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Taking My Personal Brand To The Next Level

A personal brand is forever evolving. When I started freelancing nearly five years ago, I just wanted to make a living as a graphic designer. I never considered what my personal brand was going to be, and this is ultimately what’s held me back from growing exponentially.

In order to grow your personal brand you have to always be thinking about what you want to be known for. What is the one or two things you want people to come to you for?

This is the root to why I redesigned my website, and I want to share in detail what’s new, what decisions I’ve made, and why.

An Enhanced Brand

At first glance my new site should feel familiar. I didn’t do a rebrand, rather, I refocused.

My logo is the same, colors are the same, but overall it’s a lot more polished and centered around my freelance business goals.

I have two goals in my freelance business:

  1. Make a happy living with my design work
  2. Teach and inspire other designers similar to myself

The first being my primary goal and the second being a byproduct of all my efforts to grow my personal brand.

It wasn’t until early this year when I really started to focus my brand, and this new site is where I’m taking things to the next level.

Defining my brand’s story

In order to build a successful freelance business with sustainable work, I had to start with my story. I don’t want to just say what I do, rather, I want to express why I do it and who for.

You can read my new, more focused about story on my about page »

Your brand’s story must be a complete picuture of facts, feelings, and interpretations.

So what’s the key to writing your brand’s story?

You need to write your story with your number one goal in mind, and it’s imperative that you find a way for people to envision themselves in it.

Show instead of tell.

  • Describe the problem your clients are having
  • Explain the turning point/breakthrough in why you’re solving this problem
  • Tell how it feels to resolve the problem for previous clients

Your story begins with the connection made when your client hears your name for the first time, when they see your logo, read your about page, and experience your interactions.

New and improved features

Aside from building a more focused brand, I made many changes to also build a better experience for my website’s users.

Too many CTA buttons!

You can never have too many calls-to-action right? Wrong!

My previous design had calls-to-action galore. I used to think this was great. However, I was only making the flow of my site more difficult.

Calls-to-action

Rather than point users to four different pages within the content of my homepage (outside of my main navigation), I’m focused on one thing: landing client work.

In order for my business to sustain and for me to grow my brand as a freelance graphic designer, I need consistent design work. This means putting my work up front and driving potential clients to my contact form. Anything outside of this can be found through my main navigation. I mean, that’s what it’s there for after all.

Easier to get in touch

For over a year my contact form doubled as a questionnaire, and it certianly helped filter out the non-serious enquiries. However, I’m breaking down this barrier for one primary reason: I want to make it easy for people to work with me.

I’d much rather get contacted by more potential clients than to serve my own analytical needs.

My questionnaire isn’t gone for good. If a client wants to cut to the front of the line and get an accurate quote for their project, then there’s a form for that: my project request form

The results: You can chalk this up to coincidence, but three weeks ago I already implemented this change in my contact form, and I landed two of what might be my greatest client connections. They weren’t looking for an exact quote, but were just reaching out looking for my interest and availability for work.

There was no hassle for them to just get in touch, and I feel that’s ultimately what led to them reach out. For me, this is a proven method that’s generating amazing results.

On the other hand, I know I’ll have to manually filter out any strange or non-serious entries, and for now, I’m okay with this.

Improved portfolio

With the direction in work I’m going, my target market responds more to seeing a lot of my design work, so I’m making it easier and faster to consume.

For major projects and especially logos, I’m sticking to the case study format. But with most of the t-shirts I design, they’ll be broken up by design, not project/client name. This way I don’t have any designs hidden inside of a project page.

I’ll be honest with you, not many of these t-shirt projects are case study material. They’re very straight forward projects, so I want the focus to be on the amount of work and variety of it.

Aside from the new project format, my work is now filterable by two major categories: logos and t-shirts. This just makes browsing that much easier.

Notice any mistakes?

My new site is live and I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. However, this doesn’t mean it’s in its final state. I’ll endlessly be iterating and improving on what’s in place.

If you spot any typos or come across anything strange, please let me know. A screenshot would be super handy too if applicable!

Freelance since 2011Proudly working in OhioProudly working in Ohio