Do you really need a persona online presence as a freelancer?
I've been around as a freelancer for quite a while now. Don't know exactly how much time has passed since I made my first buck online but is it definitely more ten years.
I've grown a lot, expanded and evolved my skills, learned new ones and went pro by getting a full-time agency job and now I'm an in-house marketer.
Despite all this, I'm still doing freelance gigs every once in a while. Why? Well, I just love it. It is not really about the money since I'm not doing it as I once did, its more about keeping in touch with old clients and not losing my edge in terms of what is happening in the freelance world. I can always go back working as a full-time freelancer, its a security blanket of some sorts.
Now that we got my background out the way, I'll get to the subject and main question.
As a freelancer or online marketeer professional, do you really need an online persona developed through a blog or persona-based website?
This was always the thing I failed at. I probably had over ten different projects to develop an online person and brand but always abandoned due to inactivity.
As a freelancer, you don't really have time to work for you because you are always going to be busy working for your clients.
Working for you, developing a personal brand with a website/blog doesn't give you instant results and earnings, but working for clients or getting new clients always ensures a constant stream of revenue.
And this is where my question comes in. Can you become highly successful as a ghost freelancer? Or do you need to automatically develop a persona based brand where you have a website, you list your services and you also blog and write articles showing off your experience and knowledge in this process?
I personally know a few freelancers as well as online marketers with huge businesses that don't really love exposing themselves as a brand. They don't have a blog, they don't have a strong LinkedIn profile and everything else that goes with having a personal brand online.
I'm sure having a popular blog and staying active on social circles related to your niche can increase your chances of becoming an authority in your niche. Thing is, all this will inevitably lead to a huge amount of work on developing and maintaining this "persona" leaving you with a lot less time to actually work and improve your skills in your area of expertise.
All the big names, at least in the SEO industry, have a whole team behind them, these teams are usually writing their blog posts and work out the technical difficulties, they are usually left with speaking at conferences and maintaining their persona-brand on a social level, most of them stopped being actually SEOs and doing SEO every day a long time ago.
Personally, I came to the conclusion that it is simply too much of an effort and the chances of becoming successful like all of the digital gurus are actually quite small.
I'm an all-in type of person, I like to dedicate myself to something all the way and I believe trying to maintain both a personal project while you also have a freelance business will only lead to failure.
At least this was my experience. I wasn't able to do both of these things at the same time.
What do you think? As time goes by and you become a senior in your area of expertise, should you develop an online persona based-website? Or should you keep working and improving yourself in your niche without any other distractions?