“Personal branding” is a bit of a buzzword these days. Many claim to be experts on it even though the subject isn’t really that complicated at all.
It is simply the art of creating a recognizable brand around yourself. The goals are:
- Be recognized whenever the brand is seen.
- Have that brand represent certain ideas in the minds of the viewer.
Here are 9 quick tips to help you build up your personal brand.
- Decide between using your name or a made-up name. If you build a brand around your name, then do so for the purpose of raising your reputation. On the flip side, any brand built around you is not sellable. When you decide to quit, the brand dies. If you build a brand which is separate from you, then you can sell it. For example, this blog is branded around myself. However, PCMech is a separate brand and could be operated completely independently of myself.
- Own your domain. Whatever brand you use, you need to own the dot-com. If your name is available as a dot-com, go buy it. I also specifically recommend the dot-com as opposed to other domain extensions like dot-net or dot-org because dot-com is assumed by all. It is easiest to remember.
- Invest in a professional blog design. One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is trying to design their own blogs when they have no idea how to do it. Saying that you’re not going to invest in a professional design until you make some money is to put the cart before the horse. Realize that you need to treat your blog like a business if you want it to be a business, and sometimes that means investing in it at the beginning.
- Use professional photo of yourself. You are going to use a photo of yourself in various places on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc. You want that photo to be professional and attractive. You also want it to convey the mood expressed by your brand. If your brand is about fun, then look happy and fun in your photo. You can pay somebody to take very professional photos of you. It isn’t necessary, but you’ll get better results.
- Go for visual consistency. Preferably, you want your Twitter background, your blog, your Youtube channel layout – all of it – to have the same overall design and color scheme. It maintains visual consistency for the brand. Also, I recommend you use the same photo of yourself in all online profiles.
- Get a logo. You need a professional logo for your brand. Don’t use your photo as the logo. Also, make sure the logo would work equally in color and black-and-white. In other words, it should translate well into print.
- Invest in swag. Ever thought about building out your brand into the offline world? Perhaps shirts, cups, hats, mousepads, USB sticks, business cards, etc. If you give away some swag at a conference, you’ll be easily remembered.
- Nail down your brand keywords. This was something that Ted Murphy talked about recently. In the same fashion you might add tags to your blog post, sit down and tag your brand. What words describe the brand you want to create? Then, see if you can further nail down the brand description to a single phrase.
- Be Everywhere. I know, easier said than done, right? But, this is part of being a pro blogger. You need to be out there on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc. And it all needs to lead into your blog where you are posting quality, helpful content designed to bolster your brand. You can build your brand visually all you want, but it isn’t a brand if it is not out there in front of people.
As with everything, the basics are easy. It just requires follow-through. It is one thing to read this post and ultimately do nothing different. Or you could come up with some steps to actually DO IT.
Now, go build your brand. And share in comments what you’re going to do next when it comes to building up your brand.