Freelancers promoting as self or company?

by j77
13 replies
I really struggle with this one, even though I've been doing freelance copy/content work consistently for 5 years full time.

I'm curious how other freelance writers/designers/photogs .... any other creators that utilize a business name are positioning themselves when showcasing their projects/work, for example on LinkedIn.

At the same time, I do have a brand name (official tax ID), website, etc. (w/ professional logo and running some Google ads and even sponsor some smaller city events). Most of my clients are global brands and small agencies (for their own global clients).

I very rarely outsource, other than some cases where I'll need some translation work done so really, it's just ME. My website talks about myself and my experience in the third person, and I also do mention that "we" offer additional services like translations on an as-need basis.

My question to others: When talking about your business and offering and promoting your work, I'm curious how others post for example, on LinkedIn promoting your work.

Do you do so from your business LinkedIn account and then share that same post from your personal LinkedIn account where your larger network is? Here's a very generic example of what I'm referring to:

"... Here's a success story we/I did with {INSERT GLOBAL BRAND HERE} about how they're helping {INSERT THEIR CUSTOMER HERE} with _____________________. Want to learn more? Contact me/my business name"

To put simply, should I be talking about my company as "we/us?" Or should I be talking about my company as a "me" thing even though there are times I might outsource? Maybe it's always we, it's none of possible customers' concerns, which is what I'm leaning toward.

As good as a copywriter that I might be, this is definitely a pain point for me, and I'm seeking some advice and direction!
#company #freelancers #promoting
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    Originally Posted by j77 View Post

    To put simply, should I be talking about my company as "we/us?" Or should I be talking about my company as a "me" thing even though there are times I might outsource? Maybe it's always we, it's none of possible customers' concerns, which is what I'm leaning toward.

    As good as a copywriter that I might be, this is definitely a pain point for me, and I'm seeking some advice and direction!

    Since you are an established business, I think it is fine for
    you to represent yourself as a company, and refer to your
    business as "my company" or "our office."

    Nobody is going to accuse you of fraud for this so do what
    feels comfortable to you. If someone hires you for a job it
    is none of their concern how you get it done, unless, for
    example, there are NDAs involved.

    Speaking of which, I would be more concerned about you
    divulging which major companies you did work for, or what
    their internal practices are, where you say, for example

    "We helped this major conglomerate's project of helping
    another small fry company increase their sprocket sales."

    You need permission to state those things to the public.

    I understand that you were using that as an example, but
    just in case others who read this don't know.

    Once you refer to your business as I or we, you should be
    consistent to avoid confusion. I also would not mention
    I had other LinkedIn accounts, again it isn't anybody's
    concern.
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    • Profile picture of the author j77
      Originally Posted by Monetize View Post

      I would be more concerned about you
      divulging which major companies you did work for, or what
      their internal practices are, where you say, for example

      "We helped this major conglomerate's project of helping
      another small fry company increase their sprocket sales."

      You need permission to state those things to the public.
      Great, thanks! Yeah in these cases, I usually use the "Re-post" feature in LinkedIn of what the client posted to their own channel. So, they'll post a link to a case study that I write for them to their company's own LinkedIn page. I'll then use the "Repost" link underneath where it then is posted to my company's LinkedIn page and I'll throw in my own lead-in to the post ..."_____________ is doing great work in this area... Was great to tell the story of ___________ and great to get to know this company's offering ..."

      In most cases, the company or comms director will even give it a "Like" or thank me for the job well done and good collaboration, etc. Not all though, but I've never had a complaint.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by j77 View Post

    As good as a copywriter that I might be, this is definitely a pain point for me, and I'm seeking some advice and direction!
    How do you position your service(s) in your promotional copy? Are you a hands-on expert with a wealth of experience, or a generalist offering a suite of services?

    Or maybe it varies depending on the type of client you're targeting.

    If I'm an individual or a small business, I'm probably looking for a stand-alone freelancer that I could build a personal business relationship with. A larger corporation might be looking for a multi-service provider and be more inclined towards a business that didn't look like a one-person operation.
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    • Profile picture of the author j77
      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      How do you position your service(s) in your promotional copy? Are you a hands-on expert with a wealth of experience, or a generalist offering a suite of services?

      Or maybe it varies depending on the type of client you're targeting.

