With more freelancers than ever before, no matter what your niche, you’re going to be up against some stiff competition. And not just locally or nationally, but freelancers based in other countries who will undercut your rates.
The reality is, there’s nothing you can do about the number of competitors in your niche. What you can do, however, is to develop your personal brand to stand out above that competition.
Here’s the thing: Whether you’re a web designer, writer, developer, or have some other special skill, there’s a lot of pent-up demand from overwhelmed business owners who don’t have the time or talent to create a website, write a blog post, code a plugin. In other words, there’s more than enough work to go around. So rather than waste time worrying about your competitors, think about what sets you apart when developing your personal brand.
Here are the top 5 Data-Backed Reasons Why Freelancers Should Build a Strong Personal Brand
There’s a lot of competition, and your personal brand can help you stand out
Freelancers are predicted to become the U.S. workforce majority by 2027, with nearly 50% of millennial workers already freelancing — more than any other generation
Half of the United Kingdom’s working population will be self-employed in the next 5 years. And independent workers comprise the fastest-growing group in the European Union labor market
24% of all online workers live in India. With outsourcing, now one of the country’s main exports, Indian freelancers find they can be competitive globally due to their high levels of education and technical expertise. In fact, 55% of Indian freelancers take advantage of good hosting to work in software development or technology.
Technology has made it easier than ever to enter the freelancer economy, with 80% of freelancers using social media as a means of finding work.
2. Freelancers are often well-paid
The worldwide average hourly rate charged by freelancers is $19 – well above the average hourly salary in most of the countries where freelancers were surveyed for The Payoneer Freelancer Income Survey 2018.
In some countries, women earn higher freelance hourly wages than men, on average, such as Indonesia where men earn $18 compared to women who earn $19.
Some freelance coders and software developers earn up to $1,000 per hour.
Some freelance copywriters earn over $250 per hour.
When it comes to money, our mindset has a lot to do with how much money and opportunity we are able to attract into our lives, i.e. if you don’t believe there’s money out there for you then that’s how you’re going to act. The end result is you’ll be broke. The reality is, there is more than enough money and clients to go around. No one person (or even a few people) could possibly handle all the work that needs to be done in your niche. Developing your personal brand can help you build your reputation over time so you can attract your ideal client and, in turn, charge higher rates
3. Many freelance jobs aren’t advertised
85% of all freelance jobs are filled through networking
While 73% of freelancers use online marketplaces to find work, 33% find gigs through word of mouth and referrals — that’s one-third of freelancers who don’t need to go out of their way to find work
Many jobs aren’t advertised on the standard directory websites, and often the best freelance gigs are found through word of mouth. To tap into this hidden job market, you need to network and put your work out there. When you craft a personal brand that puts your work front and center, and you take the time to get to know people in your niche, you’ll make it easier for potential clients to find you. If you’re not sharing on social media or blogging on your website, you may as well be a ghost because no one knows you exist. Be part of your community – Connect with others in your niche, attend events and conferences in real life, comment on blog posts, comment on Twitter threads. Be known and be recognized.
4. First impressions count — and a personal brand can help
Out of all business decision makers, 84% start their buying process with a referral. And Google is the very first place people look after getting a referral.
Of all internet users, 65% see online search as the most trusted source of information about people and companies. That’s a higher level of trust than any other online or offline source
70% of employers say they’ve turned down candidates because of something negative they found online.
85% of U.S. recruiters and HR professionals say that an employee’s online reputation influences their hiring decisions at least to some extent. Nearly half say that a strong online reputation influences their decisions to a great extent.
According to one academic study, 94% of the time, someone’s first impression is based on design, and it only takes 50 milliseconds for that decision to get made
First impressions count, and when you work online this means controlling (as much as possible) what people find when they google you. If you don’t like the way you look online, there’s plenty you can do about it. You have seconds to make a good first impression with your personal brand.
While first impressions count, consistency when building your personal brand is key. It takes 5-7 impressions for someone to remember a brand, which means marketing must be an ongoing process if you want your personal brand to be successful.
5. A powerful personal branding story can help you connect
Personal stories and gossip make up 65% of our conversations.
92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story.
Research from the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts and figures alone.
If people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to buy the product in the future, while 15% will buy the product immediately.
What drives you to pursue the business you’re in? How did you enter your niche and what motivated you to start freelancing? What are you passionate about?
People want to do business with people they relate to, who they respect, and who they believe share their values. So weave your values into your personal story. Then, share that story on your website, in your blog posts, in your social media posts, and use the content you create to reflect the things that are important to you.
Build your personal brand with focus and passion. Personal branding is the single most powerful thing you can do for your freelancing career. Building your brand from the ground up is more significant than an MBA, more powerful than a millionaire father, and it’s more important than getting a celebrity endorsement.
People love a good story. Stories are the reason we stay awake late to finish a book and binge-watch TV shows on Netflix. Stories engage us like little else.
When you tie your personal branding together with a compelling personal narrative, your story can cut through the clutter.
Ready to start building your personal brand?
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OUTCOMES OF JOINING THIS CHALLENGE
This is what you will have ready in the next 30 Days if you follow the Instructions:
Your Own Personal Branded Website Created by Yourself- Keep upgrading, modifying and adding as you go along
Your Own Personally Branded YouTube Channel-Keep upgrading, modifying and adding as you go along
Your own Podcast-Keep upgrading, modifying and adding as you go along
At least two Blogposts, YouTube Videos and Podcasts- You can create more if you can give this more than 1-2 hours a day and grow as you move along
Optimized Social Media Platforms- LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Twitter and any others you may want to build on
Learn how to get Organic Leads from Social Media and start building your email list.
Start building an additional income through Affiliate Marketing if you want to.
📃 About Vandana Nanda
📖 My Story : The Journey Thus Far
Vandana Nanda, is the Founder and CEO of Winbrand Academy, an Online Personal Branding and Digital Marketing School.
After working in the corporate world with IT and Education companies for over two and a half decades, Vandana decided to venture online in 2020 on a full time basis.
Working online with Time Freedom and Financial freedom has been a long cherished goal for her. Vandana has travelled the world and experienced both extremes of life , going from being a successful corporate executive and a homemaker to being a single parent and bringing up two young children while also focusing on a full time corporate job.
She has been able to bounce back, learn new skills and continue on her path to achieving Financial and Time Freedom. She has made it her mission to achieve financial freedom herself and also help thousands of people across the globe to find financial freedom by doing what they love. Through Winbrand Academy ,she is helping Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, Real Estate Agents, Insurance Brokers, Authors, Actors, Musicians, Lawyers, Teachers, Industry-Specific Professionals, and of course, people with a specific Passion from around the globe brand themselves.
Vandana’s purpose is to help people brand themselves as Leaders and Authorities in either their specific niche or in whatever their passion is while creating an income doing what they love.