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.