Branding and Positioning

Most freelancers are generalists. They’ll work with anyone, and don’t typically serve any particular niche.

We think you should put a lot of thought into your branding and the kind of clients you choose to work with. In this section, we’ll help you determine who you are, what you offer, and who you work with.

Our Views On Branding & Positioning:

  • You should pick a niche and stick with it. Find out why.
  • Productized consulting helps you align your services with the exact needs of your clients. Find out how.
  • You never should abandon your principles. Find out why.

Whether through 4+ years of in-depth articles, premium courses, the conferences and events I host, or my podcast, my #1 goal is to help you become a more successful freelancer.

Brennan Dunn

Latest Articles On This Topic

The Problem With Positioning Your Business

What if everything you’ve been told about positioning (or niching your business) was wrong?

Or maybe not 100% wrong… but at least super risky and prone to failure, especially if you’re thinking that specializing is going to lead to fixing your lead generation problems?

When The Blueprint was new, I had a group of early access customers go through the course.

I start the course out by focusing on positioning: Who are you selling to, What do they want, and Why should they hire you?

The Freelancer’s Guide To Niching Your Business

“Choosing a niche,” or coming up with strong business positioning, is one of the most difficult exercises for many of the freelancers I’ve worked with over the years.

I think they point to a big disconnect between what niching actually is and what niching is thought to be.

What does it mean to niche?

Every transaction requires an application.

If I’m going to buy a new computer, justifying the purchase requires me to think about how I’ll use the laptop to better my business or my life. Why I end up buying a laptop is different than why you might buy that same laptop.

Likewise, hiring a freelancer (for the sake of argument, let’s say a freelance web designer) requires the business owner to rationalize how they’ll use the web designer to achieve the end they have in mind.

Consider for a moment the lifecycle that goes into hiring somebody like you:

  1. A business becomes aware of a problem that they have
  2. They realize that this problem can be solved
  3. They then determine someone like you can solve the problem
  4. They seek out people like you

That flow carries a lot of risk.

Companies that could benefit from working with you easily fall out of that funnel. Most businesses never realize that they even have a problem, or that it can be solved. And the ones who do realize that they have a solvable problem don’t know that finding someone like you is the best way to solve it.

For every one business that makes it to the end of that funnel, dozens or hundreds self-select out of it.

So to plant your flag and say “I’m a web designer, hire me!” you’re excluding a large part of the available market from ever finding you because they…

  • Don’t know they have a problem that you can help them solve
  • If they are aware of the problem, don’t know it can be solved
  • Don’t know that a provider like you can solve their problem

Do You Need To Abandon Your Principles To Become A Business Consultant?

If I were to distill down every article, podcast episode, course, or what-have-you that I’ve ever created into a mission statement of sorts, I think it would be this: To turn talented freelancers into savvy business owners.

Sometimes, readers of mine look a bit too far into this statement…

Am I advocating that people stop getting better at their crafts?

That everyone should turn into charlatans, and “sell the sizzle” by becoming world-class schmoozers?


I get why people sometimes think this. In our vernacular, “change” is often associated with “replacing something faulty with something good”. When Obama ran under the banner of Change We Can Believe In, he was making a judgement about the system he was inheriting.

But change can happen without demoting or discarding the thing being changed.

You can become good at business without sacrificing your principles.

You can be both a businessman and a master craftsman.

Positioning: How to Stop Cutting Vegetables With a Mallet

(This is a guest post by Philip Morgan, a speaker at the upcoming Double Your Freelancing Conference. Don’t have your ticket yet? Buy your ticket while they’re still available and join Philip and 13 other speakers in Norfolk, Virginia, this September 16th – 18th)

I’m going to embarrass myself a bit by telling you that even though I have half a decade of experience in the content marketing business, I wasn’t getting any results from my own content marketing until recently.

How could this be?

I had written very effective white papers for Microsoft, Hitachi, and Verizon, among others. I’ve written compelling web copy for other successful companies.

Why weren’t my own marketing efforts turning into leads for my business?

Maybe I’m the slow one…

New Industry You’ve Never Worked In Before? No Problem!

Cole tweeted a great followup question to Episode 23 of the podcast:

Whenever any discussion around niching or breaking free of general purpose commodity work comes up around here, I almost inevitably get questions like Cole’s. So rather than trying to answer the question in bursts of 140 characters, I told Cole I’d think through my response here on DoubleYourFreelancing, along with some sundry thoughts on specialization.

All Articles & Guides On This Topic

Join 50k+ freelancers who get early access to new articles, guides, updates, and more.