Should I Market Myself as an Individual or a Brand?

Reeling in bigger fish

In the freelance writing world it would appear that we’re still struggling with the same sexist attitudes we snort at when watching Mad Men. This has been the experience of James Chartrand, anyway, who revealed on Copyblogger this week that he’s actually a woman, and felt forced to promote herself as a man to attract clients.

Whilst this is a sad indictment of outdated attitudes in 2009, it reflects how we’re free to promote ourselves however we like online. Her post is particularly timely because marketing under a different persona is something I’m planning on doing myself.

A common dilemma for freelancers is whether to promote yourself as an individual or a brand. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer, but it can be influenced by:

1. What sort of clients you want to attract

2. Your future expansion plans

3. Whether your brand name is SEO friendly

In my case, I want to take my business to the next level and start attracting bigger fish (and higher pay). Whilst I’m perfectly happy writing for the clients I do now, I think it’s time to step up to the next level and start taking on more demanding work writing for higher stakes.

But in order to reel in bigger fish, I’ll need a larger hook.

Unless you’re already an established name in the copywriting world, I think high profile companies are more attracted to branded agencies. So I’ll need to adjust my persona accordingly.

The Copywriter’s Crucible gets a face lift

During the quiet January period I’m planning on updating my website with one of these great WordPress themes (found thanks to a Copywriter Underground Tweet). The aim is to mirror the appeal of an agency by marketing myself as a brand, rather than a plucky freelancer living by his wits and word processor.

However, in this connected digital world we live in, transparency is key for building trust . Any attempt to pull the wool over a client’s eyes, and pretend to be something you’re not, will only backfire in the long run (although not in James’ case, might I add). So my ‘about’ page will detail exactly who’s pulling the levers at The Copywriter’s Crucible.

Will it make any difference? There’s only one way to find out. I’ll run the branded theme for a month or so and let the stats and (hopefully) enquiries decide.

The next stage will be coming up with a logo, which will be another project all in itself.

2 Comments. Leave new

I am in the process of writing a unique cookbook: New Orleans Cultural, Historical & Cuisine cookbook. Contains the culture and history ignored by the academic community and historians. I have to submit my material by microsoft word and I am not really computer literate when it come to this. W hat is your advice in this matter?

Michael Ridgway
February 6, 2011 8:08 am

I have invented what I believe is a great new product that gives three dimensional directions and can be used as an acccessory to a computer or a Sat Nav. I am writing a document that describes the idea that I want to submit to some large companies. I’ll only have one chance to submit the idea and I need to present it in the best way possible. I would lioke some feedback on the way I am putting the idea accross and would welcome any suggestions on improving it. Would any kind person like to have a look at my draft???

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