As a freelancer or other type of solo professional, you doubtless worry about how you can stand out among so many competitors.
You write articles. You send Tweets. You keep in touch on Facebook and LinkedIn.
But so does everyone else.
So how can you separate yourself from the crowd?
One way is to present yourself as being a little larger than life. A little out of the ordinary.
Think about fictional characters. Captain Ahab. Sherlock Holmes. Captain Kirk.
Great characters jump off the page, or the screen. They stand out from everyone else. They are different in ways, or to degrees, that seem almost impossible in real life.
How does this apply to you as a freelancer?
Well, brands are fiction. All brands are fiction. Personal brands in particular are fiction.
Do you think Elon Musk’s family experiences him the same way we do? There’s the real, at-home Elon Musk, and then there’s the public brand of Elon Musk. His public brand is a fiction.
Many moons ago, when I was a direct mail copywriter, I lived on a hobby farm. One day a client called me and said he had tried phoning a few minutes before, but I hadn’t answered. I explained that I had just come in from feeding my pigs.
This particular client was well connected in the industry and, within a few weeks, I became known as Nick the Pig Farmer.
It wasn’t true, and it wasn’t the fictional character I would have chosen for myself. But it worked gangbusters. I got calls from prospects I had never heard of before. They all wanted to work with Nick the Pig Farmer.
I have a coaching client who flies light aircraft. She could do something with that. Get a pilot vibe happening.
I have another client who lives in a chateau in France. She could do something with that too.
How about you?
What is it about your life that makes you a little different from other people?
Find something, and use it as your starting point. Build a character around it.
Make that fictional character central to your personal brand.
This is important, now more than ever…
As more and more AI-created copy and content hits the web, client companies are going to be looking for freelancers who are “real people”.
And among those people, they’ll be attracted to “real characters”… writers who stand apart from the ordinary, and the ChatGPT-augmented.
I’m not saying you should never use AI tools to help you with your work.
But I am saying that your partnership with AI has no place in the client-facing messaging you create.
Build your brand around a character people will like and remember… and then share it with the world.
If you’d like some help creating your brand character, be sure to check out my one-on-one coaching service.