Why A Unique Brand Can Make or Break Your Freelancing Business

The golden arches.
The red bulls eye.
That blue bird.

I don’t have to tell you which companies these images represent, do I? You just know.

Unique Brand

While we easily think of multi-million dollar corporations when we think of successful branding, we need to apply those same ideas, principles, and techniques to the freelance business we operate from a home office.

Why Should You Care About Branding Your Business?

Regardless of the freelance business you run—whether it’s writing, design, VA work, or something else—there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other business owners doing the same thing. It’s a crazy and competitive business environment.

Creating and communicating your unique brand identity sets you and your business apart from the competition, according to LeapZone Strategies. Discovering your brand message is not hard, but it does require intentional examination of what makes you different.

When crafting your message, consider what problems you solve, how your business makes life better, and how your clients benefit from what you offer.

Once you’ve answered some crucial questions about your identity, it’s time to work on messaging. What makes up your brand? Typically, you’ll want to name your business, choose a tagline, and design a logo.

Name Your Business

As a freelance business owner, you’ll need to come up with a name for your business. You’ll want to choose either your personal name or create a business name.

Freelance Folder outlines the pros and cons of using either a personal name or a business name for a freelance business. Sometimes using your personal name can be perceived as less professional, but sticking with your own name doesn’t lock you into a certain type or kind of business for the long haul.

Deciding on a business name, though, can be a long and complicated process, as you’ll want to find something that’s memorable and creative that is not being used. Once you do come up with a business name, however, it is the perfect vehicle for succinctly communicating the uniqueness of your offerings.

Weigh all the pros and cons of naming your freelance business, but most importantly, don’t let the process stall the actual work you want to do.

Choose A Tagline

A tagline is a catchy slogan that becomes a recognizable part of your overall brand message: “It’s everywhere you want to be” (Visa) and “Good to the last drop” (Maxwell House Coffee) have become synonymous with the brands they represent.

CrowdSpring offers many ideas for writing a memorable tagline to set your business apart from the competition. Many effective tagline characteristics may seem obvious: it should be unique, simple and concise.

But the most important characteristic that’s often overlooked or misunderstood is that your business tagline should focus on your audience, not your company.

As you consider your tagline, go back to those questions you answered initially to discover your identity. How does your business help your audience? Use that information to create a memorable tagline.

Design A Logo

A powerful tool for distinguishing your business from its competitors, your logo can speak volumes about your business using just an image and a few words.

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time,” said Blaise Pascal. This quotation captures the difficulty in producing something creative in tightly-defined parameters, which includes logo design. When working with a single image that is scalable from thumbnail to billboard-size, a couple of fonts, and one or two colors, the task becomes quite challenging.

Creating a truly professional logo is best left up to—well, the professionals. Smashing Magazine outlines ten common logo design mistakes to watch out for. Make sure your freelance business logo is simple, timeless, and unique and that it isn’t a copycat—whether intentional or unintentional—version of an existing logo.

Evaluate Your Brand

No matter how young or old your business (and your brand), it’s a good idea to keep a critical eye on your brand message and identity, revising and fine-tuning as necessary.

The calendar gives us natural breaks in our business routine to look over our business. As you make New Year’s Resolutions, celebrate your business’ anniversary, or as winter melts away, take inventory.

Spring cleaning your brand, according to Entrepreneur magazine, involves re-evaluating your audience (including a shift in the clients whom you do or don’t serve) and updating your offerings (including which offerings to promote more or drop).

Intentional branding is crucial to creating a successful freelance business. Capitalize on what distinguishes you from the pack through creative, memorable, and timeless brand messaging, and keep an eye on your brand, ready to adjust it as necessary in order to maximize profits.


  1. says

    Great. Now I have to rethink a lot of stuff, Thanks Mary :)

    I love this post, it gives me lots to think about and the resources to help me make the best decisions for my webpage.
    Nicole Jones recently posted..By: Nicole JonesMy Profile

  2. says

    Hi Mary,
    All great points. One might ask the question, why does a business need a brand at all? The answer is that, if all other things are equal, you are competing on price and this will invariably lead to a race to the bottom. The alternative is to stand apart, to be known for the individual qualities you, and no one else, could bring to the table. Thanks for sharing on BizSugar!
    Heather Stone recently posted..Try Selling SandMy Profile

  3. Debora Humphries says

    Great tips on branding, the posts you linked out to were real good as well.

    Thank you for sharing this article. I learned a few things I had not considered before, I appreciate you.

  4. says

    Mary, this is an awesome article! From it I’ve gleaned link after link of great advice, starting with how to name your business. Funny, I seem to be going backward, I have a brand name for my jewelry designs, but I want to branch out and be more of a generalist and use my own name instead. I’ll also be thinking about that tagline, too. Lots to think about!
    kathleen ashton recently posted..Wheat-grass Decor 101My Profile

  5. says

    Hello everyone, Isabelle here from LeapZone Strategies (one of the linked article in Mary’s post…I have been reading your comments and one thing I would like to add is that BRANDING is not an event…it’s an everyday journey. Branding is so much more than a logo and a website. It’s about creating an experience that is worth talking about and coming back for.

    Great post Mary and thanks for sharing one of our many branding posts.

    Isabelle 😉

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