How to Build Your Personal Brand Online

40 Comments

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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40 Comments

estetik

I am happy to find this very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content
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sujan

Definitely you need a personal brand and website to express your services online. Adding self photo at every page may look odd but i agree that this may bring immediate trust of your visitors.

joseph rueter

I think the common phrase “its about who you know.” Has a key insight but I don’t think it is obvious. That is, it really is about who knows you. So, we should all be making it easy for people to know us.

Google will find you. What will it say when someone asks?

Vance Lucas

Great advice, and it’s exactly what I did not too long ago. I registered myname.com, put up a blog with my picture on it, and started writing. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done regarding my own identity on the web. It really gave me a platform to brand myself with, as well as a place to give updates on everything I’m working on and help get people interested in the current projects I’ve got going on.

robcuesta

The stuff you control – the look and feel of your blog and website and any online profiles you build – is one part of the equation. But you also need to think about what’s being said about you that you have no control over.

That can be comments about you in other people’s blogs and websites, profiles you’ve forgotten about, the websites of former employers, old articles you’ve written, and so on.

There’s a post (What does the web say about you?) on my blog that talks about how one canadian academic was caught out by this, and another on the impact on your personal brand of Consumer Generated Media.

Its easy to overlook the stuff we haven’t written ourselves, or that we haven’t thought about for a while, but it has to be managed just as carefully as the day to day stuff!

shwibbs

It’s just like in a business. You want to propose solutions to known problems. The problem to getting a job you want is solved through Personal Branding.

Wendy Marx

Great point about the fact that building an offline brand is not that much different in some respects from an offline brand. Tim Carter, of course is an amazing person and a Web genius. He also was brilliant about transporting his offline column to the web and going far beyond that.And he knows the value of excellent content.

BARONdirect

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

Matthew Lowes

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.

atul k bhaskar

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.

Vikram Rajan

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.

Rich Miller

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.

dreadsword

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

Serge Lescouarnec

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

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