PERSONAL
BRANDING
ONLINE

The society has significantly changed over the past 50 years. It is now all about the individuum. With the rise of the internet, the single person has been empowered to be unique and to stand out from the crowd. This blessing is also a curse because the world population growth continues to accelerate creating a continued supply of new egos joining the rat race.

Those who do not manage to stand out and sell themselves, eventually disappear in the masses as time quickly shifts them into irrelevancy.

Those who manage to tell their story, to create their personal brand, however, are rewarded generously.

Mybrand Marketing is the place where you can find winning tactics to build up your personal brand, no matter if you are a business owner, an employee or just a human. We all have our idea of our personal brand and here you will find the tools and tactics present it to the world.

Welcome.

ARE YOU MANAGING SEARCH? HOW GOOGLABLE ARE YOU?

BE VISUALLY CONSISTENT

YOUR PHOTOS. DIGITALIZE YOURSELF.

ASSOCIATION STRATEGY

CONTENT STRATEGY. SELECT YOUR FOCUS

CONTENT CREATION STRATEGY

SELECT YOUR PRIMARY PLATFORM. OWN IT.

CONTENT CURATION STRATEGY

THINK. DEFINE A BASIC PLAN OF ACTION.

PRESENT THE BEST VERSION OF YOU. THE WHY?

ARE YOU MANAGING SEARCH? HOW GOOGLABLE ARE YOU?

We all have done it. Googling others. Sometimes it is out of love, sometimes it is out of hate, sometimes out of curiosity or out of boredom. Regardless of the reason, you can be sure that others are googling you, too.

 

Do you have any idea what they find about you?

 

Try it right now.

Now depending on your name and last name, you may find that someone else shows up more prominently. If you are somewhat active on social media you are likely to find your social media profile there.

 

What about the photos?

 

Are you satisfied with what you are seeing?

 

Do you think it would be important to have a more distinct identity online?

 

We are all googling each other because it is easy and because there is a lot of information out there about everyone. Well, almost everyone. We can of course argue about data protection and privacy, and I do understand the concern. Nevertheless, I have come across people, that did not show on Google at all. I could not find anything and it is quite frustrating especially in a professional context. If I felt like this before, that means others feel in a similar fashion.

I strongly believe that we need to have at least some level of control what others will find about us when they search.

If you have a very particular name you have different issues to deal with than someone with a very common name.

By applying personal branding tactics here on this site, you should be able to significantly increase your personal brand and become googlable, if this is what you want.

MINI-CHECKLIST

  • Do you show in the top 10 search results?
  • Are other people with the same name showing up?
  • If you imagine that someone else trying to research you would find this information. How would they feel about what they are seeing?
  • Is there not enough information. Is there outdated information. Is the information confusing?

BE VISUALLY CONSISTENT

Branding is all about recognition.

 

Recognition is all about consistency.

 

In order to be consistent with how others get to see you online, it is important to define certain visual principles that you will want to stick to.

Do you have a favorite color that you would feel comfortable integrating across various channels?

Do you have a logo or a specific topic that you would like to be associated with? You get the point.

What visual elements can you use in places like the Facebook page, on Twitter as background, on LinkedIn media files etc.

The goal is to create a coherent image that is reflected in all of the places online where you are active and where others will be seeing you.

You will need to experiment with this at first unless you already have a certain brand identity developed. As soon as you have a solid idea of what graphics and colors you want to use and strongly associate with yourself we can get cracking at the visual tactics.

Please note that your photo material should also benefit from this consistency and intention. Even if you take a series of images in different poses, make sure that each set has a related set of clothing for example. There should be a visual connection across all platforms.

YOUR PHOTOS. DIGITALIZE YOURSELF.

Like on any online shop website, the most important asset is the actual product. Without the product, everything else becomes irrelevant. The same counts for you, as you are the product that your personal brand represents.

 

Therefore, the most important thing that you can do to get started working on your personal brand is to get yourself digitalized.

 

By this I mean, get a series of photos of yourself. These photos will be your digital you.

 

This is very important to get right.

 

And yes, you heard right. Not 1 photo, but a series of photos. I will explain this in more detail here.

 

YOUR PHOTO. YOUR MAIN ASSET.

Depending on where you are starting at, you may already have some professionally made photos that you can use for your online presence. For most people, however, this is not the case. If you are like most, you need to decide whether your current photos are sufficient to represent you online or not.

 

In most cases, they are not. Especially for a platform such as LinkedIn you need more sophisticated photos.

 

Why is this so important you may ask?

 

See, the photo is the next best thing to you actually being present so you want to make sure that you are making a good impression 24h a day when others view you online.

 

Furthermore, it is quite important to have a certain level of consistency across all platforms. By consistency, I do not mean using the same image.

 

While that is possible, it is too easy.

 

If you are about to design your personal brand online, you need to be willing to go the extra mile here.

