5 Simple Tips for Building Your Brand as a Freelancer

Building your brand as a freelancer is key in order to both keep clients coming back and bring in new clients.

Building Your Brand as a Freelancer

For my freelance business, branding has both brought in more paying work and the kind of writing I love to do.

Do you want the worksheet that goes with this training?

I’ve created a worksheet to complement this training, available for download. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the blogging section and look for the worksheet called “Brand Elements.”

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Building your brand as a freelancer

Here are a few ways you can start building your brand as a freelancer right now.

Establish Yourself As An Expert

Positioning yourself as an expert isn’t as intimidating or difficult as it first sounds. You do this by sharing helpful information with your audience.

Figure out the questions they’re asking and the problems they’re trying to solve and then provide the answers/solutions.

This is a fabulous opportunity to help people take the next step on their journey as well as share your unique knowledge and expertise.

Don’t worry too much about sharing free information. You build trust with your audience by helping people and establishing yourself as an expert doesn’t hurt either. People hire people they trust.

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Focus On Your Digital Footprint

Whether you’re building a website or setting up your social media profiles for business, make sure your digital presence is easy to discover and communicates clearly.

Here’s what a solid digital footprint includes: strong branding, unique personality and clear services. This is also a good time to invest in professional headshots (and don’t feel like you have to stick to stuff corporate—consider lifestyle photos!) and graphics.

Think of your various bios and about pages as an opportunity to let your ideal client know how you can help them and why you’re the right choice. Don’t underestimate the power of a great about page!

Create an On-Brand Marketing Strategy

I don’t care if you’re too busy or you just plain hate it, building your brand includes marketing. Unless you love the feast-and-famine cycle of freelancing, that is.

Solid content marketing strategies can keep your prospect funnel full all year long. When creating your marketing strategy make sure to build something sustainable otherwise you’ll quit before you start.

Make sure to grab the worksheet that goes with this training

I’ve created a worksheet to complement this training, available for download. This is a free resource but it’s part of my resource library and you’ll need a password. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re in the library, navigate to the blogging section and look for the worksheet called “Brand Elements.”

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Show Off Your Personality

A big part about building your brand is growing your platform. Figure out what makes you stand out in your market and find ways to weave it into your business.

Your personality is part of your brand, so be sure to highlight it. The first step is to find your unique voice and which aspects of your personality and experiences are best to convey.

Focus on the positive, exciting and engaging aspects of your brand personality.

Building Your Brand? Invest in Relationships

Referrals are a gold mine, which is why networking with other freelancers is so important. Word of mouth is also extremely powerful, so make a point to invest in your relationships. You never know which clients might suggest you to a new anchor client or introduce you an amazing career opportunity.

Take time to go the extra mile, giving excellent service and ensuring both your colleagues and clients are taken care of.


If you want to read my personal branding story check out Branding Yourself: Choosing a Niche.

From this experience I’ve learned a lot about how branding yourself on your website or blog is good for search engine optimization as well as for attracting your ideal clients. But more than that, branding yourself is important for growing your business in the direction you want it to go.

Branding Yourself: Choosing a Niche
Building your brand as a freelancer is key in order to both keep clients coming back and bring in new clients. Branding has revolutionized my business.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

The worksheet that complements this training is available for download as part of my resource library. You can get free access by popping your email address into the form below. Then once you’re in the library look for the worksheet called “Brand Elements.”

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Building your brand as a freelancer is key in order to both keep clients coming back and bring in new clients. Branding has revolutionized my business.
Building your brand as a freelancer is key in order to both keep clients coming back and bring in new clients. For my freelance business, branding has both brought in more paying work and the kind of writing I love to do.

Small Business Marketing Ideas for the Real World

In order to be profitable you need to make sales, so you’re always looking for new and improved small business marketing ideas.

Small Business Marketing Ideas for the Real World

Or at least you should be.

Today we’re talking about real-world strategies you can use to promote your online business.

Would you like free writing tips? Sign up for my weekly tips & tricks, from one writer to another at robynroste.com/writing-tips.
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Small business marketing ideas for the real world

Having a strong digital presence is important but don’t discount traditional tactics.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m biased because I spend most of my time working with traditional media and dealing with people who don’t have a digital-first approach. That said, there are a LOT of people who don’t live in the Internet bubble and they like buying things too.

