How important is branding?

“Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room” – by Chris Ducker

If you are wrestling around with the idea that you don’t need to think about your brand, I want to stop you right there. You will learn how important branding is to your freelance business in this episode.

What my branding looked like?

For a very long time, I didn’t put much thought into branding. In fact I thought the brand was the logo. And since I didn’t have the money to allocate to getting a logo designed, I would just design my own.

This was very much the way I did branding for my business from 1999 to 2015.

2014 I started to pay a bit more attention to the details of some of the people and businesses that I followed, admired, and respected. I noticed that everything they did from their website design, logo, social assets, and even physical goods like notebooks, mugs, hats, and wrist bands.

Why is the Nike Swoosh so effective? And if you don’t think it is, my one year old son points to it anytime my wife and I wear Nike apparel and says “swooo”.

Why is the red for Manchester United or the navy blue from the Yankees so widely recognized?

These things are all apart of branding. When you see them outside of their normal context, it puts it right into context.

What branding IS

In 2015, I decided to hire Megan Gray for the branding of my company. I gave up the reigns and gave her complete creative control over all things rezzz.

She put me through a process to unpack who I was, what my company was, who I would help, and all things that made me and my company.

What came out in the end is a brand. The website, which 3 years later, get compliments on very often. A logo that’s able to use on all sorts of assets both digital and physical. A typeface that is recognizable. And an overall look and feel with imagery that when in the wild, people know it’s rezzz.

I didn’t know it then what sort of an impact it’s had on my business, but looking back over the past 3 years, it’s done a 5 things for my freelancing.

    • Took a lot of the decisions away from me when it comes to imagery, text, font, etc.
    • Elevated my professionalism
    • Sets a tone that branding is important for my business
    • There’s a thought process to what I do and that translates down to clients
    • Stand out in a crowded market

If you want to be charging clients for your premium services, you have to be premium. Which means you can’t just throw spaghetti at the walls and see what sticks.

Send the message that you know what you are doing, especially if you are designer or branding expert, make sure that your company exudes that too.

Branding is very important in freelancing. Standing out in a crowd of other freelancers is hard, but when you have a brand and a way to be front-of-mind with leads, clients, and past clients that puts your brand out there.

A past client or lead won’t say “Let’s go to Upwork”, they’ll be saying “Wait a second, I know someone, let me dig up their name.” Because your branding stuck out in their mind.

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Important Resources from the Episode

Megan Gray

Chris Ducker
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