How to Quickly Improve Your Personal Brand in 10 Steps 90

How to Quickly Improve Your Personal Brand in 10 Steps

I read Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk some time ago. And although a bit outdated as the Internet changes so fast, there is one powerful lesson I took from it.

Whenever I pick up a book, I try to make the best of it. I highlight anything important worth reading again and sometimes take notes. And if I come back to it again, I’ll have selected useful content to check out again.
An even better thing to do when reading a book, is to take action upon what you learned immediately.

As a result of Crush It!, I focused on improving my personal brand over the course of a few days (although it’s a never-ending process and needs to be considered every step of the way).

What is Personal Branding?

Everyone in the digital world (and in life) has a personal brand, whether he’s aware of that or not.

Your online presence is the broader term, and it consists of everything you do online. All your actions, the roles you play, the information you share, the interactions – these shape who you are in the eyes of other people. And if you want to be taken more seriously, connect with influencers, find prospects for your business, or get hired as a freelancer, you need to take control of your personal brand.

Personal branding means marketing yourself as a brand. It used to be related only to companies and businesses some time ago, but today every individual is a brand.

So never again should you doubt whether you have a personal brand or not. It’s time for action. The good news is that you can always do something to improve it.

Getting Started

productivity in the workplace

The first thing you need to do is realize how important that is.

If you want to be someone in the digital world today, you need to constantly be offering value, connecting with the right people, creating content, building stuff, learning new skills, etc.

You should be thinking of yourself as a brand. And whatever your business is, or if you’re a freelancer, have something on the side, or just have a blog, your personal brand is what will get you ahead.

I’m freelancing, running this site, have been blogging and writing professionally for many years now, have been published on some big sites, and am the author of a few eBooks. I have to be social too, so I communicate with my readers, followers on social media, and contact some important people through email.

I occasionally get into the more technical stuff – I design sites, do research, start new projects, work with audio content(hosting the The Let’s Reach Success Podcast, and self-publishing audiobooks), put systems in place, and am constantly looking for ways to improve my skills online. Writing these days is simply not enough.

But I have overlooked my personal brand. It was there, yes. I had a photo on social media accounts, had a long About page which I updated whenever necessary, my name appeared on many places, and people knew I was a writer and blogger. But that was all.

Now that I work with serious clients, however, accept sponsored posts on Let’s Reach Success, work with other writers, get hired and have a portfolio to show, I needed to take things to the next level.

And it didn’t take long. I did my research to see in what ways I could improve my personal brand and make Let’s Reach Success more business-like, rather than just a random blog.

Just a quick note: If you’re don’t already have a blog, or any type of site, that’s your most important first step. Here I’ll just share the changes I did to my blog that’s already a few years old.

So here’s what I did (and will soon do) and what actions you too can take to become an authority online:

10 Steps to Improving Your Personal Brand Today

  1. Added an author bio.

Most people have that already. But I thought it wasn’t necessary. Well, it is.

  1. Portfolio page.

Now that’s something important for a freelancer.

I usually find my clients through sites like UpWork and Guru, or sometimes they find me through my blog. And I give them examples of my work in the form of links to articles. That works well. They can always browse my archives with 500 blog posts to see whether my writing style fits their needs.

But now that I’m a brand, I should have a page for people willing to hire me. There I included my experience in writing, what I can offer, press releases, contact info, some additional skills of mine (that always comes in handy), a contact form, more details on working together, and downloadable contact details just in case.

I will be adding testimonials too. That’s an important aspect of personal branding. It’s one thing to let your work speak for you, but it’s always better to quote what previous clients can say.

  1. Added a personal touch to the homepage.

Let’s Reach Success has always been a blog first. Now it’s more like a site and a business. That’s why I separated the blog (it used to be the front page), and personalized the homepage. Added interesting elements to it, welcoming the person, saying who I am, what I do and what the site is about.

There are also the most popular topics on the blog, plus links to the best content in each. And that’s followed by an email signup form offering freebies.

PS, Things change all the time and I try new versions of this. Currently, there’s a magazine-style theme for the homepage. Experiment until you’re happy with what you see and the results.

  1. Logo.


An inseparable part of any brand and business.

It can be added to:

  • site;
  • email signature;
  • in the newsletter;
  • products;
  • Facebook page;
  • Favicon (the small icon next to the URL);
  • business cards;
  • social media profiles;
  • any content you create online (SlideShare presentations, videos, infographics, PDFs, etc.);
  • physical brand products (stickers, T-shirts, paper books, etc.).
  1. Special attention to the About page.

That’s one of the most important pages on any site. Its purpose is to say who you are, what you do and what the site is all about.

There are no limits as to how creative you can get with your about page. Don’t forget to be yourself, though.

  1. My photo, short bio and social media buttons in the sidebar.

Now even people who come to my blog using Google and read just a single post, will know who’s the person behind it.

  1. Professional photos.

Will work on that soon.

