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Summary:

Whether you are an employee or a freelancer, you need to manage your personal brand. Of course you’ll think of using the web to do so. But does that mean shelling out money for search engine optimization, for pay-per-click ads that drive potential customers or employers […]

Whether you are an employee or a freelancer, you need to manage your personal brand. Of course you’ll think of using the web to do so. But does that mean shelling out money for search engine optimization, for pay-per-click ads that drive potential customers or employers to your website, for a professionally-designed website? Perhaps not, or at least not primarily, according to Tim Carter, who earns a six-figure income running his Ask the Builder website and selling ebooks on home building and remodeling.

According to former builder Carter, the way to build a personal brand online is not so different from building one offline. You have to work hard for the long haul, connect with people on a human level, and offer real value to potential customers:

Make the website personal. “I use the first person and have my photo on every page,” says Carter. “It shows that you’re not afraid to put yourself out there. It establishes immediate trust.”

Tell stories. “Don’t lecture but try to teach people through stories,” Carter says.

Solve problems. “The magic is having good high quality content about real problems people are interested in,” Carter says.

It’s a marathon. “If you want instant riches, forget about it,” cautions Carter. “It takes diligence, determination and hard work.”

Read more about creating and building your personal brand on Wendy Marx’ Brand U blog.

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  1. Serge Lescouarnec Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    Anne

    I never used a ‘search optimization’ service and after a bad experience with my first web site designer for my New Jersey based concierge service, I decided to take care of it myself.
    It gives me the flexibility to update the content when I want and need to and keep it relevant.

    I will actually give a try at using Typepad ‘pages function’ which allows building a site that is not a blog to revamp a secondary site I have for the business and see if it gives me greater flexibility.

    I agree with Tim Carter that one should not expect instant rewards.

    Take care

    Serge
    Biz:
    http://www.njconcierges.com
    Blog:
    http://www.sergetheconcierge.com

  2. Hey – I just wrote an article about how you can use del.icio.us. technorati, digg, and google to stay on top of your online brand/reputation and drive engagement with your stakeholders. Set up a few RSS feeds based on search results from the above, and tracking the conversation about you and your company can become very automated. Participation is still up to you, of course!

    http://techfold.com/2007/05/28/engagement-4-tips-for-startups-established-players-using-digg-delicious-technorati-and-google-to-build-your-community/

    – rod/techfold.com

  3. Brand your blog: The Elevator Pitch « J.T’s Official Blog Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    [...] One of the most important things you can do to create a brand for your blog. As Anne Zelenka writes: “Whether you are an employee or a freelancer, you need to manage your personal [...]

  4. Rich Miller Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    For another good blog on using the web for personal branding, check out Quick Sprout by Neil Patel, who has an excellent track record generating traffic from social media/networking sites.

  5. Vikram Rajan Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    Great post. I just came home from a talk I gave at my local Nassau/Suffolk Limo Association!

    I had invited one of my clients, Dr. Glazer – a cosmetic dentist to attend. It scored me some brownie points to bring guests, for my client to see me in action in another crowd, and I was able to interweave Dr. Glazer’s pitch (that I had given her).

    “Why Would a Dentist Be Interested in Targeting Limo/Black Car Owners?”

    I’m about to post the answer on ViksMarketingBlog.com

    My client definitely stood out; she will be remembered, and will probably do business… from a simple Personal Brand Marketing trick: Stand out in a well-conditioned Community.

  6. Why nothing you do will ever make a difference « in.spite Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    [...] comments and 580,876 views, and 7.5 million page impressions, after building your pathetic “brand online“, you are #1 with a bullet in Technorati, you earn £0.53 a day from Google Adwords. What a [...]

  7. atul k bhaskar Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    well….!
    i preety much liked your recommendations and suggestions.building brand is just not about following a fad that everybody seems to be doing.
    but what i can understand and anlyse, it is much about the confidence that you have in yourself and also in whatever you do.that is to say it is much about quality, in all spheres of our life.

  8. Matthew Lowes Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    I’m fascinated by this topic. There are many articles out there on self-promotion via the internet. Two common themes I’ve noticed are provide something of value and personally participating in relevant online communities.

  9. I recently attended a marketing professional’s forum which included the topic of online branding. It was actually really fascinating to see what other marketing professionals are doing to maximize the web as a marketing tool. Take a look at my blog post to learn about some of the helpful tips I took away from the lecture:

    http://barondirect.wordpress.com

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