After years of blending in with office culture, looking at running my own business is a breath of fresh air.
With a nice large shock of anxiety as well.
I am a nerd in many ways. I’m not a big fan of being outside and/or amongst crowds. I like horror, romance, and fantasy genres the most, which are often not very safe for work to discuss. I am 100% the annoying millennial who dotes on her pets and is obsessed with coffee. It can be difficult to “fit in” as the sole childless young person who does not tend to watch many TV shows.
For the past six years, I sure did try by editing and twisting my interests to be taken seriously.
I hate being asked the usual get-to-know-you questions of:
- What music do you listen to?
- Real answer: “Mostly rock. Currently a lot of Ice Nine Kills.”
- What I said instead: “I usually listen to classical while working.”
- What show did you last binge watch?
- Real answer: “An anime called ‘So Now I’m a Spider, So What?'”
- What I said instead: “I can’t remember the last TV show I watched a lot of in a row. Maybe ‘Game of Thrones.'”
- What are you reading?
- Real answer: “The Time Thief, a fantasy romance about dragon shifters set in Victorian England.”
- What I said instead: “‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves‘ which is about punctuation.”
My real responses would be met with an awkward pause or far too much time devoted to me describing what they were. It was easier to think of the most mundane answers and be dull with a lot of feigned ignorance to avoid sharing too much. When I made the mistake of getting too comfortable and answering honestly, it always turned into people treating me as though I were less professional or worthy of respect because of my interests.
Brand new you
Freelance work will give me the freedom to pave my own path instead. However, I don’t want to scare away potential great clients by putting too much of myself into it. That balance has been terrifying to find. This is so much harder than it should be.
I’ve spent the past couple weeks thinking about what my brand will be by answering:
- Who are your ideal clients?
- What colors and phrasing will resonate with these ideal clients?
- What skills do you want to put on display?
- How can you easily portray your personality and professional vibe?
- Who is the person behind the work, if they want to know?
- Does your website match what you’re portraying on social media?
AKocik.com is going to continue to morph and change as I find my niche but I am very proud of how far it’s come in just the past few days.
What type of advice do you have for finding a personal brand?
What do you think of mine so far?