solopreneur holding a laptop

Starting your own business takes courage. You have to be ready to stick out your neck and go it on your own. As you start your solopreneur brand, here’s the best way to build your brand, right from the start.

Commit to the business and the brand

Like so many things in life, being fully committed to an endeavor—rather than doing it halfway—will greatly improve your chance of success.

Many people dabble with starting a business, when really they are hoping to land a full-time job. Therefore, if you truly want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you don’t want to look like one of those folks. A prospective client deciding to partner with another “company” doesn’t want that other “company” to suddenly become unavailable between 9-5 Monday-Friday.

It’s very common for people starting their own businesses to begin as one-person consulting companies. In fact, they may even get work from their previous employers. But remember to work like a business owner not an employee.

Give yourself a window of time to commit to building the business, developing your brand, and finding clients (and not applying for jobs).

Learn to talk about what you do

When you’re an employee, you often spend most of your time talking and networking with people who are in your field. As a business owner, you’ll start networking with prospects who may not really understand what you do or how you can help them.

A top priority when you start your solopreneur brand is to write a Unique Value Proposition. Much like an elevator pitch, it’s a very succinct way of describing what you do, who you work with and the benefits you can provide. If you need help writing this, Branding Compass can walk you through the steps and help you choose the right words.

Once you have this, you can use it on your website, on social media and it will make networking introductions less awkward. When you have a solid value proposition, you’ll know just what to say!

Choose colors, fonts and a style and stick with it

The easiest way to create a simple, memorable brand is to choose some style elements and then use them over and over again. The repetition makes it a lot easier than trying to design each social media post, e-newsletter or presentation from scratch. And, it helps build consistency and brand recognition which helps with sales and marketing.

While it can be hard to know what colors and fonts are best for your solopreneur brand, you can affordable recommendations online.

When you start your solopreneur brand, you need a simple and professional website

These days you don’t need a lot of costly, printed materials, but you do need a website. Studies show that 85% of customers check a business online before making a purchase.

Your website is where your brand all comes together. If you’ve taken the time to create your Unique Value Proposition and you’ve selected colors and fonts, you’ll have a much easier time developing a website. With those two elements, you are ready to begin building your brand. Read this for more details about what you need to create your first website.

Don’t get overwhelmed with creating a complicated website. Many solopreneurs can start with a one-page website, as long as it includes all the critical elements.

Consider a name other than your own

Choosing between a personal and company brand is a big decision, and there may be reasons to just work under your personal name. And although you may just be starting your solopreneur brand as yourself, creating a name for your business name allows you to build a brand that is bigger than just you, and gives you more room to grow.

This can be especially helpful when you make sales calls. Rather than saying “This is Amy Smith” you can say “This is Amy Smith of ACME Computer Consulting.”

If you plan to start your solopreneur brand under a company name, make that decision now and follow the steps above using your business name.

Be consistent and patient

Once you make the commitment to a name and the seeds of a brand, don’t change them. Use your colors and fonts in everything that represents your business: social posts, website, email signatures, business cards, brochures, sales presentation, etc.

Most businesses take longer than expected to become financially viable. You’re going to face setbacks and hurdles that will make you reconsider everything, including your brand. Be wary of rebranding too quickly. Consistency will increase the value of your brand over time, if you stick with it.