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As a freelancer, you know you need a personal brand.
In order to get clients, people have to want to work with you. You have to sway them one way or another, and while your portfolio of work is a big part of that, your personality could be the icing on the cake.
But defining your personal brand is hard!
Here are five questions that’ll help you figure out how to position yourself as a freelancer in order to get more clients.
How do you describe yourself?
Sure, you’re caring. You have a great sense of humor. Your mom has always said that you’re special.
But those aren’t going to get your potential client to seal the deal with a contract.
✅ Make a list of 5 words that describe you.
Think of words that describe how you interact with people, specifically clients.
What words embody your work ethic and professional personality?
Feel free to crowd source this. Ask colleagues. Better yet, ask past clients whom you enjoyed working with.
Don’t forget to get aspirational here!
What words do you want people to use when they describe you and your work? How do you want people to see you in your field?
#ProTip: Stay away from “hardworking.” 😉
What part of your work do you love?
There has to be one part of your job that you like doing more than the rest – what is it and why?
✅ Make a list of your typical process with a client. Which part jumps out you as the ‘heck yes, I can’t wait to do that’ piece?
What part of your process do you tend to get lost in? What do you want to focus more on? What parts do you actually really dislike doing? Knowing your likes and dislikes will help you sell yourself to a client.
Are you a graphic designer who just really loves choosing the perfect color for a brand’s logo? Are you a photographer who spends hours editing to get the best possible final product? Are you a coach who loves public speaking?
Identify a piece of your work that really makes you tick.
Naming the part of your work that you’re most passionate about not only gets you excited, but it can get potential clients excited too.
What part of your work are you really good at?
Defining which aspects of your work you excel at makes it easy to sell yourself and find your niche.
✅ Review your client process and identify the piece that you’re really good at. Now, write it as a value prop for potential clients.
- I can quickly make the web design we create a reality, using my background in HTML and CSS.
- Using my background in publishing, I can help promote your e-book because I know exactly what makes readers click ‘Buy.’
- I have built over 500 projects with Ruby on Rails.
Whatever it is, know what you’re good at.
Remember, this answer might be the same or totally different than #2–and that’s okay.
Who will you serve?
You can’t have everyone has your client. You can’t serve everyone and you shouldn’t. Successful freelancers find a niche clientbase and serve them well.
✅ Make a list of your top 10 ideal clients.
Who has been buying your services? Who do you want to be buying your services?
They can range from realistic to total dream.
Do the words you used to describe yourself in #1 match these clients’ values? What do these clients have in common? Who are their competitors?
Knowing your niche in terms of clientbase is important because it allows you to be very specific in terms of how you present yourself to the clients you target for new work.
Why do you do what you do?
So you know what makes you, you. You know what you love to do and what you do best. You know who you want to work with.
But why do you do it?
✅ Write your mission. What problem do you want to solve?
This is what truly makes you unique because no one has the same personal connection with your work as you do. Presumably, you’re a freelancer because you want independence to pursue what matters to you. Think on that and how you can articulate it so it makes ‘em want to sign on the dotted line right away.
Once you’ve really gotten to the core of your personal brand, it’s time to act on it. Having a central place to point people to, like an about.me page, is extremely useful. Your about.me ties your personal brand all together in one link. It’s one place that lets people learn more about who you are and what you do.