Create Your Brand Online
PERSONAL ONLINE BRANDING
Personal branding, as well as business branding, is all about conveying your self-image to others in a way that what they perceive is identical to what you are projecting to them.
- 1. BUSINESS ONLINE BRANDING
- 2. Brainstorm and Research Your Brand ONLINE
- 3. DO RESERVE YOUR PERSONAL NAME
- 4. RESEARCH AVAILABILITY
- 5. Promote Your Brand
- 6. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ONLINE
- 7. Online Business Cards
- 8. E-BUSINESS CARDS
- 9. BRAND YOUR DIGITAL MEDIA
- 10. Digital Resumes
- 11. BRANDING ON JOB BOARDS
- 12. LINKEDIN
- 13. PORTFOLIOS
- 14. EXHIBIT YOUR NICHE
- 15. SITES WITH PORTFOLIOS
- 16. INCLUDE DIFFERENT FORMATS
- 17. BLOG OR WEBSITE
- 18. DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION
- 19. WORDPRESS.ORG
- 20. OTHER TYPES OF SITES
- 21. HOW TO BRAND ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
- 22. START TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS
- 23. Differences Between Facebook And Twitter Branding
- 24. Email Campaigns
1. BUSINESS ONLINE BRANDING
If you have a domain name, that’s a form of business branding, just like your business name is.
These tend to be more expressing of the products and services offered rather than of the personal qualities of the owner.
PROJECTING PASSION ONLINE
Whether you choose one, the other, or both to promote, the idea is to project your passion to a bigger audience.
It’s not as hard as it seems to think up a few choice brand names to try out.
What is hard is reserving them online when so many have already been snapped up by others.
2. Brainstorm and Research Your Brand ONLINE
That’s why in order to get a good one, you have to start to brainstorm early. It’s going to take a while to come up with a brand name that you love and that is also available as a domain name.
You will probably have to go with three words or more, or you might try purchasing a smaller domain name from someone who is squatting on it and waiting for a buyer to offer him/her some money.
3. DO RESERVE YOUR PERSONAL NAME
Even if you’re not going to use it for business, you will want to reserve as many profiles and even a domain name with your name in it.
Celebrities with established careers already have lawyers who do this on a regular basis for them.
There are many opportunists out there who go out and try to reserve names like Paris Hilton or other notables with large followings.
If your following increases, so will the number of fake spammers out there, and you want to be ready by having already reserved your name on the biggest sites like Facebook, Twitter, and a personal branded .com name.
4. RESEARCH AVAILABILITY
Hop online now and check to see what’s available for your domain name possibilities using Whois.net.
If the domain is already reserved or bought, you will see the owner of the domain name.
It will also tell you who you can contact should you want to try and buy the name.
Whois.net will also tell you (when it’s not available) what other names you might try to reserve instead that are available.
Typically, they are prefixed with the word my or something similar, but are slightly different.
You can even register the domain name right there for a charge of $9.95/year.
5. Promote Your Brand
Online, if you want to be known as an expert, all you have to do is to claim to be an expert and then help others with your expertise.
People learn who you are by interacting with you and can make up their own opinions about you and your company.
Information isn’t as segregated as it once was, and it’s also quite a bit more transparent.
Now, no matter how much a big company spends on promoting some defective product, odds are that there will be numerous online complaints that are easily accessible and that dissuade new customers from purchasing a defective product.
6. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ONLINE
You could spend a lot more time plastering the World Wide Web with your own press release, but ultimately, as a business owner, you just don’t have the time to do too much promotion.
Even if you can do the following list, you should seriously think about hiring a company or an individual to help you publicize your offerings online in a manner that will get you more exposure.
- Online business cards
Replace your paper cards with a digital version that allow you to share it much more easily online.
- Digital resumes
7. Online Business Cards
In the past, you would do business and help to create brand awareness through a paper business card.
