Branding U

I have noticed a lot of people attempting to brand themselves.  Just as McDonalds and WalMart are household names, many individuals are hoping to do the same thing and use their likeness to sell a variety of items including books, skin care products and professional services.

The process of branding yourself is very similar to branding a business but there are some important differences that you should be aware of:

  • Just like a business, you need to have a cohesive image.  That means that your websites, blogs, twitter pages, etc should all convey the same “look”.  This doesn’t mean they need to be identical, which would be impossible among multiple social sites, but they should have a similar color scheme and theme. 
  • A large part of your image when branding you is YOU.  You should have some photos professionally taken that capture the image of the brand you are attempting to create.  If you are a lifestyle product then a stiff headshot would not be suitable versus marketing yourself as a professional speaker which would require a more conservative look.  Using pictures taken with your camera phone or at the family picnic should be avoided.  A picture is worth a thousand words, think about what yours is saying about you.
  • YOU are your company spokesperson.  Not many people want to hear or even consider this but as the brand, you have to watch everything that you say, wear, write and even post online.  Everything that you put out whether you are saying it about yourself or someone else will be a part of the brand that you are creating.  I google people before deciding to write about them or do business with them.  I can tell alot about a person based on their Twitter timeline and Facebook statuses.  I am certain that I am not the only person checking on you like this.
  • You need a plan.  Just a business needs a business plan, you need a marketing plan.  You need to consider what you are trying to accomplish in branding yourself.  I see people with thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook but they don’t really have any direction to lead their followers.  Their posts are really random and they rarely engage in any dialogue with their followers.  If your goal is to promote a blog then you need to be sure you are engaging with your readers, whether through comments on the blog or through other forums, and focusing your posts along the lines of your blog so that people will want to know more about you thus venturing to your blog.  If you are selling a product/service, you should be posting about topics relevant to your industry to establish your credibility.
  • Finally, when branding yourself, you have to be someone that people want to get to know.  This does not mean telling all of your business but you should reveal enough information about yourself that people feel comfortable with you and feel like they can trust you.  People do business with their friends, whether the relationship is real or perceived.  They want to feel like they have a connection with you.  This is very difficult to accomplish if you are on Twitter and have protected tweets or on Facebook with a private profile.  Those privileges are reserved for private people not interested in becoming a household name.

Good luck branding U!  Leave a comment with a link to your website, Facebook, Twitter and/or blog so that we can take a look at your branding efforts.

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4 thoughts on “Branding U

  1. Ok guys, I want you to take a look at my branding:

    Website: mochawriter.com

    Twitter: @mochawriter

    Facebook: facebook.com/mochawriter

    Blogs: mochawriter.blogspot.com
    forcoloredgurls.com

    Any and all comments are appreciated! : )

    Like

    • I love you so I’m going to be totally honest 🙂
      I love the avatar and your signature. I think you should have some professional head shots done and use them when you don’t use the avatar. Your website seems to be geared toward business professionals so I would go with a cleaner layout, maybe a lighter color background because business people tend to want more information than style. I like the soft yellow that your avatar is wearing which could help you to being a color branding.
      I like the twitter page and your blogspot blog because the color schemes flow together. And you already know that forcoloredgurls is one of my favorite blogs 😀

      Like

  2. Hi Lakesha,

    Very insightful post. I have one thing to add though. Authenticity is key when you are branding yourself. You have to be true to yourself. Internet democratizes the information, making everything transparent.

    Cheers,

    Günter Soydanbay
    Brand Strategy Consultant
    (647) 292-5312
    http://www.soydanbay.com

    Like

    • You are so right about authenticity being a key. It is easy to hide behind an avatar but you have to know yourself before you can begin to sell yourself to the world. Contrary to popular belief, it is very easy to check people’s background and experience. If what you are saying about yourself does not match up with who you really are, your personal brand could be severly damaged. Bad news travels much faster than good news.

      Like

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