9 Simple Tips For Personal Branding

“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…

“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:

  1. Be recognized whenever the brand is seen.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

About David Risley
David Risley is the founder of the Blog Marketing Academy, a 20-year veteran blogger and online entrepreneur. His focus? Building a reliable, recurring business around his "lifestyle" and the lives of his students. He has this weird obsession with traveling in his motorhome around the country with his wife and 2 kids. David also likes to talk about himself in the third person. In bios like this one. Read his full story.
  • Ms. Freeman says:

    I need to nail down exactly what it is I want to accomplish and how I plan to do it. Right now I am all over the board with my posts. These are great steps and I will definitely be following these as well.

    Geesh you have some really good content over here. I am on to the next post. 🙂

  • msfreeman says:

    I need to nail down exactly what it is I want to accomplish and how I plan to do it. Right now I am all over the board with my posts. These are great steps and I will definitely be following these as well.

    Geesh you have some really good content over here. I am on to the next post. 🙂

  • Hey Shannon OD

    I think you should also made a logo for yourself which can be your recognition as well … I am also planning to have one.

  • But David there are many new bie who wont able to afford logos, professional website design and own domain.

    Any thoughts and tips for them. I firmly believe that if you are dedicated and active than people will recognise you sooner or later. But after earning you should start to build your image as professional and invest your earned money back to your blog.

  • gr9719 says:

    in your ” tips for personal branding” you recomend hiring a pro to design a blog. I struggle witht he layout and design. There are so many people who can use wordpress and say they are a pro but are they any that you recomend that are really pros? I would love a refferal so I can get my next blog started out on the right foot. Thanks, Greg

    PS-Thanks for all the great posts, info and inspiration.

  • iamkrissy says:

    I believe all bloggers are branding themselves, whether for the better or for the worse. If you put a bad image out there, you can be remembered for that as much as you will be remembered for a good image. So those who own websites / blogs / forums need to watch how them brand themselves, putting themselves in the most favorable light, as well as presenting themselves in a very special and interesting light, so that they'll be remembered! Another important thing about branding is that an individual or company should consider what he'd like to be remembered MOST for. For instance, if a person or business on Twitter tweets about many, many subjects, it may confust his followers as to his brand. So he must think about how he wants to be branded on Twitter and what his purpose is, and stick to it. Now, as we are not such extremely narrow individuals, I don't believe we have to be completely boxed in and can only talk about one thing on twitter if we are a business or an individual, but I'm saying that perhaps we may not want to talk about 100 different things. We need to narrow our focus down to a few things. If we can't do as such, perhaps we need to get more than one account. We need to consider how others see us, and how we want to be branded. Having said all that, I still believe we don't have to be in a box and only talk about ONE subject — for instance, if I stol potatoe chips I'd talk about more than potatoe chips. I am a blogger and tweeter that talks about many things! Maybe that's how I brand myself — diverse! Works for me,, anyway!

    krissy knox : )
    connect w me on twitter:
    http://twitter.com/iamkrissy

  • Thanks a lot for posting. These are very useful when you're heading towards making your own brand or coming up with something for a client of yours.

  • jasonverdelli says:

    Dave,

    Great post. These are some of the basic fundamentals that sometimes are forgotten. Consistency in the brand online and offline is crucial for recognition. You hit the nail perfectly. Keep up the good thoughts David!

  • donnyg16 says:

    This is something that a lot of people seem to miss. Most people fail to brand themselves online because they feel that they don't have any value to offer their audience. Everyone has to get out of this mindset and start branding themselves as an expert or authority figure

  • Good one David.

    I need to do more on these tips and make no 6 and 7 potent.

    Thanks

  • TheInfoPreneur says:

    David fantastic post. Brand image is everything, Coca Cola wouldn't be half as popular if it was called fizzy dark coloured drink!
    Great post

  • chrisbilotta says:

    All great tips.
    One more is to develop your own personal website with a blog. Personal Branding is about communicating your unique difference. What better way to do it than through your own custom site.

  • Solid tips, and good to see some actionable items in the list. These are things that many of us could do better.

  • Shazzalive says:

    I was going to share what I was going to do next; but I just did it instead: I made my blog logo look more professional and also updated my Twitter photo to the one above. I need to get all my social network and other profile pics as the one above to maintain brand continuity and aid people to identify the brand.

  • caseycaddell says:

    Thanks David. Great tips. I had not really thought about the common themes between all the different sites and social marketing. Do you have tips on the best inexpensive ways to get swag?

  • ShannonOD says:

    Love these tips – only in the past month have I unified all of my pictures on my social profiles and I already love the difference it has made – it really is a lot easier if my one picture is instantly recognizable!

  • I like the part about the professional photograph. People really respond better when you have a real portrait as opposed to a quick screen-capture or an avatar. Trust building for the win. I actually use my senior pictures for my branding photos.

  • Great point that you can have a different brand for each site you own. Setting up a site brand is very different than setting up a personal brand. When you are working on your own, you tend to cross the lines pretty often since it can be difficult to think of your site as something separate to yourself.

    Great post. Now I gotta invest in some swag 🙂

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