      If I'm an individual or a small business, I'm probably looking for a stand-alone freelancer that I could build a personal business relationship with. A larger corporation might be looking for a multi-service provider and be more inclined towards a business that didn't look like a one-person operation.
      Yeah it's a tricky one. I'm an individual/sole proprietor/freelance writer and I promote the business as a communications studio. It just sounds misleading and non-transparent to talk about "we" in promotional copy when I talk about the business. This is my struggle because I'm quite transparent and totally open and honest with clients as soon as we start talking via email or on phone about how it's just me, I work with all these brands, here's some of my work, etc. And sometimes I'll outsource when I need some translation work done. So officially this is where the "we" of the business comes in
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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
        Originally Posted by j77 View Post

        Yeah it's a tricky one. I'm an individual/sole proprietor/freelance writer and I promote the business as a communications studio. It just sounds misleading and non-transparent to talk about "we" in promotional copy when I talk about the business. This is my struggle because I'm quite transparent and totally open and honest with clients as soon as we start talking via email or on phone about how it's just me, I work with all these brands, here's some of my work, etc. And sometimes I'll outsource when I need some translation work done. So officially this is where the "we" of the business comes in
        I'd say you're probably overthinking this. It might be too late now to alter your brand name, but as an individual freelance writer, your name could have been your brand (eg John Smith Studios) which would have solved the issue.

        But in any case, I don't see a problem with referring to yourself as an individual. "I'm John Smith, owner of Acme Writing Studios, and I provide the following services..." sounds transparent enough to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I was a freelance writer for several years and referred to me, myself and I. Using 'we' felt pretentious to me. However, according to my son - since I had at least one dog under my desk and a cat on my lap....I qualified as a 'group' of writers.
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    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog
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    It actually doesn't take much to be considered a 'difficult woman' -
    that's why there are so many of us.
    ...jane goodall
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  • Profile picture of the author Tootsie68
    Use "we" in business communications for a professional image but explain you're solo when talking directly with clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kausik Biswas
    Some freelancer service providers do personal branding. Present them as experts. But to attract big projects, some others form team and present them as agency
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  • If'n you I then you I.

    If'n you parta a groop, then you THAT.

    Free is mostly I -- less'n there contractshool obligayshwaahstuffs bindin' prior.

    *sigh*

    Yeah, so that is my ansa as a Princess.

    Free to dom = free to serve, I guess.
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    Lightin' fuses is for blowin' stuff togethah.

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  • Profile picture of the author brileyknox
    I think you should promote yourself as a company maybe you can get more work as a company.
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  • Profile picture of the author beasty513
    It depends on what you are experiencing and if there is a need for a formal business structure. Some freelancers just use their personal identity to start then might form a brand if they see themselves scaling.
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  • Profile picture of the author IM Simple
    Originally Posted by j77 View Post

    I really struggle with this one, even though I've been doing freelance copy/content work consistently for 5 years full time.

    I'm curious how other freelance writers/designers/photogs .... any other creators that utilize a business name are positioning themselves when showcasing their projects/work, for example on LinkedIn.

    At the same time, I do have a brand name (official tax ID), website, etc. (w/ professional logo and running some Google ads and even sponsor some smaller city events). Most of my clients are global brands and small agencies (for their own global clients).

    I very rarely outsource, other than some cases where I'll need some translation work done so really, it's just ME. My website talks about myself and my experience in the third person, and I also do mention that "we" offer additional services like translations on an as-need basis.

    My question to others: When talking about your business and offering and promoting your work, I'm curious how others post for example, on LinkedIn promoting your work.

    Do you do so from your business LinkedIn account and then share that same post from your personal LinkedIn account where your larger network is? Here's a very generic example of what I'm referring to:

    "... Here's a success story we/I did with {INSERT GLOBAL BRAND HERE} about how they're helping {INSERT THEIR CUSTOMER HERE} with _____________________. Want to learn more? Contact me/my business name"

    To put simply, should I be talking about my company as "we/us?" Or should I be talking about my company as a "me" thing even though there are times I might outsource? Maybe it's always we, it's none of possible customers' concerns, which is what I'm leaning toward.

    As good as a copywriter that I might be, this is definitely a pain point for me, and I'm seeking some advice and direction!
    Hi! I'm quite in the same position. I'm a freelancer but I also run a business that offers the same services I offer as a freelancer. However, in my business, I represent it as myself. Other than the fact that I created it and I operate it, I owe that to myself because I do the hard work. Cheers to your business!
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  • Profile picture of the author kevingoodson
    Some of the companies also create profiles on freelancing sites to get the new project represented as a team and organization. Most build personal profiles to attract customer for their individual growth.
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