How to Deal with Seasonality in your Small Business

How to Deal with Seasonality in your Small Business

This is a guest post contributed by Esther Akinsola. Esther is a freelance content marketer for travel and tourism brands who want to build authority and convert their prospects with helpful content. She is currently the principal strategist at Zippa Marketing.

“Contract crunch” is a fun term for a not-so-fun thing: when your freelance work dries up for a prolonged period of time. It can happen because of a recession, personal life events, seasonal fluctuations, or a change in client demand.

Instead of viewing your dry periods as pure losses, consider them learning experiences — opportunities for transformation and growth.

When business is slow, it gives you room to diversify your skills, cultivate resilience, and emerge even stronger on the other side.

In this article, I’ll delve into the nuance of contract crunch, exploring strategies to help you navigate it with grace.

Effects of Contract Crunch

“The common theme I’m experiencing is potential clients not being able to make decisions or taking a long time to make decisions and low-balling across the board.” Lindsay Tague

During this phase, clients are less likely to explain their reasons to you. Some call it a management issue, while others refer to it as internal. But many could also be cutting back on costs to sustain the company. As a freelancer, you could experience the following as a result of their slow decision or temporal rejection.

  • Financial Concerns: Let’s be real; when contracts are scarce, the first thing that feels the pinch is your wallet. You start doing the budget dance, prioritizing bills, and maybe eating more instant noodles than you’d like.  And if you have considerable expenses to cover, dependents to care for, and no savings to fall back on, that can be all the more scary. Practical steps like budgeting and — if need be — seeking short-term gigs or part-time work can help you stay afloat when money is tight.
  • Imposter Syndrome: It’s perfectly normal to question your skills and choices during a contract crunch. “Did I make the right decision?” you wonder. Impostor syndrome might convince you that your slow months are a reflection of your skills and worth. Keep the larger context in mind. And focus on all the data points you have to show that you know what you’re doing, like prior client feedback, past successes, and everyday wins

How to Deal With Contract Crunch

1. Upskilling: There’s no better time to diversify your skill set than now. Take advantage of the downtime and broaden your knowledge. So, if you’ve been interested in learning prompt engineering or how to create stunning infographics, then get on it. Doing this during the dry spell will position you for better opportunities down the line. If you’re cash-strapped, start with a skill share or Class Central on YouTube.While you still hunt for gigs, block out time to invest in yourself.

2. Invest in your feast season: Sometimes your resilience and how you manage the “contract crunch” season depend on what you made of your feast. There are over 1,000,000 videos on the internet teaching us all how to make money from our skills but only a handful telling us how to invest or save our income. So, brush up on your financial knowledge. Ask people you look up to how they invest their money.  Start making savings goals for the short-term, mid-term, and long-term, so you can act on them when your cash flow improves.

3. Start a side project: If there’s something else you are passionate about within or outside your creative work, now is the time to do it. While it’s smart to dabble into side projects you can easily start and quit, it doesn’t hurt to have an additional stream of income that could lead to more income. This could be starting a blog and monetizing it, creating digital projects, starting a mentorship program, selling courses, or affiliate marketing. You can also simply expand on your existing services. For example, if you write PR articles you can consider offering SEO content writing on the side.

4. Invest in marketing: This is one thing freelancers don’t share enough. It’s okay to invest in paid ads or hire appointment-setters. It can be hard to focus on client work if you have to do everything yourself in your feast season. But to minimize your risk during your slow season, you’ll need to ensure your calendar is constantly booked and outsource tasks if need be, so you can always have something to fall back on.

5. Create a system for consistent work. Freelancers are used to offering one-off pricing for their clients, but moving to package offerings is often a better setup.  Not only does it increase your bottom line, but it ensures that your clients stick around longer. For example, say you charge $2000 for website development. Your clients simply pay for that one gig and move on. But in reality, that website will need ongoing support and maintenance. You could offer a package deal that includes error fixing and tech support maintenance. Offering bundle plans helps you land recurring work and ultimately negotiate higher pay.