  1. Page for advertisers.

Created one with info for sponsors.

  1. Made changes to footer.

I’ve changed it many times, and will many more probably, but for now I like how it looks.

It consists of three sections. On the left there’s a picture with the logos of the big sites I’ve been published on (it builds authority), under it there’s a quick link for advertisers or those who want to hire me. In the middle there’s a short description of what the site is about. And on the right, a quick signup form with a search field below it.

In the very end of each page there’s the copyright notice, together with “Thanks for scrolling this far! Good luck in achieving more in life!” It’s always a good time to say thank you and give a motivation boost. Plus, it’s another personal touch.

PS, Currently there’s no footer on the blog.

  1. Created a more professional email signature.

Both in my email and in the footer of the newsletter for subscribers.

I included name, blog title plus link, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

If you want to be even more professional, you can add company name, photo, address and phone number.

  1. Asked people I’ve worked with for testimonials.

Sometimes all you need to do is ask.

That’s it for now. I’m sure there are many other ways to improve your personal brand. Companies and big businesses are working on that 24/7. But for the digital enthusiast who is just starting out, the freelancer, or the blogger, that’s enough.

What do you think?

See also:

How to Build a Brand Persona
The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand


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How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer 28

How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer

Writing is what I love doing and I managed to turn it into my career. But that wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without having the freedom to work from anywhere and move to my favorite country. So after I became a freelance writer, I also took a few steps to become location independent.

Let me share how that journey looked like for me and maybe inspire you to take the leap and not just become a freelancer but also travel the world or just leave your home country and never look back.

Stage 1: Overcoming The Doubts

I believe all change happens on the inside first. In the case of becoming a freelance writer and a lifestyle designer, you’d first need to do a couple of things related to developing a strong mindset.

To begin with, define what you don’t like about your current lifestyle. Be clear about it and see yourself living a better life some time from now. This vision will also help you realize what you truly desire.

For me, it was freedom and independence but in a specific way.

I mean, I don’t really need to travel the world. It was enough to spend a few weeks in Thailand and to always have the chance to get back to a destination like that if I feel like. But what I truly desired was to leave my home country, Bulgaria, and instead move to the Netherlands.

However, my transformation started many years ago, before I even knew that’s where I wanted to live. First, I wasn’t satisfied with my life back then. I was already in my 20s and I always felt like I wasn’t spending my time right. So something had to be done.

Doubts are scary.

In fact, they are one of the reasons why so many people all over the world never start a business, end a relationship, travel or else.

Once you get through that stage though, you start having hope, you visualize a better life, and you finally take action. And once you take the first step, magical things begin to happen.

For me, that first step was to define my passion (personal development) and combine it with writing, which I simply loved doing and felt like it was the right way to spend my time.

English is just my second language. I had no official degree in what I’m doing. I wasn’t tech-savvy and had no idea how the Internet actually worked.

But the desire for a different life and more meaningful activities was stronger than any lack of knowledge or experience. So I dedicated the 4 years of my life during university to building the foundation of my online business and the lifestyle I enjoy today.

Stage 2: Getting The First Clients

This is How I Became a Top Rated Upwork Freelancer

I began writing, first on my blog (more on that below), then for others. But the magical ingredient here is reading.

I spent a ton of time (still do and probably always will) reading about people who were already living the life I was after. And that changed it all. I overcame all the doubts because I saw all that I wanted was possible. If other people were living like that and they all started from nothing, then it’s just a matter of time till I get there too.

That encouraged me. And my motivation never decreased because of some people I started following consistently and seeing their progress kept me action-oriented too.

It was time to earn my first dollars freelancing.

The good thing about the Internet is that you don’t have to be anyone in order to land your first gig. Once you do, the second one is easier. You just need someone to pay you for your freelance services so you can have confidence in your abilities and improve your skills.

I never thought I’d be able to call myself a freelance writer, not to mention be location independent together with that. But I left the big picture behind for a while and focused on simpler things. Such as:

What can I do today to land my first client?

After researching, I realized there are sites for freelancers where employers post jobs and I can apply to each that seems like a good fit for me. And so I did.

I created my profiles, had low rates (because any money was good money for me then if it was online), and applied for a few jobs. I had no idea what to say exactly so I just went with what felt right.

I introduced myself when pitching clients and told them how I can help them with their project. Rejection here is normal as there’s a ton of competition.

Eventually, someone hired me for a job and I made my first $20 or so.

It was a short and sweet gig and I did a good job. The communication with the client was smooth.

It’s hard to land someone for the first time, especially in my case. On my profile they could see Bulgaria and that English isn’t my native language. Also, that I’m new to the site and have no previous feedback. Basically, not the most trustworthy freelance writer to hire.

But there are new employers to such platforms too and they are ready to hire you as long as you have something to offer them.

So if you want to make money online and eventually turn that into a business, become location independent and work remotely, or just want to do what you love freelancing, then create your profiles on sites like Upwork, Guru, Freelancer and PeoplePerHour and start pitching.

