Safrea’s Free State region presented a brand-building workshop with a difference. It emphasised the power of trust as we move from an experience economy to a network economy where we build our brands through collaboration with other freelance experts. “Safrea is the ideal platform to make this happen – enabling solopreneurs to work together as a team,” said Leonie Bolleurs, Chairperson of the Free State region.
Become a team of freelance experts
Co-presented by Igno van Niekerk and Dr Cindé Grey, they came to the conclusion that to have a trusted brand, you have to be loyal to your own brand first – realising that you cannot be everything to everyone. “That is why it is important for freelancers to niche or specialise. There is so much value in becoming a true expert in what you do – focusing on your target audience and not trying to please everyone,” Cindé said.
“Niching goes with surrounding yourself with other experts, becoming a team of experts versus isolating yourself. In the medical field specialists often work together on the same patient as a team, offering them the best possible service.”
Maintain the network
“We often try to fix everyone’s problems instead of being loyal to our own brand, sticking to our own strengths – thus allowing other people to do the work that we are not good at. It is, however, important to maintain the network with other freelancers who have different strengths than us. This way we can complement each other and unlock the power of word-of-mouth marketing,” said Igno.
“We are moving from an experience economy to a network economy – connected, we can work as a team of experts. One of the benefits of Safrea is that it brings us together, it allows us to talk as likeminded people with the same challenges, to network and to share ideas and opportunities.”
Back to basics
“It is important to go back to the basics, even with the small decisions such as what to post on social media. Be consistent – know who you are as a personal brand, what you sound like and what you communicate,” Cindé said.