Here are a few small business marketing ideas to consider.

In-person networking

Networking is super important in business. Even if you’re introverted. People are often shy to talk about their business because they don’t want people to think they’re bragging or pressuring them to buy something.

But trust me, there’s a way to talk about your business in a non-threatening way.

You do need to find creative ways to sprinkle it into your conversations but the point is, mention it.

If you’re hoping people discover you online so you don’t have to do the scary marketing thing I’m sorry to say this is going to be a slow venture.

Find a natural way to integrate your business into your every-day life and then when it fits, mention it. Networking is an art and there are many people who don’t do it right. If you can learn strong networking skills, it is effective. SUPER effective.

Local events

Attending or sponsoring local events doesn’t fit every type of business but make sure to go if you find one where your ideal customers will be hanging out.

If you have a physical product make sure to bring those and hand out samples or have a booth. If you sell digital products or services you can have some sort of swag that makes sense to pass out.

I’ve found great results from attending events and participating in them as a speaker or vendor. This small business marketing idea can be a great business booster if you apply a little creativity to it.

Discover your ideal reader worksheet

Do you you want a bit more guidance discovering your ideal reader?

I have create a free worksheet just for you! Pop your email address into the form below, confirm your email subscription and I’ll send you the password to my resource library.

Once you’re in look for “Discover Your Ideal Reader Worksheet” in the writing section.

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Local media

Don’t discount local newspapers or radio stations. They work hard to produce relevant local content and are an excellent way to get the word out about your business.

If you don’t have an advertising budget think about other ways you can get media coverage.

  • Can you contribute a weekly column about your area of expertise?
  • Are you able to provide an interesting point of view on a subject they’re asking for community input on?

Call the outlet and see how you can help them.

Another way to get local media coverage is to join local boards and campaigns. Make yourself available for interviews to talk about the great work your volunteer group is doing when the journalists call to cover the event. It’s a win-win-win.

In order to be profitable you need to make sales, so you're always looking for new and improved small business marketing ideas. Or at least you should be. Today we're talking about real-world strategies you can use to promote your online business.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
In order to be profitable you need to make sales, so you're always looking for new and improved small business marketing ideas. Or at least you should be. Today we're talking about real-world strategies you can use to promote your online business.

Want to Know How to Rock Your Marketing?

What if you could rock your marketing while you’re busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I’ll tell you how.)

Rock Your Marketing (Even if You're too Busy for Marketing)

Rock your marketing

Freelance writers are business owners, busy business owners. We’re so busy, we lack the time to work on our business because we’re always working in it for our clients.

Blogs, social media posts, and marketing in general fall by the wayside in favour of the now money.

But what about later? Do you go back to hustling when the gigs dry up? Do you stockpile your rainy day fund in case there’s no work for a while?

Before I get into how to rock your marketing, I have a little story for you.

I’m part of a bi-monthly marketing challenge in one of my professional networking groups and the most interesting parts of the challenge is how many people “sit this one out” citing they have a full client load so they don’t need marketing.

What? You’re too busy for marketing!?

This is difficult to hear. Because this tells me you’re not thinking about the long game, you’re focusing on the here and now. Don’t get me wrong, you should. But the present can’t be your sole focus.

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Here’s what no marketing plan gets you:

  • Scattered, inconsistent presentation in front of potential clients
  • Random posts and self-promotions on social media
  • Irregular networking (in person, virtual networking groups, bi-monthly marketing challenges…)
  • Unfamiliarity with competitors’ strategies

Oh, and no new clients. Unless you’re so busy month after month that you’re turning away new clients, you need marketing. Even when you’re too busy for marketing.

So, how do I rock my marketing even if I’m too busy for marketing?

I’m glad you asked. Since we’re at the beginning stages of this conversation I’m not going to ask you to do new things…yet.

Right now let’s focus on what you’re already doing and sprinkle in some focused marketing. Getting it going is the first step.

Rock your marketing with these three tips

First, think about the content you put out on social media right now

Be honest. When you post something on social media, what is it about?

  • Personal?
  • Photos of your weekend?
  • Political memes?
  • Food?

Is anything you post related to your business or how you serve your clients?

If you’re going to rock your marketing, I challenge you to consider your social media platforms places where you can attract new clients and brand yourself rather than something separate.