6. Networking: During a contract crunch, you need all the support you can get. Talk to other freelancers to understand what they are doing differently and how they’ve been able to fill their pipeline with leads. You never know who might pass your name along and help you land your next gig.

The bottom line: Slow seasons are tough in many ways. But they also offer opportunities for growth. Use your time wisely, and you may just set yourself up for an even bigger feast than you’d imagined next season.

Using LinkedIn to Attract and Convert Freelance Clients

Using LinkedIn to Attract and Convert Freelance Clients

This is a guest post contributed by Antonio Gabrić. Antonio is an outreach manager at Hunter. He is passionate about testing different outreach tactics and sharing results with the community. When he is not connecting with industry leaders you can find him on his motorbike exploring off-the-beaten paths around the world.

Having a steady stream of quality clients is vital for sustaining your business. But attracting your ideal client can be challenging in an increasingly crowded and competitive market, with 1.57 billion freelancers.

LinkedIn has become an invaluable platform for freelance networking, thought leadership, and lead generation. It boasts over 930 million users worldwide and serves just about every niche. By implementing strategic best practices, freelancers can optimize their LinkedIn presence to connect with prospective clients and grow their businesses.

This guide is full of actionable tips to help you stand out on LinkedIn, nurture professional relationships, create valuable content, and convert more leads into paying clients. Let’s dive in!

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

You want to transform your profile into a place where clients know how you can help them achieve their goals.

Here is how to do it:

Craft a Client-Focused Headline

Your headline is one of the first things people notice on your LinkedIn profile — so make it count!

Summarize your freelance services in an attention-grabbing yet professional way. Make sure to include relevant keywords that prospects might search for to find you. Use persuasive language to indicate how you solve client problems.

Here is an awesome example:

David tells visitors three important things:

  • What he does – “Senior Content Writer”
  • Who he helps – “B2B & B2C” clients
  • The outcome he provides – “grow your audience and get more leads”

      The Power of a Persuasive Summary

      While your headline hooks people, your summary section reels them in by persuading them to reach out.

      Briefly share your career story, discuss the types of organizations you work with, and explain how you help clients reach their goals. Sprinkle in strategic keywords for greater visibility in LinkedIn search.

      End by calling visitors to action — invite them to get in touch to discuss potential projects, or prompt them to visit your website, where they can view your portfolio and client case studies.

      Here is a great example:

      Antonio does everything mentioned but also adds quantified successes to outline his expertise.

      Showcase Your Portfolio

      One incredibly valuable yet often neglected aspect of LinkedIn is the Featured section where you can showcase examples of your best work.

      Curate 3-5 pieces demonstrating your revelant expertise and the business impact you’ve delivered for real clients. Seeing tangible outcomes builds trust and credibility.

      For example, if you’re an SEO specialist, add case studies from successful site optimization projects. If you’re a copywriter, share samples of your best writing.

      Here is a cool example:

      On this content writer profile, we can see:

      • Personal blog
      • Publication on a high authority website
      • Client work

      This balance is a great way to showcase the diversity of your skillset.

      Building a Strategic Network

      The average number of LinkedIn connections is 1,300. Your goal should be to grow the number of right connections.

      Here is how to combine quality and quantity to build a strategic LinkedIn network:

      Connect with the Right People

      Quality beats quantity when building your network. Don’t just add strangers randomly — strategically identify relevant contacts instead.

      You can search for potential clients by company, groups, job titles, and interests/skills using LinkedIn filters. Connecting with influencers in your industry also helps.

      When sending connection requests, personalize them. Outline shared groups/interests you have in common, or explain why you want to connect with them.

      Taking the extra minute or two to tailor requests makes a strong first impression and builds authentic relationships rather than appearing spammy.

      Engage with Content

      Actively engaging with content posted by your connections and influencers greatly expands your visibility on LinkedIn.

      Comment on updates, share articles, and react to posts to enter conversations and join communities around your niche. This shows your expertise and credibility on the topics clients care about.

      When sharing contentfrom others, always add original commentary providing your insight rather than simply reposting. This positions you as a thought leader.

