It’s no wonder that “Google” became a word in the Oxford English Dictionary when most people have made it a part of their regular business to “Google” someone you just met, or someone you are thinking of doing business with.
Have you ever “Googled” yourself to see where your online brand stands and to see how others are perceiving you?
If you have and are not happy with how you are being perceived or if you see that someone else with the same name appears before you do, than you need to continue reading.
Because we will go through 5 ways to help you build an awesome personal online brand that you will be proud of and potential customers will want to do business with.
Your brand should be a reflection of who you are and if you don’t put in the effort to build the proper brand for yourself than you could be losing out on business for not taking the extra effort and initiative.
Despite the number of new technologies and different methods of communicating, at the end of the day, people connect with other people. If you don’t appear to be a real person or if the company you represent looks unprofessional or fake, how likely do you think others are going to trust you?
Let’s dive right in.
1. How do you want to be represented or portrayed online?
If you don’t have an understanding of who you are and what you are all about, then, how will anyone else?
First and foremost before thinking about creating or improving your personal online brand, you need to first know who you are, what makes you unique and what are you offering to the world?
What do you want people to associate you with when they think or hear your name? Is there a certain subject matter or industry in which you want to be perceived as an expert?
Once you gain this understanding of how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can be much more strategic with building your personal brand.
2. Give Yourself an Audit
You can’t determine what needs to be fixed without a good understanding of where you stand online.
In other words, this is your permission to Google yourself (and don’t pretend like you haven’t done it already). Enter your name in Google and other search engines and see what results pop-up on the first few pages.
How does the online world currently perceive you? What websites appear?
If there is anything negative or untrue being said about you online, you want to know ahead of time so we can plan on how to react and respond. Ignoring doesn’t help – it can, in most cases, make things worse.
Creating a strong personal brand online includes how you respond to what is being said about you.
3. Building Online Personal Profiles
This is the fun part. Now you get to be creative with how you want to be perceived through personal online profiles such as sites like LinkedIn, About.Me or Google+ to name a few.
Again, depending on how you want to be perceived and who you are reaching out to, will help you select the right online platforms to display yourself.
If you are in a professional industry and want to be perceived as an expert to your target market who are also professionals, then LinkedIn is definitely a platform that you want to be on. You want to be on LinkedIn with a strong profile and be active with regular posts and joining groups to ensure that your presence is being seen.
There are a lot of online profiles that you can use, so do your research to see the type of audience that are on these profiles to make sure you are reaching out to the right audience.
4. Build an Online Presence Through your Website
Create a website that reflects you, your brand and your business in one. Sounds like a heavy task – but it can be done!
To start, you want layout how you want to be seen and how you want to be perceived to your online visitors if they are coming to your website for the first time.
Then, you want to find someone to work with who can make your vision a reality. A lot of times, businesses struggle with making their vision a reality by using free online website templates which can be rigid and do not allow for a lot of creativity. So if it’s something unique and creative that you are looking for to best reflect you and your business, you want to make sure you are doing your research and thinking outside the box to find someone that can help you achieve your vision properly.
Do you know where your website is currently ranking? Nowadays, it’s pretty clear that the higher you rank on a search engine, the more likely you will be seen by your potential customers when are conducting an online search.
If you are putting all this effort into building an awesome personal brand for yourself, you want to make sure that it has the potential of being seen which is where Search Engine Optimization, online ads and other forms of inbound marketing can help you.
Pick up the Speed
Online visitors are not patient and on the internet, every second counts. The longer it takes for your content to load, the quicker your website visitors will leave.
According to Econsultancy, 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
You work hard on your SEO and other Inbound Marketing strategies to drive people to your website to learn more about you and your business so if you can make the experience as seamless as possible, the better it is for you and your personal brand. The more seamless the process, the more praise you will get from customers!
Have you checked to make sure that you are easily accessible through mobile devices? Being mobile (and i’m not referring to being readily able to move in a heartbeat) but instead being easily searchable and being easily reachable through all mobile devices is very important.
Through your website or any other place that you are branding yourself online, you need to make sure that your contact information is clickable so your online visitors are able to contact you easily through their mobile device.
5. Never Stop Learning
Regardless of how well you know your industry or how many years of experience you have, it’s always a good idea to keep up to date with latest changes and trends in the industry.
It takes a lot of time and effort to build a great personal brand. If you fail to stay up to date and relevant, all of your effort to build yourself up will go down the drain.
The way to ensure you are staying relevant is by researching and studying the on-goings in your industry and anything related to your target market. If your target market is changing the way they think or act based on new advancements, you need to be aware of this.
And the way to show your market that you are keeping yourself up to date is by sharing your knowledge through articles, posts, blogs, or videos to name a few.
If you are not expanding your knowledge and growing with new changes, then you’re stagnating and that’s the last thing you want to do.