Before I started my copywriting business a year ago, I’d never been an entrepreneur. But in a way, my lack of knowledge and experience was a blessing. I was able to learn what is working now, instead of applying knowledge that was gained in the past into a marketplace that has evolved significantly over the last few years.
A great example of this has been the evolution of branding. We’re all familiar with brands but most of us associate brands with big companies.
The truth is that you don’t have to be a company to utilize branding. In fact, these days people are much more likely to buy from people they know, like, and trust than from a faceless corporation. This means building a personal brand that sells you as well as your service.
Dan Schawbel, author of "Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future" defines a personal brand as, ‘’…..what you stand for and what makes you special. [It's] composed of values, a mission, and a positioning statement that depict what you do and who your audience is. [It] is an indicator for how valuable you are to employers and customers at every stage of your career."
Without a personal brand, your potential customers don’t know what you’re about, and find it difficult to trust you or connect with you on a deeper level. Your business has no personality, and doesn’t leave a lasting impression on anyone who finds you on social media, or visits your site. When you have a great brand, it helps prospects decide they want to work with you, and gives you a competitive edge.
It also gives you some insurance should your business fail because unlike a business that needs to make a profit to survive, a brand is an asset that keeps working for you as long as you want it to.
For me, investing in my personal brand means doing something to help me stand out from the competition. There are probably hundreds of copywriters in Sydney alone. But I’m aiming to work with branding and public relations companies, so I’m building a brand around being a copywriter PR professionals will want to work with. It’s a work in progress, but since starting, I’ve made more quality connections, which have already led to new projects and business that are exactly the type of projects I get excited about.
Not a branding expert? Don’t fret. The easiest way to get a brand off the ground is with social media. Create outstanding profiles that help you stand out, keep your images consistent, and make sure you engage with your audiences by regularly sharing relevant and interesting content. For example, I’m building a profile and publishing content that influencers in the PR space will notice. Decide on your purpose, choose your audience and create profiles and content that appeal to that audience, and you’ll be on your way to creating a brand that can be an asset for you and your businesses for years to come.
This article was contributed by Linda Paull - a freelance copywriter based in Sydney, who specialises in creating copy that helps businesses build their online brand and get their message out to their target audience. You can check out some of her work on her website.