Brand Yourself Online

 

Branding is a foundational step a lot of people skip in favor of marketing and advertising when looking at internet marketing solutions.

 

One of the most common outcomes is a loss of time and money. I have prepared this manuscript to help you avoid such pitfalls when trying to create a brand. This piece is solely aimed at branding your business; other aspects of internet marketing solution will be covered in different pieces.

Becoming an expert in any field requires a lot of practice and branding is not an exemption. It doesn’t matter if your results are dismal, continuous improvements are bound to yield searing results, so stick to your ideas and trust the process.

 

Becoming an expert in any field requires a lot of practice and branding is not an exemption. It doesn’t matter if your results are dismal, continuous improvements are bound to yield searing results, so stick to your ideas and trust the… Click To Tweet

 

 

personal branding

INTRODUCTION

 

Personal branding is the future and many people are oblivious to it. It is a big online money investment and will shape the future. Companies are beginning to focus on branding which is different from past times when the emphasis lay on products and services. Now there is a lot of prominence given to personal branding. Nike needs people to represent it and there is where Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods become significant. At a point, Jordan earned as much as all the menial workers under the employ if Nike in China did. Again, people love Apple, but a lot of that rests on the personality of Steve Jobs.

 

 

 

YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

Companies and celebrities spend a lot of money and time laundering their image because they are brands, and their success relies on public perception. Successful brands are built and maintained through time-tested strategies. Whether you already have a brand or just starting and need all the information you can get, studying successful brands and people and adopting their diverse strategies is the best path to build you internet marketing advertising.

 

What happens when your name is entered in Search Engines?

 

The internet marketing solution comes with several perks, and one of them is providing information as soon as you need it. People now look to search engines to provide them information about the people they meet. Hence, having the appropriate profile pop up during such searches becomes paramount for online advertising market. It speaks about your credibility and how you’re perceived.

 

How special is the name, the accurate perspective?

 

The truth is subject to perception and that is valid for all times. The implication? Branding is all that really matters.

Your priority is having the “right” profile on search engines

To be relevant and maintain this status, you need to brand yourself. In the 1980s, you would not want to consider conducting business with anyone who wasn’t included on the yellow pages.

 

What pops up when someone searches you online?

 

Do you appear? Does the search yield any important information about you? Does the information cast you in positive terms? Is the first result an embarrassing one you would rather forget?

You need to remember people are judged based on the first impression. People will use the limited data they have to form an opinion about several facets of your life. Hence the need to brand yourself to efficiently reach your online advertising market.

Surprisingly for most people, branding is quite different from marketing. Branding is selling who you are or what you represent while marketing is selling and leveraging on your products and services. People have to identify with your brand, which means to have great marketing strategies; there is a need to start with branding or run it concurrently with marketing.

This piece was created to help you take practical steps to brand yourself.  A few of these steps will include marketing strategies because as I said earlier, you can run both simultaneously.

Remember, branding is projecting the best version of yourself.

 

Getting Started

The internet is the oasis

The Internet is “The Oasis”

Just like in the adaptation “Ready Player One”, you can choose to be whatever you want to be. It doesn’t really matter what you do as a person if you are invested in the idea. It also has to be something you love doing or good at. Also, remember that through all of this, you control the narrative.

Having a dedicated website to get found on search engines is a great place to start and you need to have a domain name registered for that purpose. Having accounts on social media platforms is also a great help but owning a website is the best way to go.

 

 

If you are using an uncommon name, then it helps when creating a domain name for your website because you will rank high on most search engine results. Getting a dot.com domain name, Facebook, or channel on YouTube are good places to start this journey. I’ll be talking more on that as we go further into this topic.

Domains are like untapped potential. The value depends on how you manage it.

 

Cyber squatters have realized a while back about the rich potential in domain names and have bought the most common ones you can think of but you can still think of a good one with some imagination. You can choose to buy from those listed for sale as internet marketing solution with a possibility of turning a profit in the future.

ICANN (international internet regulatory body) policies are making TLDs (Top Level Domains) easier to get extensions like .me, .name, .us, .co, etc. therefore providing an allowance for creativity. There will be options to purchase a domain name with different extensions. You can check platforms like GoDaddy, 1and1, and NameCheap for available domain names. Some domain names don’t get renewed or are sold off on Flippa and Sedo. There is always a good option if you keep looking.