      Here’s a good example:

      Utilize LinkedIn Groups

      LinkedIn Groups support more focused networking and give you direct access to your target audiences, making them an ideal place to find clients.

      You can find groups by typing in your desired niche and filtering for “Groups.”

      Once in a group, start engaging by commenting on other people’s posts or creating a valuable post on your own. The idea is to do this consistently and avoid immediately pitching your services. Be helpful first, and freelance business leads will naturally follow.

      Content Marketing on LinkedIn

      Only 9 million LinkedIn users showcase their content, which is a great opportunity to start content marketing on your profile.

      Create Valuable Content

      The 5 most popular content types that attract clients on LinkedIn are:

      • Carousels
      • Blog posts
      • Third-party content
      • Native video
      • Text only
      • Photos and illustrations

      Use them to create helpful content around pain points in a specific industry.

      Here is an example of a thoughtful LinkedIn post:

      Most agree that the ideal LinkedIn publishing frequency is 2-5x/week, between 8 AM and 10 AM. Utilize this data to time your posts so you’ll get in front of more people.

      Leverage LinkedIn Articles

      While regular posts have great value, creating full-length articles for LinkedIn gives you more opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise.

      The main benefit of publishing LinkedIn articles is the amount of flexibility you get with the higher word count.

      Your articles can explore virtually anything relevant to your target audience, from inspiring stories and case studies to practical how-tos and guides.

      LinkedIn Messaging Strategies

      LinkedIn InMail has an impressive 18-25% response rate. Here is how to make the most of it.

      Craft Compelling Messages

      Organically attracting clients through your LinkedIn presence is only one part of the puzzle. The other part is reaching out to them directly.

      With outreach, the key is to personalize your prospecting messages. You can do so by:

      • Addressing prospects by name
      • Opening with what initially interested you in their company, project, or post
      • Asking questions to kickstart a conversation tailored to them

      Here’s an example of a well-crafted personalized invitation:

      Avoid vague invitations to connect or chat; intriguing opening lines spark better response rates.

      Follow Up Without Being Pushy

      You won’t get an immediate reply on every outreach attempt, and that’s part of the reason effective follow-up is crucial. But you want to avoid coming across as overly pushy.

      Here are a few strategies to consider:

      • Focus the message on the prospect’s pain point.
      • Lead with value.
      • Show interest in the prospect.
      • Follow up multiple times, as this can double your response rates.

      If LinkedIn outreach is still cold, it’s time to try email outreach. Most LinkedIn members don’t disclose their email addresses, so how do you find them?

      With an email finder tool.

      First, get a potential lead’s first name, last name, and company name from LinkedIn.

      Then, plug this data into the tool. It will scrape the web and,Iin most cases, you’ll get the prospect’s email address. Then, you can attempt outreach again — but in a more direct way. Many people check LinkedIn infrequently, so don’t be shy about following up via email if you don’t hear them after a number of days.

      LinkedIn Analytics and Adjusting Strategies

      You are 23 times more likely to attract clients if you implement data-driven decisions. Here’s what that means for your LinkedIn lead generation strategy.

      Understand LinkedIn Analytics

      LinkedIn Analytics provides insight into the activities and content that resonate most with your target audience.

      Take note of these metrics:

      • Follower growth rate
      • Follower demographics
      • Page views
      • Engagement rate

      These signals will indicate what content and activities are the most effective at attracting leads. Use analytics and feedback you get on your content or discussions to improve your lead generation strategy.

      A/B Test on LinkedIn

      To determine what works the best at attracting leads, test different variables, such as:

      • Headlines – with numbers or questions?
      • Call to action – direct or indirect?
      • Images – stock images or original images?
      • Text length – shorter or longer posts?
      • Content type – carousel or text post?

      Never stop experimenting — use the tools at your disposal to maximize success.

      Advanced LinkedIn Strategies

      Here are two bonus strategies that can help nudge along your client acquisition on LinkedIn.

