As a creative, being self-employed is extremely common. Some creative professionals set up their own company, while others decide to freelance.
Setting up your own company is intriguing at the beginning, and it does work well. However, it’s a lot of administrative work. People usually don’t follow companies on Twitter, let alone part with their money in exchange for services from them.
On the other hand, freelancing allows you to use your personal brand which is usually much more social media and client friendly. Freelancing can give professionals with multiple skill sets the flexibility to do the work they want, when they want to do it. It’s very for freelancers to offer several different services to a variety of different companies. The workload and income varies and it’s unpredictable at times, but once you get the hang of it and gain clients can become more stable.
When I first started out, I created a business brand: Fearless Concepts. It was a company that did design, was a clothing brand and made original content. I didn’t have a main focus and wanted to make the company everything I was interested in.
I found it tricky to decide what to post where and keep the social media profiles updated regularly. I didn’t know which content I should post on both my business or personal accounts. Deciding which business cards to pass out at networking events became a chore. A few years later I started a podcast and wanted to get into gaming, which made things even more confusing.
Spread too thin
I was spreading myself too thin. For a while I struggled to keep up and market my own brands while still completing the projects I was working on. Doing this made it difficult to promote and market myself. How coould anyone fully understand what I had to offer if my big of my brands,, personal and business, we unclearin.
Long story short, I decided to get rid of Fearless Concepts, and focus on my personal brand. There are so many things I’m interested in and want be a part of, that it made more sense to focus on a personal brand. In many cases, it’s perfectly feasible to have both. However when you’re just starting, it’s a lot easier to build a strong personal brand and then, if you like, transfer some of that strength to a business down the line.
You probably already use your personal social media profiles regularly, so by using your personal brand means you don’t have to dedicate time to additional profiles. Doubling the amount of time you spend on social media can be a daunting task for most people.
It’s easier to sell as a person than a company
As I mentioned above, people don’t want to follow companies. Most industries rely on networking with people. It’s a lot easier to build a relationship with a potential customer as a person than as a company. Your tone tends to more casual, which puts the customer at ease. Companies are usually seen as too promotional. They exist to sell, so that’s what they focus on doing most of the time. This can be off-putting for customers. However, a personal brand allows the customer to invest in you as a person, which makes it a lot easier to subtly promote in every day conversation.
Trusting a person can be a lot easier than trusting a faceless corporation. Personal recommendations from your connections and previous clients will help build your credibility and allow you to gain more clients. That credibility is directly attributed for you and will stay with you wherever you go, whether you get a full time job at another company or do some freelance work.
You can just be yourself. You don’t have to say “we” out mention your company when discussing your intentions. It’s all about what you think and what you want to do. If you don’t want to work on that project,you don’t have to. It’s much easier to share opinions as a person.
I’m interested in many things outside of design. It wouldn’t make sense to put my interest in gaming or sports on a website that’s dedicated to design and marketing. Making a site for each individual interest was definitely out of the question. Having a personal brand allows me to do everything I’m interested in and move more freely. It’s difficult for a business to change. Starbucks can’t just start selling TV’s because that’s not what they’re known for. It’s much easier to justify a person being interested in multiple things and changing directions.
If you’re struggling to decide between using a business brand or personal brand, or if your business brand just isn’t getting the results you want, consider focusing on your personal brand. You might find your marketing efforts to be more effective when you dedicate all your time to one profile.