 

Be in Sync

 

When picking a domain name, a two-word string is an ideal choice because it is easy to remember and type into search engines. It also allows you to include a word that describes your brand e.g. VickysTiara. When choosing a name, consider if people will be able to find you with a quick search.

A good example is with a business named John Doe Enterprises LLC and sells tea, using your business name for your domain is probably not the smartest strategy.

 

Branding is the impression you create before a possible relationship can ensue. A relationship will be impossible with a poor first impression – Branding.

 

For a company selling tea, a name like HerbalOrganicTea or NaturalHerbalTea or Joe’sHerbalTea would be a great choice. You can choose a two-word string like BagdadTea or Fischer’sTea. Using a two-word string that includes herbs is too broad and veers away from your product – tea. You can coin a fancy name using a pop culture or retro reference. You can also coin a name that attends to a problem your tea solves e.g. MenopauseTea. However, this streamlines your target market which means you need to be certain it is profitable for sustained growth. Remember, it is important to concert your efforts on one website than trying an SEM strategy of having several ones linked to a main website.

Websites are ranked based on their perceived value to consumers by Google and other search engines. Your website will rank higher with search engines if it contains pertinent information people are searching for. This shows that content can not be compromised on when branding, as people are continually looking out for added value. Finally, branding and marketing can be engaged concurrently to your advantage. Branding is making an initial impression while marketing is making it stick. Hence it is imperative to wisely choose ac inimitable brand name, which is also self-explanatory, search engine compatible and easy to recollect.

 

Don’t lose a sense of what is right because you are online

 

Anyone can create an appealing brand and that is where differentiation matters. The little things like a good fashion sense are critical to standing out and if you need to get help with that, then get it. You should leave no stones unturned when growing your presence online. For example, psychological and emotive prompts are needed for some niches. For a brand into car sales, you need to create a different mood and sense of comfort compared to one selling condos or insurance.

Branding offline and online have the same rudiments to their operations. So, you can adopt some of the things you have observed from daily activities of thriving brands and project it onto yours. Your focus should rest on how your actions and ads affect your audience – your opinion is trivial. You might be sentimental about cyan but if your prospects prefer green, red and black then you must please them.

What age range or communities should you be targeting? What strategies are being employed by your competition? Are these strategies you can successfully adopt? Even a lot of international brands have more similarities than not. Microsoft had to make sure people across the globe bought into ‘Bing’ And that cost a few millions and over 12 months.

An avoidable mistake hurts more in retrospect and a little devotion to understanding your audience is always a great help. So, if you need to ask questions from experts to aid your cause, please do.

 

Finesse not Flattery

 

You should be settled on a name by now or something close by now. It is not uncommon that your preferred domain name has already been taken and that’s where a few backups come in handy. Also finding the perfect name in GoDaddy is never enough, the name should also be available across all social media platforms. This is because you want your prospects or customers to be able to find you on these platforms with a simple search of the same keyword as you have for your domain name. However, this rule isn’t set in stone, so you are afforded a little leeway. With the right branding, visitors to your different pages will be sure they have the proper account. JaneDoe.com and TheJaneDoe on Youtube should fly. The aim is to mesh all your accounts in a functional unit. If you have a common name like Bill or John, then you might need to use an alias till people come to associate it with you and several examples abound with celebrities. Most musicians don’t use their real names and no one cars to know what they are. That is what you call successful branding.

 

The Internet Always Remembers

 

Coming up with a unique name for your brand is essential when moving forward. Trying to build your brand with a name which is synonymous with another brand or popular personality can undo all the progress you have made. You can borrow ideas from others and play around that, but it is imperative to understand that there is a thin line between borrowing ideas and infringing on the intellectual property of others. You can use a popular name for a hobby, but you risk a lawsuit if your popularity spikes or you make enough money to catch the notice of the brand owner.

 

Coming up with a unique name for your brand is essential when moving forward. Trying to build your brand with a name which is synonymous with another brand or popular personality can undo all the progress you have made. Click To Tweet

 

Part 2: Let’s Work Online

 

Part 2_ Let’s Work Online

 

Portrait Shots

 

A fitting mugshot or portrait is critical for promoting your brand. It doesn’t have to be taken by a professional photographer or in a studio. Just find something decent and fitting for your campaign. An overtly edited photo is ill-advised as a lot of your audience will think you are fake and unrelatable.

