SECTION FIFTEEN of the ULTIMATE SEO FREELANCER GUIDE - THE REALITY!
What does your personal brand say about YOU as a freelance SEO?
As a freelance SEO, people are buying you. Something you have written, done or said has sparked their interest and they have contacted you because you have given them enough trust that you may be the person who can solve their problems.
Personal brand building will massively impact your ability to achieve your long-term freelancing goal.
As an SEO freelance consultant, prospects will be searching your name to see what they can find.
If someone searched your name…
What would they find?
I interviewed Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) on my podcast. I highly suggest that you watch that interview to understand how Google connect the dots when it comes to personal branding.
You want to know how you can get yourself in a position where inbound leads are dropping into your inbox each day without you having to go and hunt them down…
Personal brand building is KEY!
> You need to demonstrate that you are indeed a specialist at what you do.
> You need to be personable, so your potential new clients feel comfortable with approaching you in the first place.
> You need to be focused with your messaging.
> You need to be active in the right places.
> You need to have a constant presence.
Love him or hate him. One thing you cannot dispute is…
Neil Patel has built himself a massive personal brand. I got the chance to interview Neil to ask him how he managed to build such a huge personal brand. This is what he said…
Be targeted and not sporadic.
One of the biggest mistakes I see SEO freelancers doing when doing personal brand building is…
They are wasting far too much time talking to the wrong audience. Time they cannot afford to waste.
Let me tell you about a little personal story…
When I first went freelance, I had just spent a few years working in the white label SEO sector, so due to the nature of white label, I had very little personal brand presence. Yes, I had a lot of contacts, but for people (potential new customers) who didn’t know me, there was nothing really they could find apart from my own website to trust me enough to ‘want’ to contact me.
With this in mind…
I set about listing all the places I needed to have a positive personal brand presence.
Now, at that time, most SEOs were begging Search Engine Land and other top SEO new websites and blogs to write for them.
I remember sitting back and saying to myself…
“Do my target clients read those SEO news websites?”
The answer was a…definite no!
Whilst all the other freelance SEOs were shouting and raving about being an author in Search Engine Land, I approached my local business newspaper and offered them my complimentary services to produce a column for their newspaper once a month.
The newspaper who also had a business magazine would send a tweet out asking their audience for any SEO related questions they need answers to, and I would answer those questions each month in my SEO column within the newspaper.
Now, this newspaper was printed and sent to thousands of businesses each month.
Can you imagine what the impact from this personal branding was?
Yes. You guessed it…
I was suddenly flooded with inbound leads from local based businesses all wanting me to help them to drive leads through organic growth (content and SEO).
I then wrote a two-page spread for their business magazine which went out every three months.
The title of this two-page spread I wrote was…
“To be good at marketing, think like a comedian!”
I also wrote a piece titled…
“Choosing an SEO supplier – How do I get it right?”
Can you see where I am going with this?
Spending half your day chatting to other SEOs on Twitter, will not help you to generate the type of business you need to attract.
Well, unless other SEOs are your target client, that invested time is never going to turn into new business.
Why do you think agency directors devote their time to LinkedIn as their main social media platform?
Because that is where their target clients hang out.
As an SEO freelancer, you have limited time, so make sure you spend that time being productive in the right places.
Site down and make a list of all the places your target clients hang out online.
Now build a constant personal brand presence in as many of those places you can...
> Post daily on LinkedIn.
> Create a mini-series explaining how working with a freelance SEO can solve real problems.
> Start your own LinkedIn group specifically targeted at SEO for…(your target audience).
> Get yourself on business podcasts as a guest. Remember, it is podcasts that your target clients listen to, not what other SEOs listen to.
> Host a free monthly virtual SEO event for your target audience. Do a 20 min talk followed by a live Q&A session.
There are hundreds of things you can do to build a positive personal brand. Just make sure you are building it in the right places.
It’s not rocket science. It really isn’t. It’s just about being consistent in the right places.
Hungry for more?
Re-visit a previous section:
Section 1: SEO freelancing stories
Section 4: Be realistic about your own SEO skillset
Section 5: Understanding who your clients are
Section 7: Be very mindful of – The promise trap
Section 9: The SEO freelancer payment terms
Section 10: Creating the perfect work / life balance
Section 11: Build a freelance support network around you
Section 12: What and how should an SEO freelancer charge?
Section 13: The isolation of being an SEO freelancer
Section 14: Get yourself a mentor or coach