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Summary:

Personal branding reflects how you represent yourself in the digital world from both a personal and business view. I believe that in this social media age everyone — from high school graduates to established professionals — needs to pay attention to his or her personal brand.

Here are some tips for pumping up your image and improving your branding online.

branding_ironPersonal branding reflects how you represent yourself in the digital world from both a personal and business view. I believe that in this social media age everyone — from high school graduates to established professionals — needs to pay attention to his or her personal brand. Here are some tips for pumping up your image and improving your branding online.

  1. Go beyond the popular social networks: Remember when MySpace was the place for social networking? No matter how firmly entrenched the big players seem, things can change. Make sure you have a complete profile on the current big three networks (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) but be sure to look out for specialist networks that cover your career or industry. Charles recently offered options for managing multiple online identities.
  2. Mention other people’s stuff: Passing on goodwill is a great way to provide value to your followers while also encouraging people to return the favor for you.
  3. Think “relationship building”: Limit self-promotion and marketing-speak. When you focus on building relationships, you ensure your content adds value to others.
  4. Do the family and employer check: Always ask yourself, “Would I want my mother, children, clients or future employers to see this?” before posting anything. Nancy Nally explains when and when not to do self-censorship.
  5. Ensure your alerts remain current: You use alerting services to watch for keywords, your name and your site’s URL so you know what others say about you, right? Are yours up to date? Do they cover tweets, as well as web sites and blogs? Read more on monitoring your personal brand.
  6. Respond when someone mentions you: Acknowledge others almost always (exceptions exist). Don’t have an answer yet? Don’t wait until you find one! Let them know you’re working on it rather than leave them hanging.
  7. Mix up your content: Well-meaning people often have an entire page of decent content on their profiles, but it’s all just one type. For example, on Twitter, some people tweet what they’re working on and nothing but. Some people post all @replies and nothing else. You should mix it up a little and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
  8. Venture outside your network: Discover new blogs and leave comments or link to them. Many people tend to hang out with the same people across blogs and networks. This limits your ability to stretch your presence.
  9. Post in four different places every week: It’s easy to trap yourself into using nothing but Twitter, your own blog or whatnot. Make an effort to post original content in four different places on a weekly basis. It could be your blog, Twitter, another person’s blog and a forum.

It only takes a few minutes a day to take care of you, the brand, and do it right.

How do you brand yourself?

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/simonbleasdale/ / CC BY-ND 2.0

  1. I completely agree with you on thinking “Relationship Building”. It’s the foundation on creating a well rounded brand. Build trust to create brand equity while limiting self promotion. If you have a strong brand, people in need of your expertise will seek you out.
    Thanks for the post.

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  2. Nothing gets you closer to what you want better than your own personal brand. An image you acquire by years of heard work, painstaking reputation building — all based on self-less contribution to the community in one way or the other.

    I totally agree with your points on personal branding. I, however, wouldn’t care much about my family, relatives and friends thinking about what I post on the Internet primarily because:

    1. They have no idea what they blabber about.
    2. They can nod their heads and lend you a shoulder, but they still don’t know what a blog post is.
    3. Most people aren’t you; and you can’t be like most people. Entrepreneurs and self-employed people usually work in solitude and not in cubicles. Entrepreneurs think different. And finally…
    4. There is no way I will get back to work or look for employers. I will look for clients Instead :)

    Please keep up the great posts on your blog. It is close to becoming the default page on my browser :)

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  3. I feel quite ironic that I’m posting a comment to say that I actually do not believe in establishing brand name and reputation via commenting on blogs. We try a lot of SEO, we participate in some capacity via our own corporate blogs and founders’ blogs. So far the traffic is very organic and focused. I do believe in relationship building, especially through affiliate marketing programs. (or even the old school link exchange?)

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  4. Hi, creating a brand in today’s world is a great move! Creating your own website is the step I took, at Mysalesrep.com. It was super easy, my customers love it, and I now have a forum where I control the content as a Sales Professional!
    Check out my site at http://www.mysalesrep.com/billtanner
    I still FB, and do all the Social Media, however, need to protect my professional image with my customers!
    Bill

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  5. Great post.

    Just wanted to underline the networking/community element of one’s online personal brand – I think it is integral to have a committed following who understands the value of who you are, what you are about and are able to explain it to others. Having a consistent message on all the social medias is a good first step, and when connecting with others, be sure to let them know what you do.

    Cheers!
    Mark Montoya
    @MarkMontoya

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