Again, this isn’t set in stone, and as a glamour model or aspiring actor, you might need to add a few professional shots to your catalog. Your picture doesn’t have to depict too much skin unless that is what your brand is trying to sell. Cosmetics and skin products or a personal training coach are some probable exceptions.

You should look to have a picture with a smiling and friendly face. Also ensure your face is conspicuous, refrain from using glasses or other things like hats, that will obscure your face. The picture you upload must be one which conveys genuineness and warmth. If you’re meeting with your audience, then think of your picture as the complimentary handshake that comes with an introduction.

Simple backgrounds are best to avoid distractions from the focus – your face. Your clothes and face should contrast with the background. Also, you should have a smile on your face but like I said earlier, you can play around till you find what’s best for you.

 

People find it easier to relate online to someone they think is real – not being superficial

 

It is okay not to use a personal photo for your brand, a lot of brands stick to logos. Just look at KFC’s logo and it’s a mixture of both. Whichever option you decide to go with, ensure it is the same one you stick to on all your social media accounts and website. If you opt to have a makeover, then any changes you make should cut across all of your accounts. Having a business isn’t a criterion for creating your; logo. Remember that the aim isn’t to appear queer or weird with your pictures, logos or drawn images like that of KFC – a horrid caricature won’t win you many patrons or followers. 

Next is contact information for those who want to get across to you. You need to provide a genuine one.   When you are asked to provide a username while signing up to a social media platform and you choose a name like ‘senorita69’ to draw in followers. Well, that’s not branding! It’s only a recipe for disaster like writing your number on the wall of a public restroom or sauna.    

People find it easier to relate online to someone they think is real – not being superficial Click To Tweet

 


Avoid Cheap Mistakes

 

You need to be careful and avoid some common errors. For example, it is common knowledge not to provide your personal line on your site. The result will be an obscene number of unsolicited calls. Using a second line, setting up a voicemail or GoogleVoice. Even if your brand is still in its early stages, getting a dedicated line doesn’t hurt. Instead, it shows your commitment and intention to building a good brand as  online money investment.

Just in the same way you have elected to have a dedicated email address, Twitter, Skype, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat accounts all dedicated to your brand. You can either register a general email address with one of the several mail companies like Google or Yahoo or set up an email address with your domain registrar e.g. yourname@yourdomain.com. This service can range from being free to a few bucks a month.  You can sync your Apple/Microsoft/Google accounts to your devices and easily setup your emailing services. You can have your dedicated mailing accounts synced with your online accounts.

Create a list of your accounts and including contact information. You should also endeavor to guard the social media accounts you have created. Don’t ignore a chance to create a more professional social media presence with your accounts. This can range from changing the usernames on your social media accounts to creating entirely new ones to suit changes in your aspirations. Never be too caught up while managing your accounts and mix them with personal accounts; that can be an embarrassing episode for you. If you care enough and pay adequate attention, you should be able to avoid such an experience.

 

The Social Media Whirlpool

 

It is easy to get swept by the distractions of social media platforms, and you need to remain focused to avoid being swept away with it. Surfing through your personal accounts during a weekend is completely fine, but treating your brand like a serious job on a weekday is the best way to go. If you show the needed commitment, then your social media accounts can make you a lot of money. With a vibrant online advertising market, there is a lot of money to be made by applying the right tools.

You will attract a lot of businesses and people who are willing to do business with you by maintaining the right profile. Some of the vital platforms to have an account on include; Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest in no order. I’ll suggest you pick a few at a time to grow them before adding the others, else you can become overwhelmed by the time required to run them concurrently while growing your brand in the early stages.

Since Google has the largest search engine then using Youtube and Goggle+ ensure you will appear in a lot of search results. Along with Facebook, you can create enough content to be exposed to a large portion of internet users who are your target audience.

 

Google is King

 

As stated earlier, posting on YouTube and Google+ helps you appear on Google’s search engine results. This is a wonderful advantage as you don’t need to know any basic SEO tips or blogging tips. I won’t go deeply into online marketing and advertising in this report as this was solely made for branding. Social media platforms vary in the demography of its users and Linkedin is a prime example. It is mainly made for networking among professionals with a lot of business owners, recruiters, and job seekers. There is a lower probability to run into a fake profile than you would find on Facebook, twitter and others.

Although, Facebook and Pinterest provide more laid-back content and you can find a wide range of content on YouTube. My point is there are different benefits of creating accounts on the different platforms. Musicians and artists will probably prefer MySpace and DevianART respectively, but you can still use it to your advantage and run them along with the main social media platforms earlier stated. Also, I mentioned expanding the number of platforms you use to grow your brand, other examples include; Tumblr, Lockerz, About.me, RebelMouse etc. There will continue to be changes on the social media front but investing in those backed by Google or Facebook is the smartest choice.

To make the most of your time, ensure you post something relevant and helpful to your audience and try not to exceed the 30-minute mark before moving to the next platform. With any consistency, you would have a flourishing brand in no time. But remember, relevant content only that will target your online advertising market.

 

What’s Next?

 

So what’s next you might ask. Well, how do you build your brand with the accounts and websites you have created. Let’s take a scenario in which you are attending a weekend game and you are dressed informally, right? Well, think again. A polo shirt, trousers and matching footwear comes to mind. Why not take advantage of the opportunity to meet new people and advertise your brand. You can put on an outfit with your logo embroidered onto the top and your cap or hat. The same goes for your vehicle if you are willing to go that far in sensitizing the public. Complimentary cards advertising your business won’t hurt your cause either. A lot of people won’t know what you do unless you inform them – subtly or directly telling them. Either of those works as you can inform them and create awareness.

Once you have your accounts set up with your pictures or logos, and you have a verifiable contact information and website through which you can be reached and also have an internet marketing solution. Your website should have a link to all your social media accounts to direct visitors to your accounts on each platform easily. Including an ‘About Me,’ where possible, on each of these platforms is good especially if they first find you on those platforms. On your YouTube channel, you can have playlists for your uploaded videos making it easy for visitors to access them.

 

 

Your social media profiles are meant to help publicize your brand, so take full advantage of the opportunities they afford you.

 

You might be wondering if it’s necessary to create an account on every single platform. Well, yes you should. Basically, these platforms create an avenue for a free internet marketing solution, and you would be selling yourself short by owning just one or two accounts out of the lot out there. The reason is quite simple; several individuals restrict themselves to one or two platforms even though they own other accounts. What can I say? They only feel comfortable on there and you must seek them out by creating an online presence there.

Next is a basic SEO tip which is important because there are other search engine platforms apart from Google and you would want to be seen on those as well. They include; Dogpile, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. Because these search engines are in a competition, you have to create content that will be visible on each of them. They all change their algorithms to give a better experience for their users and also stay relevant. And since they don’t like working together, you need to have search results in each of them. Google is, no doubt, the largest but we are focused on having as much presence as possible. By putting up as much content as possible, the search engines will all show results and help advertise your brand and start making money online.

There will be a few things you need to outsource because you either are too busy or lack the skill to do it. This can range from graphics design to copywriting or a virtual assistant. You can find help on a lot of freelance sites where these services are offered. Some of them include; Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer etc.

Also, Odesk and Elance are forums where you can get help with managing your social media accounts if you are feeling overwhelmed. Once you provided them with some of the information they need, they will have you up and running in no time.

 

Ready, Set, Go

 

My best advice for you is synonymous with Nike’s mantra, “just do it.” Big brands and businesses once started out in small closets and garages. You can get to your destination while taking small baby steps. At a sustained rate, you will grow, and those steps will turn to sprints with the right motivation.

 

Little Drops Make an Ocean

 

Not everyone has a detailed plan about their future or how to get there and that is fine. You can make mistakes and follow the learning process. The only problem occurs when you procrastinate. Procrastination keeps you in a bubble and takes you no closer to your goals. Any progress is still progress and you can always make improvements along the way till you attain your goals.

No one has all the answers to the questions life poses at us and this means you can rehash your plans when they don’t work or move you closer to your goals. I am a firm believer in ‘redos’ because that is the only way we learn and make true growth.

 

Be Humble

 

Charm will attract attention, but it takes a good Personality to retain it Click To Tweet

 

Pride is a common weakness for a lot of people and it rarely ever helps. I am a firm believer in having a positive disposition and picture of yourself and the future. However, this shouldn’t make you be too idealistic and neglect working hard and honestly to achieve the image you have created for yourself.

Remember, nothing good is achieved by wishing it to existence and that only happens in Aladdin and other fairy tales. It is always important to keep a positive attitude regardless of the circumstances. People prefer to learn about a ‘grass to grace’ story because it motivates them, and it is true.

Branding is the image people see and should always reflect your inner self. Hence the need to always be honest with yourself and eventually, others. This is the easiest way to build your brand because you will help others be their best by offering them the best version of you.

 

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