      LinkedIn Ads for Freelancers

      There are 4 LinkedIn advertising options available:

      1. Sponsored Content
      2. Sponsored Messaging
      3. Dynamic Ads
      4. Text Ads

      Sponsored Content and Sponsored Messaging are arguably the best for freelancers. They allow you to target decision-makers with your best content and reach out to them directly on LinkedIn

      Using ads for LinkedIn is most effective when you know your target audience. Otherwise, it might be frustrating. Consider testing small monthly budgets to maintain steady visibility, and determine what kind of content and messaging has the highest ROI potential.

      Once you get the hang of that, LinkedIn Ads can be a powerful lead magnet.

      SEO for LinkedIn

      Don’t ignore the power of SEO for LinkedIn — as 93% of B2B marketers use it for organic marketing. The first step is to optimize your profile for keywords your leads might search for.

      Here is one easy way to do it:  Use generative AI tools to help you with brainstorming keyword ideas.

      Here is an example of the prompt in action:

      Once you have the keywords, you should use them in your profile headline, summary, and job history.

      You can go even more granular too, weaving keywords into the content you post on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to provide genuine value though. It’s not all about the keywords, but they help you show up for certain searches.

      Wrapping Up

      LinkedIn isn’t just another social media platform — it’s one of the most pivotal channels for freelancers to network and convert high-value clients.

      By optimizing your profile, creating client-centric content, strategically connecting, and utilizing a couple growth marketing strategies, you can leverage LinkedIn to secure your client pipeline.

      Be intentional, get creative, and add real value. The effort you put into a thoughtful lead generation presence on LinkedIn can pay huge dividends for your freelance business.

      My 2023 Reflections & 2024 Goals

      My 2023 Reflections & 2024 Goals

      In the closing weeks of 2023, I immersed myself in introspection, reflecting on the year I had just lived and all of the experiences that fueled my growth. I contemplated which pieces of 2023 I wished to carry forward into 2024 and what I needed to release or shift.

      With these reflections as a backdrop, I dove into planning for 2024, crafting a vision of what I desired it to be. I created four different categories to anchor my goals: personal wellness, relationships, money & fun. I spent hours shaping and refining my goals, plans, and priorities for the approaching year.

      What you’ll find below are my 2023 reflections, alongside my aspirations for the year to come. I know my journey is different from yours, and that’s a beautiful thing. But if I can provide one ounce of inspiration as you look forward to your upcoming year, then my work here is done.

      PS: if you want to go through this process on your own, you can start with the clean template here.


      2023 Reflections

      (1-2 sentences)

      1. What did you love about 2023?

      I loved the freedom, fun and personal growth I experienced. A lot of core memories were made.

      2. What made you feel good in 2023?

      I felt a ton of love from my personal and professional community and felt well supported.

      3. What did you struggle with in 2023?

      I struggled to figure out who I was; what qualified as rebellion vs. who I truly was at my core.

      4. Which decisions had positive impacts?

      Spending time alone out of a relationship to get to know myself, spending time traveling and having experiences.

      5. Which decisions steered me off course?

      Spending time and energy on people who were judgmental, drained my energy or unapproving of my lifestyle and choices.

      6.  What do I want to take with me from this year?

      The prioritization of fun and what feels good.

      7. What am I ready to let go of?

      Any and all insecurities and judgments of myself.


      2024 High Level

      (1-2 sentences)

      What do I want the next year of my life to look like?

      The next year of my life will be filled with joy, physical and mental health, financial success, generosity and beautiful experiences with people I care deeply about.

      2024 Goals

      High-Level Guiding Word: Intention

      High-Level Guiding Phrase:

      The next year of my life will be filled with joy, physical and mental health, financial success, generosity and beautiful experiences with people I care deeply about.


      Personal Wellness

      Guiding Phrase

      I will prioritize my mental and physical wellness to help me show up as my best self in other areas of my life.

      3-5 Goals:

      1. Go to workout classes (cycle, yoga, barre) 3-5x/week.
      2. Build movement (stretching, walking) and/or getting outside into each day.
      3. Book 1 big wellness item/month (massage, facial, body wrap, sound bath, etc.)
      4. Go to one extended wellness retreat.
      5. Go to therapy/life coaching 2-3x/month.



