In this day and age, it’s not enough to say you are a freelance writer if you want some clients. The reality is if you want to make money you also need to spend time building your brand.
Think about it. How much more attractive do you think you look to a potential client if you’ve built a solid brand with a following? Or, how much more peace will you have at night knowing that you’ve built other streams of income that don’t rely solely on client work? (By the way, millionaires have an average of 7 streams of income.)
The problem is that managing client work and building your own brand is a bit of a balancing act. There are only so many hours in a day and it does take a lot of work to do both. The first thing to keep in mind is that this is a marathon, not a race. Once you’ve got that try some our tips below.
Dedicate Time Each Week to Your Own Brand
In order to start building your brand, you need to actually dedicate some time to it. Unfortunately, it’s usually easier to prioritize client work because we see how it gets us paid. Meanwhile, you may not see the return on investment for building your brand for some time. As such, it becomes easy to keep pushing our own brand to the side.
The best way to to make sure you spend some time building your brand is to put it on the calendar. Some people work best if they work on their own brand first thing in the morning. Others, like myself, prefer to just dedicate an entire day a week. It’s really up to you. For some additional guidance, check out our blog on how to add structure to your flexible work life.
Make Building Your Own Brand a Habit
One of the things I’ve done to build a brand is to make certain things – like social media – a habit. For example, the first thing I do in the morning when I get to my office is get on Periscope and check in with my followers. It’s practically like catching up with friends so it doesn’t feel like work.
Writing for your own blog can also be a habit. In fact, it may be a habit you already have. Perhaps you began blogging and then became a freelance writer (that’s what happened to me). Just because you start getting client work doesn’t mean you need to give up on your own blogging.
Tackle One Big Brand Building Project a Year
I’ve learned the hard way not to do too many things at once and spend a little bit more time focusing on the activities that make me money. However, that doesn’t mean I’m off the hook when it comes to building my own brand.
Having learned this lesson the hard way, I now only do one big branding project a year. In 2014 it was launching my book. In 2015 it was a re-brand. While I haven’t quite figured out 2016 yet, I do know my schedule is only going to allow for one big project.
Don’t make the mistake of multitasking too much and instead focus on the projects that make the most sense for your business.
It is totally possible to manage client work and continue building your own brand. Once you have a solid foundation for your brand you’ll start to notice how much more easily client work starts to roll in. While it’s a major investment of time, it is one that is well worth it if you want to make money as a freelance writer.