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The art of selling yourself online

Not everyone has the luxury of a marketing team behind them, honing a brand image and fine-tuning webpages to help bring in customers and revenue. If you’re a freelance creative or small business you’ll have to do the dirty work yourself and it’s harder than you think (I should know—I do it for printed.com).

Before we get started on all the nitty gritty bits, here are a few basic resources you should have in your writing tool kit to help keep your branding strong, your marketing effective and to make writing a little bit easier.

The beginner’s basics

Mission statement
Everyone needs a mission if they’re going to get anywhere in the business world—big and small business alike use mission statements as a means of stating their intentions and making a promise to the consumer about what they can receive from the relationship. Your mission statements should reflect your company’s core values and—most importantly—should be at the heart of everything you do.

This is a tricky task, because this statement should ideally remain the same as your business grows and develops over the years. Getting it right is essential and will really help you whenever you have to craft copy for your company. If you don’t have one yet, here are some tips on how to get started.

You’ll be able to use your mission statement to write press releases, promotional material and even your site ‘about us’ page. It’s worth its weight in gold! For the best results, your mission statement should ideally be written in your company’s established tone of voice. Which brings us to the next point nicely…

Tone of voice
The way you talk to your customers and clients will help them decide whether you are a good fit for them and can help them establish the bond that will keep them loyal to you over competitors. Your brand tone of voice should work in synergy with your visual brand identity to create an image that sums up what you’re all about.

If you are a young, friendly, modern company, talking to your customers in hard business jargon will be confusing and confusion is best avoided when you’re trying to craft a lasting business relationship. Choose words, phrases and terminology that you think will appeal and inspire your target customer and make sure you’re always using them.

Putting it into practice

Social media biographies
Writing up biographies is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you don’t count writing as one of your natural strengths. Those couple of lines are like your handshake to the world, so they need to be good if potential clients are going to get a good grasp of what you’re all about.

Repurposing your website About Us page or company mission statement will help to create a consistent message and makes for a really good foundation. After all, there’s nothing worse than staring at a blank page and waiting for inspiration to hit!

Don’t forget to tailor your approach to the platform you’re using. If you’re writing for a professional site, like LinkedIn or Behance, keep in mind that you’re talking to like-minded individuals and try to imagine what they might be looking for when laying out your strengths and specialities. Writing for a more relaxed environment, like a social media site, means talking directly to your customers. How do you want them to see you?

Don’t waffle — make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say/convey and get to it. Internet content consumption means that people will scan read, so get all your best bits front and centre while you have their attention!

Online portfolios
Like your social media biography, you’ll need to dig out your mission statement to use as a foundation when writing up the content for your online portfolio. That’s right — they’re for freelancers too. Every creative wants their work to be perceived in a certain way, so you’re going to have to use the power of words to tell a story that sells your artistic vision.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the following format should see you right:


• Who are you (let’s keep it brief and to the point, guys. They don’t need your life story, just your name and artistic speciality)
• What your work is all about
• Why you’re passionate about this style/format specifically
• Any awards and accolades you have (again, let’s try and keep this to the top-line best bits. Swimming certificates and attendance awards are a no-go.)

Write it all out and then start cutting it back until you have a nice, short paragraph that’s crammed with all the most important information and works really hard for you. Anyone reading should come away with a really good idea about your style and who you are.

If you have any of your own content tips to impart, leave a comment in the box below and help your fellow creatives sell their skills.

Comments

Anne-Charlotte S
11 Dec 2015 18:43
Great article!
Barbara
29 Dec 2015 20:04
Lots to think about there - really helpful, thanks!
Andrew
03 Jan 2016 19:41
Helpful! Thanks.
TL
28 Jan 2016 14:35
very interesting blog :)
Rachael Lucas
30 Mar 2016 15:50
Really helpful! thank you!
John
29 May 2016 12:27
very useful

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