  • Who is your ideal client?
  • How can you help him/her today?
  • How can what you post be useful in moving him/her ahead?
  • Even better, how can you inspire someone?

Need help? Here’s your five-step social media strategy for freelance writers.

5 tips for optimizing your social media profiles ebook

By the way, this training also exists as an ebook. This seven-page ebook is a free download in my resource library. Sign up below and I’ll send you the access password.

Once you’re in the resource library navigate to the social media section and look for “Five Tips for Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles Ebook.”

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Second, carve out time to connect with your ideal clients or colleagues

And no, this does not mean sending out cold pitches by email. CONNECT!

Remember, I’m not asking you to do anything new…yet. So who are the people you speak to every day? Do you pass them on the street? In a store? In a restaurant?

Look them in the eye and make a connection. Start with hi, hello, how are you. One or all of those will do.

Next? Have a conversation. It doesn’t need to be deep or time-consuming, but make sure you mention something about how what you’re working on lights you up and you love your job.

Make a connection, then continue on with what you were doing.

But what if you don’t go out because you’re chained to your computer desk all day? How about a nice email to a contact? A check in, a hey how’s your business going? Is there anything I can help you with today?

Or how about an old client, why not send a nice note and see if there’s a project you can help out with. If not, no biggie. But you tried. You reached out. You connected.

Third, you don’t need to post new content every day

Hear me: you need to post content, but it doesn’t have to be new. Whoa.

This was a huge mental shift for me.

When I let go of the idea that every blog post was a slam dunk and lived on in my readers’ minds I was free to re-use them as appropriate. (By the way, I wrote about my favourite tools to re-share content here.)

I combed through my archives and pulled the articles I thought my ideal clients would enjoy.

Then I plugged them into a content library, created a schedule and let them go.

I’m still amazed at the freedom I feel setting up this small automation.

Because I can accept that not everyone will see my LIFE-CHANGING articles and freelance writing tips the moment I write them I’m free to keep sharing them on various platforms.

All it takes is this careful balance of humility and pride.

Want to learn how to rock your marketing?

See? That wasn’t so bad. Don’t you feel ready to rock your marketing?

These three itty bitty marketing tweaks can help you ROCK your marketing!

Visualize how stress-free your freelance marketing game could be. Dream big, my friend.

Now, a word of caution.

You can go down the marketing rabbit trail and end up overwhelmed and not sure which shiny object to focus on.

Because there is always more you can do. All we’re talking about today is not doing nothing.

Don’t do nothing.

Keep putting yourself out there, even if you’re busy and have a full client roster.

Continue networking, keep posting relevant, helpful content on social media, and putting your work out there even if you haven’t created anything new in a while.

Keep going!

What if you could rock your marketing while you're busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I'll tell you how.)

One more thing. If you’ve got these three daily tasks down you may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
What if you could rock your marketing while you're busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I'll tell you how.)
What if you could rock your marketing while you're busy so you stop having dry spells? (Spoiler: You can, and I'll tell you how.)

Extra credit: How to Weather Cash Flow Problems. Helpful advice from Ed Gandia.

How to Find a Digital Agency

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven’t already, come across a digital agency.

Digital agencies are everywhere! In fact, it’s possible you’ve worked with one in the past and didn’t even realize it.

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency.

How to find a digital agency

If you’re a freelance writer or content creator then you may be considering starting your own digital agency.

Or maybe you want to take on agencies as clients. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner you may be considering hiring an agency.

They can be a huge help with your digital presence, online marketing and SEO.

Deciding to work with a digital agency in any capacity is a big decision to make. There are many different types with varying specialities and capacity.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re ready to get started working with agencies.

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5 tips for getting started working with agencies

Tip 1: Do your homework

Since every agency is different it’s important to research the company. Before agreeing to work with them you want to make sure they’re a good fit for you.

Starting from scratch? Look for local marketing agencies and make a shortlist based on their skills and services.

Tip 2: Make sure your industries are aligned

While the agency doesn’t have to be an expert in your field, they should have some experience in your area. For example, if you run a bakery but the digital agency specializes in landscaping it may not be a good fit.

Alternatively, if you’re a tech writer and the agency has mostly fashion clients, you’ll be a mismatch and nothing will come easy.

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency. Five tips for working with agencies.

