In the freelance writing world it would appear that weâ€™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 heâ€™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Whilst this is a sad indictment of outdated attitudes in 2009, it reflects how weâ€™re free to promote ourselves however we like online. Her post is particularly timely because marketing under a different persona is something Iâ€™m planning on doing myself.
A common dilemma for freelancers is whether to promote yourself as an individual or a brand. I donâ€™t think thereâ€™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 Iâ€™m perfectly happy writing for the clients I do now, I think itâ€™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, Iâ€™ll need a larger hook.
Unless youâ€™re already an established name in the copywriting world, I think high profile companies are more attracted to branded agencies. So Iâ€™ll need to adjust my persona accordingly.
The Copywriterâ€™s Crucible gets a face lift
During the quiet January period Iâ€™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 clientâ€™s eyes, and pretend to be something youâ€™re not, will only backfire in the long run (although not in Jamesâ€™ case, might I add). So my ‘about’ page will detail exactly whoâ€™s pulling the levers at The Copywriterâ€™s Crucible.
Will it make any difference? Thereâ€™s only one way to find out. Iâ€™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.