Brand Yourself – a Sponsored Review of QuickSprout
Editor’s Note: This post is a sponsored review. You can purchase an impartial review through Sponsored Reviews. We only take on reviews which we think the FreelanceSwitch audience will enjoy and benefit from.
It’s easy to think that branding is something reserved solely for big companies, but the reality is it’s just as important for freelancers. And if you think branding just means having a logo and cards, think again. For freelancers, just as for large companies, branding should extend out to your reputation and people’s knowledge and perception of you. This post is a review of a blog about personal branding called QuickSprout. It’s written by Neil Patel but before I get to that, let me just give you an example worth thinking about.
Hollywood and what branding can do for you?
Consider for a moment the world of acting. Think about the highest paid actors and actresses (you can see a list here at Forbes). These people make millions of dollars where their fellow actors earn a tiny fraction of that amount. Is it because the highest paid actors and actresses are the best actors? No doubt there are equally talented actors around who haven’t ‘made it’. Are they the best looking? Probably not. Is it just luck and coincidence that gets them to the top? Nope.
So what’s the difference? I would argue that some part of that is personal branding and reputation. If you think about the oft-quoted 80-20 principle, a minority of people in any industry earn the majority of pay. In all instances there is skill and expertise involved, but there is also a point when skill and expertise is common and an added edge is needed.
Building a strong personal brand and reputation can put you in the elite category. To give you an example closer to home, recently I decided we needed some SEO services for one of our sites. Now there are thousands of SEO experts around, but who did I think about first? I thought of Aaron Wall of SEOBook. Why? Because he has a very strong personal brand associated with SEO work. I’m not sure who we will hire in the end, but you can bet that Aaron Wall will be near the top of the list, and I’m not even sure what he charges yet!
What’s this got to do with Quicksprout?
Neil Patel is a bit of a pro when it comes to personal branding, having created a fair bit of name recognition in social media and oddly enough SEO as well, through his blog Pronet Advertising which led him to work as evangelist for Text Link Ads, managing Crazy Egg – the heat map / stats software, and lots of other gigs. Back in April he started the blog Quicksprout which talks about how to build a brand and reputation around what you do. I’ve been reading it since May which is why I’m quite happy to be reviewing it now!
Business Cards, About Me Pages and More
To give you a flavour for what Neil writes about, you should definitely read articles like:
- The 4 Essential Elements of an About Me page
- 5 Branding Errors that Make You Look Dumb
- What Does Your Business Card Say about You?
Articles aren’t published too frequently (4-5 a month), but their high quality and have some interesting things to say that you don’t really hear about anywhere else.
I would recommend reading the blog to any freelancer looking to take themselves to the next level, you can subscribe to his RSS feed directly through this link or if you are a non-RSS person like me just go to QuickSprout.com