Stage 3: Building a Blog and a Brand

5 Tips to Negotiate a Higher Salary in an Interview

The 3rd crucial step in my journey to becoming a location independent freelance writer was this blog.

Let’s Reach Success started as a personal blog on self-improvement. But consistency was the key and I seemed to be good at this. It’s because I love writing too of course. It eventually turned into my biggest project and today it’s my portfolio.

There are more than 1600 articles in the archives, a whole book store, proper design (thanks to this premium theme), authority, and a story behind it. Which makes me and Let’s Reach Success kind of a personal brand.

If you haven’t started a site yet, you’re wasting time. Whatever it is that you wanna do online, you need that one platform.

I’ve written a quick guide on how to do that. Check out How to Set Up a WordPress Site on Bluehost. Don’t worry, the technical aspect is easy and I’ve outlined the few simple steps you should take to have your site up and running in less than 30 minutes.

Blogging is a must for every freelance writer. Here’s why:

First, you get to showcase your work. You can write articles all the time and show them to clients. Whenever you want to start writing about a new topic, you’ll simply start covering it on your blog and then provide samples to employers.

You become known as an expert. If you stay consistent and provide unique and quality content frequently, people will know you’re the go-to blogger in the niche. Together with your unique voice and all other things you’re doing on the side, you can build a name for yourself. That means clients will start finding you soon.

Blogging is a learning experience. There’s a lot going on in the archives on my blog. If I go back, I can even see how I’ve grown over the years. Your writing will change too and that’s okay. Your site becomes your biggest project, especially if you’re a writer yourself. Also, it’s thanks to wanting to improve Let’s Reach Success that I’ve learned so much about optimizing content, making money from a blog, and more.

Stage 4: Setting Up an Online Business

Now that you’ve overcome the doubts, have landed your first freelance client, and have your own blog, you can turn that into an online business soon.

First, of course, you’ll need to have some decent income monthly to be a proper location independent freelance writer. Although plenty of people register a company from the beginning and then slowly grow their freelance business.

However, in the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. I was paying taxes and fees for the freelancing platforms I worked with and that was enough. I wasn’t sure how much more I could make each month.

When I got to a few hundred dollars monthly, though, (which is an amount you can live with back in my home country if you aren’t paying rent), I decided to fix the legal part and register as an independent worker there and start paying my taxes.

Over the next months, I truly believed I’m now a freelance writer earning money from my craft and loved it. Of course, I also wanted to grow, build skills, land better clients, improve my site and see what else I could be doing online.

Stage 5: Choosing Your Ideal Destination and Moving There

amsterdam - the dream location

When I was making $1000/month from my blog and freelance writing services, and because the business was online, I finally felt like I could soon move away and start a new life.

The country I wanted to live in was the Netherlands. I already had friends there and knew it was the place to be for me. So I booked a place in Amsterdam with AirBnB and dedicated these 10 days to finding my new home.

I needed it to be affordable and in a good neighborhood and that’s exactly what I got.

Because I wanted to be there so much and worked hard for it, there hasn’t been a day since I moved that I didn’t wake up with a smile on my face.

That’s one of the main aspects of lifestyle design. Doing work you love and making just enough to be able to live the way you like.

Of course, Amsterdam isn’t cheap so I had to limit my expenses and change things.

Stage 6: Living The Location Independent Lifestyle

I did some traveling too. Spending 5 weeks in Thailand cost me a lot in terms of money (although it could have been cheaper too but I didn’t prepare well) and focus. But it’s safe to say these weeks have been the craziest and most adventurous ones in my life.

I might go back there, but that’s not necessary. I love my daily life too and don’t need an escape from that. The important thing about being a location independent freelance writer is that you have to enjoy the freedom of being where you are. And if you earned your chance to get there, it tastes even better.

Stage 7:  Mastering Working Remotely and From Home

Location independence and freelancing aren’t for everyone as it’s not easy, there are sacrifices to be made and plenty of challenges. One of them is getting distracted and not doing focused work on a daily basis.

One thing I did right though was to build some good productivity habits and eliminate procrastination and distractions early on. In fact, that was when I started making my first money as a freelance writer.

It’s nice to imagine how you can live and work from anywhere 6 months from now. But if you don’t build the discipline in advance and learn how to structure your day so you can do your best work, you won’t make it.

Here are some things that can help:

My Best Productivity Principles

How to Stay Productive While Living The Laptop Lifestyle

Stage 8: Growing The Freelance Writing Business

My focus is on increasing my income now. I got to over $3500. These come from sponsored posts here on Let’s Reach Success and freelance writing for clients.

I’m working on other things too such as increasing book sales and building systems to earn passive income from affiliate marketing. But these don’t come naturally to me so it takes time.

So that’s how I became a location independent freelance writer and how you can do the same.

Here are the exact steps I took to become a location independent freelance writer: