Personal Online Branding To Make You Shine Online

If you’re online you’re a brand. What are people learning about you?

What story does the photo or gravatar you use tell us? What’s the story on your Facebook wall? How about your on blog, your Twitter profile and tweets?

Personal online branding’s scary when you start to think about it. Even if you haven’t got a gravatar there’s a message in that.

In my never-ending quest to seek information, meet interesting people and connect with readers I’ve probably left approximately 8,367 comments on other blogs about everything from dogs to blogs, and facial hair to facing fear. If you wove all those comments together to create a story I wonder what it would say about me? Apart from the fact that I spend far too much time commenting on other people’s blogs when I should be writing my own, of course.

Personal Online Branding and Consistency

There’ll be a lot of opinions and advice in those comments, may be even some contradictory messages depending on what the post was about and my mood at the time. But I hope that the overall values I communicate would be the same. I hope if you read all those comments it would clearly tell you that they came from someone knowledgeable, helpful and encouraging.

It goes to show why you have to be yourself online. It would be impossible to maintain a false persona online as well as pointless.

Personal online branding like all branding is something that happens over time. Advertising agencies and marketers talk about brand recognition because they know that repeat exposure is essential.

People often won’t pay attention to you the first time they read one of your comments. The next time they see you mentioned on Facebook they probably won’t be interested either. It may not be until the 3rd, 4th or even 18th exposure that they finally decide they’ve seen you around enough and they’re ready to visit your blog and find out for themselves what you’re all about.

Personal Online Branding With Pictures

I have a great brand at my travel blog Get In the Hot Spot (that’s the logo above) and my name, Annabel Candy, is strongly linked to that. The Get In the Hot Spot (GITHS) branding is fun, energetic and adventurous. I hope the hot colors will sear themselves into people’s minds and that every time they see that logo or read Get In the Hot Spot they’ll immediately think: hot, quality, actionable information from a trusted source.

Personal online branding business and bloggingMucho has totally different branding. The blue and grey branded colors are safe and corporate. I love the look but Get In the Hot Spot is superseding it because it’s a better representation of me and the GITHS readers.

Now I have a new brand here at Successful Blogging but the design still ties in with GITHS. While there’s a definite crossover in branding and business values which brings trust the blue speech bubble represents the voice that blogging gives us.

Personal Online Branding With Words

Having these three separate websites and brands could be confusing but I hope me and what I actually do ties the two separate brands together.

My friend Robin Dickinson has an amazing post on his business development blog about share words. Robin says business people should be able to explain what they do in a few words other people can easily remember. Share words are like the traditional elevator pitch but shorter and more memorable.

But it’s hard to come up with one short sentence explaining everything we do because our role usually covers a lot of things. For me it includes blog and web design, web copy writing, consulting and writing or speaking to teach people how to succeed online.

But the idea’s sound and hopefully this one sentence explains what I do and reinforces my brand too:

I help you win business and influence people online.

Personal Online Branding Actions

Actions speak louder than words has become a cliche because it’s true. We all need to make sure what we actually do is in line with what we say we do. It’s not enough to look the part and talk the talk. We need to walk the walk too.

The exercise we did earlier this week perfecting the first three sentences of our about page worked a treat. Everyone really thought about the message people would get on their about page and realised why they had to make the message count. Now let’s pare that down to the essentials. See if you can come up with one hot sentence that explains everything you do.

If you’re anything like me it won’t be easy but give it a go. Because trying things out and taking action is what Successful Blogging is all about.

But enough about this blog and personal online branding. Tell us again, what do you do?