      Guiding Phrase

      I will prioritize showing up authentically with people who energize me.

      3-5 Goals:

      1. Spend time with friends and family who make me feel loved and accepted.
      2. Pay attention to the people who drain my energy or make me feel judged and de-prioritize those relationships.
      3. Share more vulnerably with the people around me who provide a safe space.
      4. Express my feelings and opinions openly and without reservation.



      Guiding Phrase

      I will build wealth and businesses that support my lifestyle and allow me to be generous to others.

      3-5 Goals:

      1. Hit annual revenue goal from all income streams.
      2. Make one big investment (real estate or tech).
      3. Grow my personal and Harlow online community (grow to 50k+ followers, 10k+ newsletter subscribers).
      4. Partner with 8-10 consulting clients who align with my work values.
      5. Donate at least $10k to charities (cancer, supporting children/youth).



      Guiding Phrase

      I will spend ample time enjoying the things that feel good to me.

      3-5 Goals:

      1. Take 10+ trips with people I care deeply about.
      2. Visit at least 5 new places.
      3. Live in accordance with *my* wants and needs.
      4. See at least 2 new artists in concert.
      5. Try one activity that I’ve never done before (skydiving, bungee jumping, new sport, etc.).



      Print this out and put in office.

      Reflect back bi-weekly or monthly to assess progress.


      My 2024 Reflection & Goal Planning Template

      My 2024 Reflection & Goal Planning Template

      Embracing the transition from one year to the next fills me with a sense of joy and anticipation. For me, it offers a golden opportunity for introspection. While I recognize that time is ever-flowing and a mere calendar shift doesn’t encapsulate our essence, it serves as a valuable juncture to delve deep and reflect.

      It gives us a moment to discern what brought us fulfillment, what left us wanting, and be really thoughtful about what we want in the next year of our lives.

      This year, I spent a lot of time crafting a personalized reflection and goal-setting template, experimenting with various iterations until I discovered the process, outline, and structure that resonated most with my journey.

      While sharing my process, a number of you expressed your desire to use the same document, so here I am extending an open invitation for you to use this same framework.

      Follow the guidelines below, or tailor it to reflect your unique aspirations. Whatever you choose, I’m wishing you success in 2024, whatever that looks like for you.

      Notes on how to use this document

      1. Start with reflections
      2. Let those guide you into what you want 2024 to look like at a high level
      3. Outline your 4-5 categories of goals (personal wellness, money, etc.)
      4. Write down your high-level guiding phrase(s) and word
      5. Fill in goals beneath each

      *You may need one additional layer to further map out how you’re going to meet those goals.


      Guide words: abundance, intention, contentment, growth

      Guiding phrases: I will build deep, meaningful relationships. I will be more aware of my spending habits in order to grow wealth. I will prioritize my own physical and mental well being above all else.

      Follow along with me on social for more goal-setting, business, and wellness tips:

      If you’re a google docs user, here’s the link so you can easily copy & start working.

      And if you want to see my filled-out version of this doc, my vulnerable reflections and aspirations, they’re all finalized here.

      2023 Reflections

      (1-2 sentences)

      1. What did you love about 2023?
      2. What made you feel good in 2023?
      3. What did you struggle with in 2023?
      4. Which decisions had positive impacts?
      5. Which decisions steered me off course?
      6. What do I want to take with me from this year?
      7. What am I ready to let go of?


      2024 High Level

      (1-2 sentences)

      What do I want the next year of my life to look like?


      2024 Goals

      High-Level Guide Word:

      High-Level Guiding Phrase: 


      Category Example 1: Personal Wellness

      Guiding Phrase:

      3-5 Goals:




      Category Example 2: Relationships

      Guiding Phrase:

      3-5 Goals:





      Category Example 3: Money

      Guiding Phrase:

      3-5 Goals:




      Category Example 4: Fun

      Guiding Phrase:

      3-5 Goals:






      Fill this out, print it and put in your office.

      Reflect back bi-weekly or monthly to assess progress.