Tip 3: Ask for case studies

Case studies are helpful whether you’re looking to work with an agency or hire one. If you haven’t heard of these before in essence they’re a study analysis where you overview a business problem, outline options for solving the problem and what happened in the end.

It gives you a solid idea of the type of work the agency does and you’ll get a feel for how they work. For an agency example, check out Vine Digital.

Cover of free ebook, How to write a case study: Gain trust with prospects by showcasing your client's success.

Do you want to learn how to write a cast study? I’ve created a PDF download and it’s available in my resource library.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Once you’re logged in, navigate to the “Writing” section and look for “How to Write a Case Study for Marketing Ebook.”

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Tip 4: Meet in person if possible

While this isn’t required, face-to-face meetings always help build rapport and relationship. For many freelancers, the idea of meeting clients in person is terrifying. However, it’s an important part of growing your business.

By the way, in-person meetings are also a great way to test and refine your elevator pitches.

For business owners, meeting with an agency owner in person allows you to connect on a deeper level and give them a peek at the heart behind your professional exterior.

This will help them craft campaigns and strategies that better-suit your needs than if they didn’t have that added insight.

Tip 5: Compare costs

If you’ve decided you want to hire a digital agency but still have a few options, it may come down to comparing the costs. Of course you want to base your decision on other factors as well but this should definitely be one of them.

If you’ve decided you want to work with an agency this is also an important step! Make sure your pay is adequate and the scope of your responsibilities is clear. And get it in writing.

If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency. Here are five tips for working with agencies.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency. Here are five tips for working with agencies.
If you work in media or run a business you will, if you haven't already, come across a digital agency. Here are five tips for working with agencies.

How to Be Productive Even When You’re Unmotivated

Setting goals and dreaming big is well and good but figuring out how to be productive even when you don’t feel like it is key to a thriving freelance business.

How to be productive

How to be productive even when you’re unmotivated

When you’re the one juggling all the balls and keeping your business going, there are times when you might wonder if it’s all worth the effort.

No one said running your own business would be easy but sometimes it’s harder than you imagined. So what do you do when you have no motivation?

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Tip 1: Stop Making Excuses

If you find yourself blaming outside forces or other people for why you’re not more productive it may be time for some honest reflection.

There will always be obstacles and reasons why you can’t work on your business. Stop making excuses and figure out a solution. Keep moving forward.

Example: I can’t market my business, I’m awkward/introverted/etc. Nope. Get over it. You have to market your business. Figure it out.

By the way, here are some marketing ideas for people who hate marketing.

Tip 2: Celebrate the Victories, Big and Small

While you were analyzing your freelance business did you stop to celebrate the small wins? Take a moment now. You’ve worked hard, you’ve had some good times. Acknowledge it.

No matter how small the accomplishment, give yourself some credit. Savour it. Pat yourself on the back. Being a business owner is tough, whether you’re a plumber or freelance writer. You’ve earned this moment of celebration!

When we’re stressing about how to be productive and worrying about how far we still have to go it’s easy to miss the progress we make. Try to see it. Try to feel positive.

Once you’ve found a few victories write them down and remind yourself of your progress every time you’re feeling down. Use the small wins to spur you forward.

Tip 3: Ask for Help | How to Be Productive

Just because you’re an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself. If you’re feeling stressed, overworked or under pressure it might be time to ask for help.

Sure, you may have a time management issue and if there are systems you can implement and changes you can make to your routine then you should do it. But it also may be time to ask for help. Outsourcing isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of growth. Finding the right strategic partners could make all the difference.

How to Be Productive Even When You’re Unmotivated

Tip 4: Analyze and Evaluate

Rather than digging in and pushing harder, it might be time to take a step back and take stock of your situation.

Give yourself some space, evaluate where things are at compared with where you want to be.

Here are a few questions to consider.

If your business financial health is in question, it may be time to dig out last year’s reports and take stock of your actual numbers. How did things go? What’s changed?

Once you have a good idea of where things are at you can re-evaluate where you’re going. Take a look at your road map and adjust as necessary.

Setting goals and dreaming big is well and good but figuring out how to be productive even when you don't feel like is key to a thriving freelance business.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
Setting goals and dreaming big is well and good but figuring out how to be productive even when you don't feel like is key to a thriving freelance business.
Setting goals and dreaming big is well and good but figuring out how to be productive even when you don't feel like is key to a thriving freelance business.