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Freelance brand strategist: how to pick the right partner

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As a small business owner, you understand the importance of a strong brand in attracting and retaining customers. A freelance brand strategist can be a valuable asset in helping you develop a cohesive and impactful brand strategy. However, with numerous options available, it can be challenging to choose the right partner for your project. In this article, we will delve deeper into the key factors you should consider when selecting a freelance brand strategist, ensuring you make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals and values.

Things to consider when choosing a freelance brand strategist

Brand strategy experience:

Experience is a crucial factor when evaluating freelance brand strategists. Look for professionals who have relevant experience working with businesses similar to yours or within your industry. An experienced strategist will have a deeper understanding of your target audience, industry dynamics, and competition. They will bring valuable insights and best practices to the table, increasing the chances of a successful brand strategy. When reviewing potential candidates, ask for case studies or examples of previous work to assess the breadth and depth of their experience.

Skillset:

A freelance brand strategist should possess a diverse range of skills to effectively address the different aspects of your brand strategy. Beyond creative thinking and strategic planning, they should have expertise in market research, brand positioning, messaging, visual identity development, and marketing communication. Assess the specific skills required for your project and ensure the freelancer you choose has a well-rounded skillset to deliver a comprehensive and impactful brand strategy.

References:

Don’t hesitate to ask for references from previous clients when evaluating potential freelance brand strategists. Speaking directly with these references can provide valuable insights into the strategist’s working style, professionalism, and the results they have achieved for other businesses. Ask about their overall satisfaction with the strategist’s work, the effectiveness of the brand strategy implemented, and the strategist’s ability to meet deadlines and deliverables.

Brand Strategy Process:

Understanding the brand strategy process employed by the freelancer is crucial for a successful collaboration. Inquire about their methodology and the components of a professional brand strategy. A structured approach with clear milestones and deliverables will ensure that both you and the strategist are aligned throughout the project. Ask about their research techniques, how they gather consumer insights, and how they translate these insights into actionable strategies.

Communication:

Effective communication is vital for a productive working relationship with your freelance brand strategist. Look for someone who is responsive, attentive, and able to articulate their ideas clearly. Regular check-ins, progress updates, and an open line of communication will foster collaboration and ensure feedback is properly addressed. Good communication skills will help facilitate the exchange of ideas and ensure that both parties are on the same page throughout the project.

Industry Insight:

An experienced brand strategist should have a deep understanding of your industry and its trends. They should be able to provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your specific market. Inquire about their experience working with businesses in your industry and how they stay updated with the latest trends, consumer behaviour, and emerging market opportunities. Their industry knowledge will allow them to develop strategies that are relevant and effective in driving your brand’s success.

Likeability:

When selecting a freelance brand strategist, consider their likeability and ability to build rapport. The strategist will become an integral part of your team during the project, so it’s essential to choose someone with whom you feel comfortable collaborating. Trust your instincts and look for a strategist who demonstrates professionalism, empathy, and a genuine interest in understanding your business and brand vision. A positive and harmonious working relationship will contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable brand strategy process.

Availability & Turnaround Times:

Discuss the freelancer’s availability and workload to ensure they can dedicate sufficient time to your project. Consider the project timeline and deadlines to ensure that the freelancer can meet your requirements. Clarify their turnaround times for deliverables and their ability to accommodate revisions and iterations. It’s important to have a clear understanding of their availability and commitment to your project to avoid any potential delays or conflicts down the line.

Breadth of Knowledge:

A well-rounded brand strategist should have a broad knowledge base beyond branding itself. They should understand marketing principles, advertising strategies, digital marketing trends, customer experience, and user psychology. This breadth of knowledge will enable them to develop comprehensive brand strategies that integrate seamlessly with your overall business objectives. Ask about their familiarity with various marketing channels, digital platforms, and the latest tools and technologies that can enhance your brand’s visibility and engagement.

Day Rates:

While budget considerations are important, it’s crucial not to prioritise cost over quality and value. Freelance brand strategists charge different day rates based on their experience, expertise, and the scope of the project. Instead of solely focusing on finding the cheapest option, consider the long-term benefits and potential return on investment that a highly skilled strategist can bring to your business. Look for a balance between quality and affordability, ensuring that the cost aligns with the value you expect to receive.

freelance brand strategist in leeds – dave holloway

Final thoughts on selecting a freelance brand strategy partner to work with your business

Selecting the right freelance brand strategist for your project requires a comprehensive evaluation of various factors. By considering the strategist’s experience, skillset, references, brand strategy process, communication style, industry insight, likeability, availability and turnaround times, breadth of knowledge, and day rates, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals and values. Remember, a successful brand strategy can have a significant impact on your business’s growth and success, so investing the time and effort to find the right partner is well worth it.

About the author

Dave Holloway is a highly experienced brand consultant in Leeds. For 16 years, he ran a multi-award-winning creative agency working on a diverse range of projects for world-class clients. He now works in collaboration with creative agencies and directly with brands. Whether setting the direction through intelligent brand strategy, or tactical execution through digital and offline channels, he helps businesses of all sizes to communicate more effectively. If you have a branding project you’d like to discuss, please get in touch.