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Why contractors should create a personal brand

Why contractors should create a personal brand

Despite ongoing concerns over Brexit and changing government legislation, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed’s (IPSE) confidence index report showed an increase in contractor’s confidence levels during the last quarter. Across all sectors, the top factor in increasing positivity amongst contractors was the value of brand and reputation in building a freelance business. Developing a coherent style and message will help your brand look professional. Using our expertise across the contracting sector, Contracting Scout have identified the top four factors that contractors need to consider when developing a personal brand.

  1. Establish your brand identity

In a nutshell, personal branding is about identifying who you are and what you stand for. This means not only thinking about what you do, in terms of your skills, but also how you do it, in terms of the values that make your brand unique. Contractors are essentially their own business, so your brand identity will inevitably reflect your own values, personality and what you’re best known for. It could be your creativity, your ability to meet knife-edge deadlines, or the integrity and dedication you bring to a project when it comes to going that extra mile. When you’ve established what you stand for, think about how to translate this both visually and in words.

  1. Simplicity is the key to good branding

When it comes to personal branding, keep it simple. If your branding is clear and self-explanatory, then people are more likely to remember it. There’s no point in complicated or abstract designs if people don’t understand what you can do for them. It’s most logical for contractors to use their own name, or an aspect of their name, followed by a keyword or tagline to explain what they do, e.g. James Birch, Independent Business Consultant or Birch Consulting. Similarly, contractors don’t need elaborate business logos; but distinguishing your name with a specific font or colour will help to introduce a certain theme or feel to your branding which you can then build upon.

  1. The importance of market research 

Market research is important to all aspects of your brand. Not only will it influence your key style and message, it will help you to identify your target audience and understand what they’re looking for. For example, if you’re a financial contractor, your branding might be relatively conservative in order to communicate values of reliability and risk aversion. Look on sites like LinkedIn and search for websites that are specific to your sector to see how other contractors are presenting themselves. Understanding your competition won’t just help you to identify the brands that stand out, it will also help you to identify how you can position yourself within the market.

  1. Position your brand as a thought leader

Research also comes in useful when positioning yourself as an authority voice in your field. Keeping up-to-date with important issues that affect your industry and giving your opinion is a valuable brand booster that indicates you’re ahead of the curve. As a contractor, you’ll often have specialist knowledge of your industry, and identifying opportunities to share that expertise is a great way to get noticed. Whether its publishing content on a blog, sharing it on LinkedIn or making a short podcast to upload on all your social media channels, original and insightful content gets noticed and will quickly gain attention.

Now that you’ve considered the benefits of creating a personal brand, it is important to market that brand and get your message out there. Come back next week to find out how you can market your personal brand and get your name out there.

At Contracting Scout we offer guidance on a range of contracting issues, to talk to one of our team call: 0203 603 1878

Find out how to create a personal brand from Contracting Scout

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