Business owner, entrepreneur, self-employed, solopreneur, freelancer, independent contractor; the title you give yourself can be any of these. How do you find the perfect title, … and does it really matter?
While it may not be the most important thing to consider, the way you market and brand yourself with your title can still make a huge difference in the type of business you attract.
Look at the labels above. They’re all basically the same thing. They all refer to a business entity with one person, and there’s really no difference, legally-speaking, but they are often interpreted and looked upon differently.
Your clients, or potential clients, are judging you based on your label. So, it’s a good idea to be conscious about what you call yourself. Finding just the right angle can be magical, so find a title that’s perfect for your business and your focus, and what you’re trying to convey and to do.
Here’s an example…
If you’re operating in a crowded space, you’ll have to find some way to stand out. Choosing a new and creative title can be a good trick. The title “personal trainer” is very commonly used in the fitness world, so what if you call yourself something different, for example “weight-loss coach”? You might be able to charge higher rates and attract more high-end clients because of the title alone because it doesn’t have as much bias attached to it.
With myself for example, “creative force” or “multi-passionate entrepreneur” is very fitting for me personally and what I do since I wear many different creative hats. You’ll also find other people using titles such as “lifestyle entrepreneur” or “solopreneur”.
Sure, you can switch titles depending on whom you’re talking to, but the best thing is to really find one label and stick with it. That way you won’t confuse anyone and you’ll be sending out a clearer message. It all comes down to your business plan, your ideal customer or client, and how you want to position yourself in the market. Are you looking for any type of business, medium-sized companies or more high-end clients?
Unfortunately, “self-employed” is often looked upon as another term for “unemployed”, so please keep that in mind. Especially when you buy your next car, rent an apartment or anything like that, it’s looked at as “high risk”. It’s very likely that you’ll have to fill out some extra paperwork if you go by this title.
“Freelancer” is probably the most common for one-man-band entrepreneurs. This is particularly true in the creative fields of photography, writing and design. It’s a pretty good title, along with your craft such as: “freelance web designer”. Many companies actually prefer this one instead of “business owner” because it speaks to a skill set.
A “freelancer” is often more affordable than an employee and cheaper than an agency. So if you’re just starting out with your own business, choosing this title can be a really productive idea.
If you want to be taken more seriously though, and attract bigger projects, “business owner” would perhaps be a better choice. A “business owner” is more trustworthy and reliable than a “freelancer” because it doesn’t say anything about being a one-man-band.
Bigger companies like to deal with serious companies that they can work with over time and really trust. A “freelancer” can seem more risky, especially when they’re hiring someone for a big project. You can still be a one-man-band and call yourself a “business owner”. Keep in mind, even an individual can be “president” of the company!
Now, let me hear from you.
What kind of title do you use? Are you using any creative titles? What are your thoughts on this?
Also share this post with any entrepreneur working for themselves.
Now let’s move forward…
– Casper Stang