50+ Tips to Brand Yourself Online
Once you’ve designed your personal brand and have a personal brand name, use this handy list of suggestions to implement your personal branding strategy.
- Show your expertise as much as possible.
- Publicize your brand-related successes and achievements.
- Make yourself easy to contact for thoughts and questions via email, Twitter, Skype, internet messaging, etc.
- Help other people in your industry such as bloggers, Twitterers, colleagues, advice seekers, etc.
- Give people a reason to talk about you in a positive way that also matches your brand.
- Follow other people in your industry and anyone else who can teach you how to spread your message.
- Create and apply personal design guidelines that will share the values of your brand and are reusable online and offline.
- Keep in mind that where you interact online also conveys messages about you, and then stick to the websites and communities that will help most in reaching your goals.
- Choose an appropriate avatar.
- Consider using a personal logo.
- Join brand-related communities on social media (such as LinkedIn Groups), in discussion forums, newsgroups and mailing lists.
- Be helpful by sharing links and resources that you know people will enjoy.
Kinds of websites you could create
- An ‘ask an expert’ website to answer questions about your profession or area of expertise.
- Discussion forum about your industry that you would moderate and participate in.
- Wiki about your industry
- A social media resume
- A personally-branded version of a free online tool that your audience will find useful.
- Personal blog
- Register your own name as a domain name. If not available, use your personal brand name or some variation that won’t confuse people and will still reinforce your brand.
- Syndicate your blog in brand-related sites and networks.
- List your blog in pertinent website, blog and RSS directories.
- Exchange blogroll placements with industry bloggers.
Places to put your personal brand information
- Email signature
- Forum signature
- Website personal profiles (like Ning’s) that allow you to fill in a short bio and list your website or blog.
- Software-based personal profiles, like Skype’s.
- The name field in blog comments forms should mention your personal brand name.
- The website field in blog comments forms should point at the website that best brands you, whether your blog, social media resume, LinkedIn profile, or anything else.
- Considering the time investment involved, be selective in choosing the right social media for you, and then complete your personal profiles with your branding messages.
- Use Twitter or other micro-blogging services to network, ask and answer questions, share and learn.
- Create a social bookmarking account (e.g. on del.icio.us) specifically for articles related to your profession or interest, and then encourage people to help you find related arti cles.
- Arrange to have bios posted about yourself on Wikipedia, Knol, Squidoo and other user-generated media.
- Launch a Facebook Page about your industry niche.
- Tie together everything in a dedicated FriendFeed profile that allows people to follow your online activities from one source.
Personal brand-reinforcing content
- Produce your own podcasts (audio or video).
- Dedicated video channels for you on sites like YouTube.
- Launch an online initiative related to your profession.
- Participate in other online initiatives to get noticed.
- Put out press releases when you have a newsworthy accomplishment to share.
- Write op-ed articles for mainstream media.
- Start a newsletter about your field of expertise.
- Conduct (free?) webinars about up and coming topics.
- Create your own products.
- Grow an affiliate network to promote your products, which means they’re also promoting you.
- Likewise, promote products that you can recommend honestly and whose buyers will appreciate you bringing it to their attention.
- Leave insightful comments on related blogs.
- Have online chats or Q&A sessions about brand-related topics.
- Guest post on pertinent blogs.
- Interview industry celebrities, trendsetters and other people of interest.
- Be one of those people of interest and get interviewed on related topics.
- Post presentations you’ve given on topic, such as by publishing them on your LinkedIn profile and blog.
- Write an eBook.
- Release free reports about latest events in your industry and your predictions for the future.
Next week, I’ll bring you a similar list of ways to brand yourself offline.
Off topic: Monica O’Brien’s article How to Show Resilience in a Crisis resonated with me as one of those reminders of how we need to keep life in perspective at all times. The reason I’ve been away from you these past few weeks was the unexpected passing of my father in mid-February and the subsequent birth of my second son (and 4th child) one week later. For a religious Jew like myself, work isn’t permitted until the first stage of mourning ends after the seven days of shiva post-funeral. Trans-Atlantic journeys, flight delays and a return to a household in full preparation for a circumcision and related rituals meant that I was offline for a larger chunk of time than expected.
It feels good to be back.