Personal Branding For Designers and Writers

Think about some of your favorite brands. How do those brands make you feel? For example, when you see a Nike symbol, does it inspire trust? Does it inspire performance? Why are your favorite brands memorable to you?

Now think about your own brand. How do your clients and potential clients look at YOU?

Here are three personal branding tips for freelance designers and writers:

1. Pay attention to details.

When you're working on crowdSPRING, we regularly show your avatar (in your profile, portfolio, and in other places). Yet some designers and writers haven't uploaded a custom avatar and some have uploaded something that doesn't fully communicate their personal brand. Clients who view your profile and see an amateur avatar or no avatar at all will believe that you're not a serious professional and will move on. We know this because clients regularly tell us that they look at profiles, including avatars, when reviewing designers and writers they'd like to invite to a project.

Your username also is important. Some designers and writers use their real name while others make up a name. Make sure that whatever name you use - it's easy to pronounce, spell and remember. The username is a very important part of your personal brand - but many freelancers forget this.

This also holds true for your short profile descriptions. Take a bit of time to write a few sentences about yourself and the type of work you do. You'd be surprised how often clients read profiles and view portfolios when deciding whether to invite someone to a project. There's a reason successful designers and writers are successful - many of them have outstanding profiles and portfolios on crowdSPRING.

Some people upload their photo as the avatar and this is an excellent idea. Clients like to see the person with whom they're working and there's no better way, when working online, to make connection. It's one reason why Facebook became so popular - people are visual. Take a few minutes NOW and check your avatar. Upload a photo or image if you don't have one already.

2. Focus on quality, not quantity.

When you create designs or written work, whether on crowdSPRING or elsewhere, focus on creating quality work instead of quantity. Consistency is very important. If you flood projects with entries just to make your name appear more times, you'll find that many clients are turned off when they see inconsistency in your work, or simply, bad work. And you'll tarnish your own brand when that happens because other clients will also see that you're focused more on quantity than on quality.

People remember you when they see great work. So always strive to create work that you're proud to show in your portfolio.

3. Deliver awesome customer service.

From the moment you start talking to a potential client until the time your work is completed, remember that every interaction is an opportunity to wow the client with great customer service. Your brand can be impacted - positively and negatively - through ratings and feedback from clients. And your opportunities to continue working with that client, and to encourage that client to refer others to you for design or written work, depend on your ability not only to deliver great work, but also to make the client very comfortable working with you.

That means you should always be responsive, fast, honest, and polite, among other things. Here are more good tips on delivering great customer service.

Last updated: 30-Aug-11 1:49 p.m. GMT