Back in the day, all you had to worry about when it came to making an impression on people was interacting in person. But in the age of social networking, our image matters on multiple platforms, not just in real life.
This age has brought about the term “personal brand” as well. While you may have taken the steps to develop this in the way you talk, act and dress, you need to create a brand for yourself online, whether for fun or professionally. It’s a way to spread your unique personality across the web and to network with others. Read on for tips to create your brand.
How Do You Stand out From the Others?
No two people are entirely the same. There are characteristics that separate you from other people. In order to create your personal brand, you need to identify and harness these characteristics. We all have talents and gifts we’re just natural at.
What’s your passion? What do you geek out about — that topic you can discuss for hours on end? Ask yourself questions about what you really enjoy. These are areas you have expertise in, and they define you.
Once you have some areas of expertise in mind, do as much research as you can on those subjects. This will help you tackle your passion from a new angle that will grab people’s attention.
Create a Message
Once you’ve determined what your talents and passions are, and you’ve fit yourself into an area of expertise, you can solidify all of these into a mission statement. This statement will tell the world who you are, as well as your personal goals.
Take a look at these examples:
- “Think different.”
- “I’m lovin’ it.”
- “Because you’re worth it.”
- “You are now free to move about the country.”
These slogans are used by world-renowned brands, and you can think along the same lines for marketing yourself. You want a message that people will remember.
Think of your name posted in huge text across the front page of a website. When people see your name, what would you want them to associate it with? What would you want them to find when they Google your name? Once you have an idea in mind, it’s time to get on some social networks.
Start Using Social Networks
You’re basically talking to a wall until you put your message on the web. Here are several ways to get your message out there (and to maximize your reach, you should use all of them!):
- A website is just the first step to professionalism. Creating your own domain is just a click away (and a small fee if you want just .com after your URL). You don’t even need to learn extensive HTML, either. Try out some amazing click-and-drag themes from WordPress or Weebly.
- You create your own content when you blog, and that makes branding yourself even easier. It doesn’t have to be all that serious, either. You can obsess over cute cat videos all you want in your posts, but don’t go overboard — remember to stick to your brand. Share posts, videos and ideas that you find interesting, and it will build up from there. Blogger and Tumblr are great for this.
- On here, you can follow anyone you like, from friends to companies to famous people, and all are within a stone’s throw by just sending out a tweet. You can join Twitter threads about things that interest you, and you can provide quick and to-the-point updates to your followers.
- Though you probably have a Facebook account already, make a new one to separate your brand’s identity from your personal account. While things on Facebook aren’t as direct as Twitter, you can still post regular updates and invite all your friends to like your page.
- If you’re the video-savvy type, and you’re comfortable posting your face or voice without freaking out, try posting vlogs on YouTube. Many famous vloggers got their start this way — think of JennaMarbles, Pewdiepie, Shane Dawson and Olan Rogers. They all built a name for themselves just by posting videos about their passions, hobbies and talents.
- You can use the other networks to make professional accounts, but it doesn’t get any more professional than LinkedIn. If you need people to take your brand seriously, this is the place to do so. It’s kind of like filling out a more detailed resume with a little bit of Facebook thrown in. It’ll only take a few hours to set up, and before you know it, you’ll be making connections and possibly receiving job offers. If you’re having trouble getting started, take a look at this profile. He uses his profile to establish himself as a thought leader in his industry by publishing relevant news and updates. He also has a strong summary that includes statistics about the work he has done, and outlines his accomplishments as the President of the company.
Some Quick Rules for Maintaining Your Brand Online
Once you’ve set up all of your accounts, your only next step is to maintain them. In order to keep your audience engaged and interested in your brand, follow these tips:
- Consistency is key. Keep the same look throughout your profiles so it’s easy for your audience to find and recognize you. This means your profile picture, banner photos, username, design and statement should look similar across your channels.
- Post often. People will forget about you if you don’t keep up on social media. Post every day at least once on all your channels!
- Stay active in the online community. Find threads, discussion boards and forums on your social media sites that will keep you connected with people who share your passions.
Do you have any other tips for creating a brand? Comment below!