s all that should matter.

What is your personal or professional motto and how do you apply it to your life?

 

“Fall seven times; stand up eight.”

“There is no fear in love but perfect love drives out fear.” I John 4:18

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

These are all things I struggle with so they are daily reminders of where my mind should be in order to experience joy at all levels in my life.