As a freelancer, I’ve found that holidays have the potential to be the most stressful (not wonderful) time of the year. Clients are counting on me to meet the deadlines we set, so my time off is dictated by my ability to schedule my time effectively. My office closes when my work is done, not when we reach the holiday schedule my employer sets.
If I want to enjoy a decent amount of time off without stressing about unfinished tasks, I have to make a plan.
Unfortunately, planning has never been my forte. I tend to mentally prepare for and anticipate the future without creating a deliberate strategy. Doing things this way keeps me afloat, but it doesn’t always set me up for success or help me create a cohesive approach to the things I do. This is especially true when it comes to building a strong brand.
In this week’s Hectic Podcast episode, Thomas Hicks touched on the reasons you should strategize your content creation rather than just adding to the aimless busyness online. As a cereal influencer (and how cool is that?), Thomas has been creating video content for his brand, Cereal Snob, for six years. When he decided to audit his hundreds of videos recently, however, he wasn’t satisfied with what he saw.
He decided to give Cereal Snob a rebrand, using a strategy that would help him stand out from his competitors. First, though, he wanted to launch his rebrand with a fresh start. So he deleted nearly 200 videos that didn’t meet his standards.
Yep, he’s that committed.
While you might not want to make a move that drastic, there’s plenty you can learn from Thomas’ rebranding strategy. I’ve broken his process down below to help you see how you can create a plan for your brand and content that will produce the best results.
Depending on your business and industry, this can take many forms. Look over your social media accounts, blogs, videos, portfolio samples, website, and any other marketing content you have. Consider your brand style, voice, and the image you project. Do these elements align with and support the work you do now? Will they attract the clients you want to work with?
This audit should also include your services and prices. Have you identified and focused on a niche? Do the services you offer reflect this niche? Are you charging enough for your work and experience? Narrowing your services and raising your rates will show potential clients that you are a serious player in your field.
No matter the work you do, you will always be competing against others with similar services and skills. If you want to stand out, you need to find and hone the hook that will set you apart.
Start by examining your field to see what everyone is doing and, more importantly, what no one is doing. When you can offer something unique, you become a more valuable asset to clients that are looking for your work. This might involve pairing your services with a new skill, doing your work in a different way, or changing the way you interact with clients. As long as it adds value that your clients aren’t getting elsewhere, this hook can inspire powerful new growth.
Since first starting his brand, Thomas has gotten involved in digital marketing, sought out knowledge about building a brand, and gained invaluable experience. He’s taken courses on LinkedIn, analyzed the direction of his market, and consulted with people who have more experience than he does.
With all of this information, he is able to approach his rebrand with intentionality and purpose. Rather than throwing content online with hopes that it will succeed, every effort is designed to thrive. He knows they will perform better than his other content because they meet the criteria to do so.
If you want to make changes that produce results, you have to know why they work. Pursuing this knowledge can help you create better work and gain more business. There is no end to the educational resources you can find, both free and paid. Invest in yourself and your business by learning all you can about strengthening and growing your brand.
Following these steps will help you determine how you can create a brand strategy that will help your business flourish.
Get the full story from Thomas here to learn how he got started as a cereal influencer, what he loves about human connection, and staying curious about the people you meet can help you be better as a human and creative.