5 Branding essentials to give your freelance business a professional look

Running a freelance business is tough.

You have to spread the word, complete the work and stay out of the red, all of this with just one employee… you.

The budget is tight, and there is no overtime pay, vacation time or sick days. But none of that matters if you are happy and the work is satisfying, right?

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The one thing that does matter is generating revenue to pay your bills and continue to work as a freelancer. For that, your business needs to look like a reputable place, where people can receive goods or services.

You know you have a lot to offer, but if customers can’t tell, they’ll go elsewhere. Here are five branding essentials for making your freelance business look legit without breaking the bank.

1.    Logo

You should start with a great logo. If you cannot create one yourself, don’t shy away from hiring a professional. Your logo says more about your business than you think.

Each element (including the colors, fonts, and shapes) can evoke specific feelings from your audience, so you want to make sure you are telling the right story. For example, blue evokes a feeling of security and professionalism, while yellow represents optimism.

When it comes to fonts, Serif represents respect, while Sans Serif is more modern. And while a circle illustrates unity, a triangle symbolizes power and stability.

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Sometimes, it’s what isn’t there that can say the most, as is the case when using negative space. Lastly, another important element is the size of the logo. Make sure your design will look great, regardless of its size, whether it’s on a giant billboard or a profile picture on social media.

2.    Website

While many people will find out about you from friends and family, most will find you through a Google search.

That’s why it’s important to have a killer website and an equally killer SEO for it. Your website, in many cases, will be the first impression of your business and a reflection of you. If potential clients think your website looks cheap or unprofessional, they will look elsewhere for services.

Having a great website doesn’t have to break the bank. Many online services offer hundreds of site templates with a variety of packages for your budget. Most basic packages are free.

When designing your site, make sure it’s user-friendly and easy to navigate. With so many people browsing the web with their phones and tablets, it’s also a good idea to make sure your site has a mobile version, too. Make it easy for people to share your page by including share buttons for the social media platforms your audience uses the most.

3.    Direct Mail

Time to go back to basics… literally!

Using direct mail can help you target people within a specific distance of your location. Direct mailing will make your business look valid and help you garner new customers.

As more marketing emails continue to flood people’s inboxes, direct mail gives you a better chance of getting your message across and doesn’t get lost in an electronic sea of messages. Also, your material’s shelf life could be longer, as people typically keep things to use as a reference later.

Create a specially made envelope with your logo and brand colors for a professional look. Be careful not to make the design too busy or people will think it’s junk mail and toss it.

You can send out information introducing people to your business and inviting them to check out your website or social media pages. You can also include a coupon or some discount for new customers. Like everything else, this also should have a unique design, and don’t forget to include a call to action.

4.    Business Cards

It would be pretty hard to be taken seriously without business cards.

They are an inexpensive tool essential to brand marketing and networking. Cards with the unique designs have a better chance of being saved and remembered.

You can make your card stand out by giving it a unique shape, texture or color. Instead of the traditional rectangle, make your card a circle or a square. Alternatively, keep the rectangle shape and use a unique stock or coating to give the card a different texture. An imprint method, such as embossing, adds to the texture.

Using different colors also can make your card pop. For example, warmer colors, such as red and orange, create a sense of urgency. Black, silver or gold are more formal and sophisticated and will give your card a look of luxury.

Lastly, you could also give your card more utility by making it double as a magnet. Or show off your environmentally friendly side and use a plantable card made of biodegradable material. The cards feature embedded plant seeds, so that people can plant them rather than discarding them (for example, if they choose to save your information digitally).

5.    Mobile Billboard

People will think your business is legit as they begin to see more advertising. While that can get expensive, one budget-friendly way to advertise is to turn your vehicle into a mobile billboard with window decals, stickers or magnets.

Think of how much you notice on people’s vehicles, especially when you’re stuck in traffic. You can pick out unusual details right down to how many people are in their stick-figure family! This marketing method requires minimal effort.

If you’re going to be out and about anyway, you might as well do some advertising for your business. The best part is you’re still advertising for your business, even when your vehicle is parked!

Make sure the design matches your business’s branding. Keep it simple, and don’t forget to include a phone number or web address.

The best way to attract new clients is to look like you have a reputable business.

As a freelancer, this can be tough because of your limited resources, but with some creative thinking and a will to succeed, you can make it work. Hopefully, these five tips will help, too.

Do you have any other methods? Leave them in the comments below.

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About Brandi Marcene

Brandi Marcene has been a content writer for the best part of a decade. A writer by day, a reader by night. Her favorite writing niches include weight loss, automobile, and business marketing. Her passion for helping people in all aspects of freelance marketing flows through in the expertise she provides.


  1. Great tips. How about having an email signature that links to your hire me page and your social media platforms, especially LinkedIn? Probably also linking to a blog post on your site that has helpful tips for your (would be) clients…

  2. not sure about the car livery! much better to spend the cash on a little seo help in my opinion, even if it just focuses on local search terms


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