      How to Make Your Portfolio Stand Out: Tips and Tricks for Creative Professionals

      How to Make Your Portfolio Stand Out: Tips and Tricks for Creative Professionals

      This is a guest post contributed by Sophia Bennett.  Sophia is a skilled chronicler of the world of business and real estate. With a sharp eye for detail and a passion for these subjects, she provides valuable insights and inspiration to her readers through her writing. When she’s not working on her craft, Sophia can be found seeking new experiences and adventures, always on the lookout for the next great story to tell.

      If you’re a creative in the freelance world, your portfolio is a foot in the door, your business card, and one of your best marketing tools, all rolled into one.

      And in order to succeed in creative spheres like graphic design, photography, and fine art, you need to effectively represent your past and present work. With a strong, visually enticing portfolio, you can give potential clients a window into your style and make it easy for interested collaborators to understand who you are and what you do before making contact.

      However, creating a portfolio isn’t as simple as just uploading HD images onto a website. If you really want to stand out, it’s important to follow some best practices.

      Below, we’ll walk you through the basics of creating a portfolio that wows your audience.


      7 Ways to Elevate Your Creative Portfolio

      Differentiation is key for any creator.  The freelance market is booming, which means competition for gigs can sometimes be fierce. Instead of letting that dissuade you from jumping in, consider it a motivating factor to niche down and refine your creative identity. Stand out. Be bolder with your offerings. And get really clear on who you want to serve. Then let your portfolio tell that story.

      From adding personal touches to creating a seamless user experience, here are some simple steps you can take to make your portfolio distinctive and impactful.

      1. Establish your unique style.

      The first and most important point to remember: Don’t mimic other portfolios you admire.

      Of course, there will always be vague similarities, since most of us are using online templates these days. But cultivating an original style, palette, and aesthetic is key to highlighting your portfolio as a frontrunner. Maintaining a fairly cohesive style across your portfolio, social profiles, and website also helps tie your whole brand together neatly and make a strong impression. It adds a level of professionalism that ups your odds of being hired.

      2. Select your best work.

      You must resist the temptation to upload every single image of every single project you’ve ever created. If you don’t love it, don’t load it. While there’s some value in demonstrating your range, the strongest creative portfolios are typically a small sample of an artist’s or creative’s best work, not a chopped salad of everything.

      Make it easy for potential clients to understand who you are and what your work is all about by choosing to display only your most successful and accomplished projects. And be sure to choose the ones that you actually enjoyed working on! If you want to magnetize even more aligned opportunities, highlighting the most fun and rewarding projects will help attract more like them.

      If you’re not sure which images of your work are the strongest, consider asking a trusted colleague or friend which works they think best represent your style and capabilities.

      3. Make it personal by sharing a bit about yourself.

      The best portfolios don’t just showcase a creative professional’s work — they also introduce you to the creator. Giving people a window into who you are helps bring your work to life.

      This is crucial because no one else has lived your story — it’s completely, 100% unique to you.

      This means it’s also your secret weapon. Use it to network, draw potential clients in, and engage with them on a more emotional level. Reserve a small part of your website or PDF portfolio to share a little bit about your background, inspiration, goals, and personality.

      Remember: People choose to work with people, not portfolios. So while your work should lead, it’s you who will seal the deal.

      4….But don’t share too much.

      Oversharing is a no. It’s also important to remember that too much focus on yourself can be just as unhelpful as too little.

      Don’t go deep on your childhood, your role models, and where you see yourself in five years — those are the sorts of questions you can answer if asked directly by an interested client. Instead, focus the bulk of your attention on your work and let the rest speak for itself.

      5. Focus on great UX and UI.

      If your creative portfolio is on a website as opposed to a PDF, you can make it stand out by creating an excellent User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design.

      Nothing sours you on work faster than a hard-to-navigate and slow-to-load portfolio. Clients want to see your work, and they want to see it fast. If necessary, hire a professional designer to build or streamline your portfolio for you. It’s worth it!

      6. Update your portfolio regularly.

      Constant creative evolution is important.

