6 ways to establish a brand as a freelancer

Barin Cristian Doru

Since more and more freelancers are coming to the table, you have to stand out from the crowd and make yourself known as the head honcho. Follow these 6 tips so you can establish your personal brand as a freelancer and get the clients you deserve.

1. Get social to create a public presence

You may be one of the best freelancers in the market today, but if you don’t have a public presence people will slowly forget about you. Creating awareness is one of the top things you can do as an independent creative and social media is your best choice.



This is where you should focus your attention if you’re looking for a job or trying to create a network. If you’ve never used it, consider it a Facebook on business steroids (if that makes sense). It’s a place with a professional and serious atmosphere where people know business is the main goal.



Since Facebook is constantly limiting the way we can reach our audience, even if they like our content, Twitter is still the number one social media site on which you need to gain traction. Be interesting, creative and funny and you’ll surely gain followers. Don’t adopt cheesy tactics like buying followers or following thousands of people hoping for a follow back. Those numbers are meaningless if they don’t have real people behind them.



Here you can get an account setup in no time and start sharing your work with the world. Behance also offers the possibility of creating your own sleek portfolio with the help of Prosite.

2. Define yourself with a particular style


Lisa shows us want it means to have your own personal style

Being original is far harder than it sounds. Heck, in this day and age, almost everything has been done before so instead of asking the near-impossible of you, I’d rather suggest you define yourself by using a particular style in your work. This means implementing the same mindset in your designs so when people look at your portfolio they will all say the same thing: very creative / minimal / professional / sleek/ etc.

3. Get a proper logo


An assortment of personal logos that make sense: Oscar Morris, Mikael Eidenberg, Fraser Davidson, Lumen Bigott

A freelancer’s logo should be excellent, because this is one of the first things your potential clients will see alongside your portfolio. Unless you’re not that crazy about getting new clients, you really have no excuse for having an out-of-date logo.

Also note that you’re not a big corporation nor a highly known public figure so your logo should introduce yourself and speak about your personality. Abbreviating your name or using a very abstract concept is usually not a good idea to get the message across.

4. Give back to the community


GraphicBurger knows how to give back to the community.

I love creating freebies for the design community (for example, tutorials or educational posts like this one) since I’ve used others’ a lot in the past and I have always appreciated the people behind them. I also keep a bunch of Photoshop tutorials on my Youtube channel so people can learn quick techniques they can use immediately. This is how I choose to give back and it also helps to boost awareness and build a public image.

5. Keep an updated portfolio and blog


CreativeMints has a portfolio that blows everyone away!

An online portfolio is the blood in a freelancer’s body. If it’s not fresh, you’re dead. Keep it updated and only showcase your absolute best work. Be sure to invest at least as much energy as you did in your logo. It doesn’t matter how awesome your work is if you’re still on that free .wordpress domain with the default theme.

Having a blog is a great way of sharing some of your thoughts. Make sure to post at least once every few weeks, and don’t confuse it with Facebook or your high school yearbook: these posts will be read by potential clients so off-topic rants or quirky pictures without context don’t make sense.

6. Showcase your personality


FortySevenMedia‘s site radiates the duo’s personality: exuberant, with a touch of geekiness

People like a good story. If you have one, please share it with the world. If you don’t have one, then get on it. This means you should show you’re an individual with certain beliefs, a sense of humor and a personality. Clients will appreciate some personal insights so they know they’re not dealing with a brainless zombie that has nothing interesting to say. As always, keep it short and simple.

What are you doing to brand yourself?

The author

Barin Cristian Doru
Barin Cristian Doru

Barin Cristian Doru aka 'thislooksgreat' is an experienced web designer and proud member of the 99designs community: http://99designs.com/people/thislooksgreat Besides creating awesome website designs, he is also an entrepreneur, an Android App Developer and a content creator. His work ranges from freebie PSD files to small tips & tricks in Photoshop, all the way to a premium 16 hour long course on how to succeed on 99designs.

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