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Why do I need a separate company identity?

A recent post-workshop discussion with a delegate from our LinkedIn and CV workshops raised the question of having a separate company profile for a freelance Project Manager.At the time I offered an answer but did not feel satisfied that I had provided a sufficiently convincing argument.

To explain further we were talking about how a LinkedIn profile could enhance a candidate’s profile and as part of this improvement process I suggested company branding.The candidate asked how the would be different to the LinkedIn profile when there was no ambition to grow the company beyond the sole employee (namely them).

Even when operating as an individual it is important for a freelancer/contractor to think like a business. Too often we deal with ‘contractors’ looking for the benefits of working as an employee but looking to be paid on a daily rate.Whilst technically a contractor, there are financial dangers (eg IR35) needing to be avoided although this would be best be discussed with qualified financial and/or legal specialists.  In our eyes the true contractor operates in a business to business (B2B) environment and as such potential clients’ often seek the credibility (and liability cover) of a company rather than individuals.

Creating a company identity enables the Freelancer to quickly establish this credibility, where possible reinforced by a memorable name, logo or motto. The formation of a business plan detailing what service products are offered and in which markets/sectors brings further clarity and identity; these are things typically not undertaken by an individual.  Communicating with your target audience through a company brings a focus of intent that an individual Linked In profile might not have.  This can be particularly helpful where you are trying to establish yourself in a  new area where your previous work experience may even appear contrary to your aims. 

Plenty of help exists in helping you create your branding such as the-art-of-branding-yourself-and-your-freelancing-business or 12 Steps to Building Your Stand-Out Freelance Brand to name but two so there is no excuse for not building a successful brand.

In summary creating a company brand reinforces your activities in the business to business environment in a memorable way that helps your current and potential clients know what you can do for them.

Find out how we can help you to develop both a memorable profile with our own PM LinkedIn courses. 

photo credit: Urban Woodswalker via photopin cc

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About Michael Hides

Michael Hides
Dr Michael Hides is a Senior Consultant with Arras People following on from a career as Chartered Engineer and Programme/Project Manager within engineering, manufacturing academic and consultancy organisations. Sign up for a Project Management Careers Clinic with Mick today!

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