      A good portfolio should be treated as an ongoing project, not just a proposal you send off once and then forget about forever. Just like you, your work is continuously evolving, and your portfolio should reflect that.

      Review it every 3-6 months to see if there is anything you can change, update, or improve upon to better match the current you.

      7. Promote your portfolio online.

      Finally, don’t forget to promote your portfolio and make it easy for people to find online. If clients can’t access your portfolio easily, they’re going to be less likely to get in touch.

      Choose your channels based on your niche. If you’re building up your product photography portfolio and want to get more views, LinkedIn is a great place to connect with businesses that might need your services. If you’re a graphic designer focusing on the fashion industry, Instagram can help you to connect with influencers in your niche. Whatever you do, be sure to promote yourself in all the right places.

      The Takeaway: Your Portfolio Portrays Your Professionalism

      Knowing how to market your work is essential for any creative freelancer.

      Your portfolio is how potential clients are introduced to your skills. And putting your best foot forward is the best way to garner consistent, positive attention.

      By cultivating a unique style, carefully curating the images you use, focusing on quality UX, and promoting your work in the right places, your portfolio can stand out from the crowd and get you hired.

      Why Freelancers Should Care About Branding

      Why Freelancers Should Care About Branding

      Nowadays, given the competition in nearly every industry, it’s essential for freelancers and companies to put extra effort in to stand out in a crowd. Branding helps you carve a unique identity and perception in the minds of consumers through visual elements, intentional content, and messaging.

      This is why companies invest heavily in branding-related efforts. Case in point, many companies rely on brand managers. These professionals provide expertise and guidance to help create a distinct identity and build credibility. Their ability to understand the market, create effective marketing strategies, and maintain a consistent image is essential for long-term success.

      But branding is not only limited to larger companies. It’s also helpful for solopreneurs in light of the freelance sector’s growth. To date, there are over 70 million freelancers in the U.S., and this number is expected to exceed 90 million by 2028. While that might sound daunting, investing in a freelance career is sure to reap plenty of benefits. Here are the most important ways branding can help you succeed with your freelance business.

      Make your online presence stand out

      First and foremost, branding helps you create a unique identity and differentiate yourself from your competition. A consistent and visually appealing brand image makes you easily recognizable and memorable. Plus, it enhances your professionalism and credibility. In today’s freelancing landscape, clients are seeking professionals who can deliver high-quality work consistently, and good branding helps showcase your best and most relevant work.

      Moreover, branding helps you communicate your values and humanize yourself. Often, clients aren’t just looking for someone to complete a task — they also want to connect with you as a person. According to a study on consumer shopping habits by Stackla, 83% of consumers consider authenticity in brands they decide to support. By leveraging authentic branding and sharing your story, you can foster a genuine connection with your audience.

      Attract your ideal client

      Using targeted messaging and niche positioning is a powerful strategy if you’re seeking specific clients. By developing a brand that speaks directly to the needs, interests, and values of a particular niche, you can effectively draw in your target audience.

      Tapping into cultural and societal trends helps with this too. That might mean speaking up about social issues that are important to both you and your audience. This is particularly important, as 64% of consumers around the world say that knowing a brand’s stance on current issues helps them decide between buying and boycotting, according to a survey by Edelman.

      Justify setting higher rates

      Good branding can help you demonstrate a consistent track record of success and satisfied clients, which in turn creates a strong argument for higher rates. When you portray a solid reputation, it enhances your perceived value. You can do this, in part, through careful attention to detail — a well-designed logo, a professional website, and compelling market materials. These all contribute to a cohesive and polished brand image, suggesting professionalism, reliability, and a commitment to quality. With consumers now seeing the value of quality over quantity, according to WGSN’s Future Consumer 2025 report, clients are more likely to be willing to pay a premium for the perceived quality and expertise that a brand represents.

      Because pricing can be difficult for many freelancers, reporting by financial analysts can be helpful when developing a brand. Consider factors such as market demand, inflation, and competitor pricing when setting your rates.

      Great branding isn’t just about appearances. It’s how you communicate your identity, your values, and your worth. Be sure to put some extra love and attention into yours. You won’t regret it.