image for post - FT 136: Brand Yourself with Sarah Hart

FT 136: Brand Yourself with Sarah Hart

Freelancers know how important it is to stand out from the crowd. But how do you brand yourself? Where does one even start on that journey? Sarah Hart, an epic web designer teaches her clients how to develop their own personal brand and use it to build their business. 

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Sarah shares with us:

How to Brand Yourself

Sarah dipped her toes into freelancing early on in her design career. Her first opportunity to personally brand for a client inspired her to focus her career completely on branding personality. She has since built an online community around her amazing webinars that define and creatively analyze the different ways freelancers can brand themselves. The most important thing, Sarah says, is to pay attention to what makes you unique.

I’m all about just adding those little bits of personality. I find people get really afraid to add those little bits about themselves that make them quirky and unique, and I promise that those are the things that your clients are going to absolutely love.

Personal branding means creating an online presence that effectively represents who you are. The goal is to connect people with the real you through your web page or social media accounts. Including all of the quirks and traits that help you stand out from everybody else is key to making your brand successful. Your clients want to work with someone they know they’ll like even before meeting them, and your brand becomes the way people meet you and get to know you online. Sarah gives a few strategies to help you tap into your personality quirks and use them to inspire your personal brand. Because once you brand yourself, you can start branding your business.

How to Brand Your Business

The first thing Sarah will tell you is that people buy with emotion. There is a short, five-second window where you can connect with that emotion. If you can’t do it quickly, you’ll lose that client forever. But the right image, the right colors, and the right layout can project your personality and attract those customers on an emotional level.

Using your brand to attract your favorite clients is a lot of what Sarah discusses today. Her tips for creating that perfect layout are as easy as choosing the one that makes you happiest. Whatever makes you feel good should be part of your personal brand, and that includes your web design and layout.

When you feel good about [your brand], clients start falling into place because your vibe has changed. You’re proud, and you’re happy, and you feel like you’re being represented fully.

The personality brand of your business should represent what you enjoy most about what you do and what you’ve created. That positive energy will come across in your website and draw people to it. Clients respond well to a freelancer who is confident and excited about their work, and you want to make sure you capture that same sense of excitement with your brand.

Sarah shares a few of her favorite strategies for translating this excitement into a successful brand. The archetypes she uses in her webinars and talks about today will definitely help you connect who you are as a person to the eager clients waiting to work with you. You want to create that connection with your own emotional excitement, Sarah says. Create that connection and then give your audience a clear call to action by giving them an opportunity to share in your excitement.

How to Avoid Branding Mistakes

These are just a few of the ways you can build your personal brand, but Sarah also shares the myriad of ways you can make mistakes in personality branding. The stereotypes you fall victim to and the oversaturation of color on your website are just a few of the stumbles you’re destined to make on this journey. But the biggest mistake of all is never even starting.

A form of procrastination is that perfection. It’s always going to be scary when you launch something new... and if you’re just perfecting and perfecting and perfecting, you’re just holding yourself back.

Don’t think about your brand too long. Don’t think about the mistakes you’re going to make. Just put it out there and test it out, Sarah says. There’s nothing telling you that you need an entire website designed before you launch. A lot of freelancers brand successfully with just a landing page. All it takes is one emotional connection to build the momentum, and you’re guaranteed to miss out on your favorite clients if you never even try to make that connection.

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