While there is still a place for these quaint relics of the past, the more modern versions use an online, interactive component to share your personal brand digitally so that there is less chance that it will get lost or overlooked.
With so many businesses promoting their brands online, which costs far less and is more effective, it pays to step into the information age with enthusiasm.
8. E-BUSINESS CARDS
A copy of the paper business card in digital format is easy enough to create.
Distributing it is far more efficient than trying to hand someone a paper card. You can go to places like www.mydropcard.com or www.Businesscard2.com to use the service to create your own e-business card.
9. BRAND YOUR DIGITAL MEDIA
Your digital media can include ebooks, CDs, and videos on YouTube.
Add your brand information there and make sure it comes up in auto-run mode so that when people use your products or services, they are also seeing your official ebusiness card that tells them where they can find more of your products or services or learn more about your brand.
If it is an item that they use frequently, it’s like having a mini-commercial installed on their tool that will be a little annoying, but will also be very valuable for when they want to know who to contact for more of the same products and services.
Never underestimate the power of a clever business card. It can lead to referrals and more business with very little upfront work.
10. Digital Resumes
Paper resumes are good if you’re looking for a job, but they aren’t very good if you’re trying to promote your business online.
Putting up a list of your accomplishments and some of your past achievements is a good way to let people know what circles you travel in and what type of quality they can expect from you.
You can write up several, differently formatted resumes that highlight your strengths and promote your past experience.
In some cases, you can even add that to your business profiles.
11. BRANDING ON JOB BOARDS
When you’re on a job board, you are competing against hundreds, if not thousands, of other people who are looking for work during this recession.
It’s a shame, but many human resource people aren’t even going to read your resume.
It’s important to be as detailed as possible, like including the names of the equipment you work with, software programs and versions, or languages that you speak or program in.
Include keywords for the type of experience you have, whether it’s technical, management, or retail.
It’s also important to include several different copies of your resume, one in HTML format and one in text format, so that they can download the right format and chug it through their resume readers.
LinkedIn.com is a great place for professionals who are out of work and for those who still have a job to network.
It’s great for people who are business owners who want to network with their customers and who want to offer a professional look at who they are and what they do.
However, this isn’t really enough to make up someone’s mind.
Artists have long used paper portfolios to get into the best schools and to show new customers their work.
It doesn’t have to be just about your written work. The more you wow and dazzle your viewer, the more likely they are to buy from you.
14. EXHIBIT YOUR NICHE
If you’re a writer with a talent for specific niches or styles of writing, be sure to include pieces that reflect that information in your portfolio.
When trying to project your brand online, don’t mix it with too many other styles or niches that aren’t related to your own brand.
This just dilutes the power of your portfolio and leaves people confused about who you are and what you are offering.
Try to stay within your niche of expertise and try to send a strong message that you excel in this area.
15. SITES WITH PORTFOLIOS
You can include your portfolio on freelance sites, like GetAFreelancer.com and MySpace.com.
However, this is just the audience that buys music and loves to experiment with musical styles and videos.
You might put music on here that appeals to this demographic and include different music in a different portfolio elsewhere.
16. INCLUDE DIFFERENT FORMATS
Include multiple formats so that if one format isn’t easily viewed, another one will be.
You don’t know what people have on their PCs, and when a file doesn’t play, it can make you look bad, even if it’s not your fault.
Including some helpful hints for playing files and opening them can help people be aware that proper software needs to be on their systems in order to view those files.
17. BLOG OR WEBSITE
The one thing you want to make sure of is that you own the rights to the content of the site and that it centralizes all of your activities for that niche on one site.
If you have multiple niches online, then you’ll have multiple websites. It’s important to consider the type of website you want, how often you intend on updating the content, and what sort of domain name best conveys your brand.
18. DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION
As mentioned earlier, be sure to pick a good domain name.
However, if you can get a smaller domain name, that’s all the better, even if you have to pay for it.
You want a top-level domain name instead of a site that gives you a sub-domain on their server.
This gives your brand a more professional image and helps people to remember you better.
If you’re a professional consultant or freelancer, a blog is a great way to personally introduce yourself to others online.
You can easily have your hosting company install a copy of WordPress.org on your site.
Just be sure that you aren’t using the community called WordPress.com if you want a top-level domain.
This site looks the same, but it doesn’t allow you to put your own advertising and to really brand your site with a top-level domain.
20. OTHER TYPES OF SITES
In fact, blogs aren’t the only type of site that has gotten much easier to install via prepackaged modules on hosting sites like DreamHost.com.
21. HOW TO BRAND ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
They are personal snapshots of your likes and dislikes. They can include the groups you join on Facebook, books and movies you’ve enjoyed, what types of relationships you are looking to make on Facebook, and photos of yourself.
Do include images of your business logo. Do add your blog to the NetworkedBlogs application so that others can see it on your profile.
If you want to be known as a savvy Internet marketer who can help others with social networking, then you might want to link to people who have that as
22. START TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS
Next, it’s important to portray the personality and qualities that you want to associate with your brand in personal interactions on the site.
One of the newest trends is to make an introductory video thanking people for being your friend on Facebook and telling them more about yourself.
You can add this link to their profile as a way of saying hello when they befriend you.
Use status updates wisely to promote your brand and offerings. Don’t just use it as an easy way to spam people.
Heavy-duty commercialism is frowned upon, and you don’t want to be known as someone who promotes himself/herself too much.
Instead, you can offer value and still generate brand awareness by offering helpful hints and links to informational content, even if it’s not your own.
People will associate it with your brand, and it will contribute to the community at the same time.
23. Differences Between Facebook And Twitter Branding
At some point, you’ll hear about Facebook and Twitter, and after scratching your head for a minute, you will join and try to use them to brand and attract a wider audience.
There are distinct differences with each of these social networking platforms.
If you know what those differences are, you can set up a strategy to brand on both while not doing twice the amount of work.
The entire concept revolves around a status update that you can update all day long, but it’s limited to 140 characters each time you update.
You send out tweets, and people who follow you will see them. If they “retweet” your message, people on their list will see them, and you can gain more followers.
You can automate tweets to go out all day, even when you’re not online, and you can even send them to Facebook with an application within Facebook.com called Selective Twitter.
Facebook is a little harder to gain a following. It also tends to be more complex in terms of the amount and the quality of content you can add.
While this means that you can brand far more effectively, it’s to a smaller audience.
By using Selective Twitter or Ping.fm, you can send some of your tweets to Facebook, but you need to take care not to update Facebook as much as you update Twitter.
People will want to hear less from you if you spam their news feed with your Twitter updates, and that’s one of the main differences between branding on Twitter and on Facebook.
On Twitter, you can talk on and on and no one cares, but if you try that on Facebook, people will drop you and many won’t tell you why.
It’s a more intimate setting, and no one likes a bore.
24. Email Campaigns
Once you have a large following around the Internet, it’s time to take your branding to a more personal level.
Once you have that, you will want to establish an email marketing campaign that starts to show people on a one-to-one basis what your company or your products are all about.
YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE
If you don’t have one set up to point people to your website, to your offer of the week, or to a personal biography, you are missing a great opportunity to brand.
YOUR INTRODUCTORY EMAIL
Twitter will allow you to automate direct messages to people who follow you via direct messaging.
You’re on your own with Facebook.
A PLANNED EMAIL CAMPAIGN
Set up planned email campaigns using a service like AWeber.com.
This way, when they open an email, they don’t expect that they’ll be sold every time.
People just don’t like that. It’s like answering the door to a pushy salesman. However, if they find that you give away free information about 50% of the time that might benefit them, they’ll be more likely to open that email.
AWeber.com will give you statistics on open rates and click-through rates.
It will tell you how to tweak your marketing so that your message becomes more appealing every time you send out a new email, increasing brand awareness and sales at the same time.
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