 

How about having various poses in the same outfit? How about differentiating facial expressions? A more serious picture for LinkedIn and something a bit more fun for Instagram for example? Or how about switching up clothing for each platform while keeping everything else the same?

ASSOCIATION STRATEGY

Sometimes you need to leverage other brands to position yours. This is a practice quite known in marketing. Position your personal brand next to big brands in your industry and their fame will rub off on you.

This can be done by joining associations, organizations, and clubs that allow you use their logos on your website or on your LinkedIn profile. Most of the time there is a membership fee that needs to be paid or a yearly contribution. Some associations are free and other can be received for a similar favor.

I strongly believe that carefully selected associations in your industry will have a positive ROI for you. But I do not need to tell you about that.

Humans have understood this concept a long time ago and use it daily on social media. A photo at an expensive holiday destination, a good-looking person next to you and other associations on photos are common practice online.

The key is to also use this for your professional goals.

CONTENT STRATEGY. SELECT YOUR FOCUS

When you are starting out, you are better off to make a deep dive on one platform rather than doing a little on each.

 

However, if your priority is search results domination only, it does make sense to have a minimal presence on each platform.

 

So it really depends on if you are planning on produce a significant amount of content or not.

 

Generally speaking, the most important platform is likely to be LinkedIn if you are working or planning on working for a company.

 

Instagram, is a great start to generating content on a regular basis and the barrier to entry is the lowest.

 

YouTube is probably the most complex platform, as making videos needs quite some practice even without a sophisticated post-production.

 

Twitter is also a great platform to get started participating in a social network as content curation is simple here. Especially if you are passionate about a topic that is big on Twitter.

CONTENT CREATION STRATEGY

In the majority of the cases, there is a reason why you are thinking about your personal brand. You are looking to differentiate yourself or to stand out. You feel that you need to be noticed. You do not feel comfortable blending in so much that you become invisible. There is so much noise out there.

The problem is, that it is very difficult to stand out. In order to increase your chances, the theory is that you need to focus on a specific topic.

In business, this could be a very specific business segment for example.

Since everything online is content-based, be it images or text, having a specific focus is very helpful because you can use specific topical searches to attract attention to yourself and create value, without competing again the whole world.

By doing this social networks allow you retain a bond between the consumer of your information and yourself.

You then have the opportunity to use this newly created bond to build a more solid relationship over time.

SELECT YOUR PRIMARY PLATFORM. OWN IT.

When you are starting out, you are better off to make a deep dive on one platform rather than doing a little on each.

 

However, if your priority is search results domination only, it does make sense to have a minimal presence on each platform.

 

So it really depends on if you are planning on produce a significant amount of content or not.

 

Generally speaking, the most important platform is likely to be LinkedIn if you are working or planning on working for a company.

 

Instagram, is a great start to generating content on a regular basis and the barrier to entry is the lowest.

 

YouTube is probably the most complex platform, as making videos needs quite some practice even without a sophisticated post-production.

 

Twitter is also a great platform to get started participating in a social network as content curation is simple here. Especially if you are passionate about a topic that is big on Twitter.

CONTENT CURATION STRATEGY

The truth is, you do not have to create all of the content for your personal brand online. You may be familiar with the concept of content curation.

When you curate content you are sharing content created by others because you believe that your audience will benefit from this content.

But it is more than that. When you are sharing content you are normally very selective because you are well aware of the fact that people will judge you based on what you are sharing. Just think about it. If you share a piece of content on any of the social media platforms, most importantly LinkedIn and Facebook, it will be visible on your profile for a long time to come. This will definitely impact your image. Over time your reputation will partly consist all the content you had shared over the last months.

In short, you will need a basic strategy on what type of 3rd party content you are sharing, in order to intentionally steer your personal brand in the right direction.

THINK. DEFINE A BASIC PLAN OF ACTION.

While this step was supposed to be the very first one, when getting started with personal branding, it would have been too obvious and too much like other guides out there. Think, make a plan, etc… While it may be true, if the audience is unlikely to follow it, it is bad advice. However, at some point, we need to think strategically if only because we cannot do it all. We need to prioritize to have a chance to succeed.

 

One of the main goals of personal branding online is to reach a certain degree of control over the information that is found about us.

 

As you have seen in step 2, they may or may not be desirable information visible for a search of your name in search engines like Google.

 

Before we can go ahead and start optimizing and building our personal online brand, we need to some spring cleaning with what is already out there.

Cleaning up your feeds on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram can be a labor-intensive endeavor as a very active user may have to go through years of history.

Once you start the process you are likely to be surprised what you will find. Many of you will be quite embarrassed about the naive shares on Facebook that are totally not who you are today.

You have to understand, that when someone is researching you, they will go deep to understand you and to study you, especially if they have malevolent intent.

Please note, that I would not recommend deleting all of the content. Some historical relevance going way back may serve you well especially if you are using your personal brand for business.

©2018 | Design your personal brand

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