I believe that everyone should work to build your personal brand online. You might be wondering, Jonathan, why do I need to build a brand online? I have a good job and I have a family and so I really don’t know why I should need to build a brand. I also don’t know what you mean and what you need to do it well. These are all great concerns and I hope to address them here.
You might think that building a personal brand is hard and complex. Well, it’s really not. In this post I’ll share with you the steps to take to get started. Let’s go!
Why you should build your personal brand online?
If you want to establish your expertise in your field and set yourself apart from others in your industry, you want to build a brand online. For instance, you could write a weekly post on changes in your industry, and how that affects your work in your field. What legislation is changing and how do you adjust? What is changing about the technology in your industry? If you are the one keeping track of things you could be seen as the expert and someone who is invaluable.
More could be said about this topic, and the guy I would share is Chris Ducker. Read more here. But lets get started on the how.
Build Your Home Base
The very first thing you’ll need to do to build your brand online is a home base, a place where you have complete control over. The best way to do this is to create your own website.
Don’t freak out on me yet. Building a website is very easy these days and you don’t need any coding or technical expertise to do so. So, in three steps here is what to do.
1. Purchase your domain name.
This is probably the most important step in the process. Most people will choose their first and last name. I have reserved “www.jonathangaby.com”. Depending on your name, you may have to be a little creative.
2. Install WordPress on your website.
This may be more technical than you are used to but most website hosts (especially the ones i listed above) can do this for you if you contact the customer support staff.
3. Install a Theme for your site.
A Theme is the way your website looks to visitors. WordPress comes with a pre installed theme that’s perfectly good to use, but to stand out you may need to buy a premium theme. There are thousands of themes to choose from.
4. Create various pages you’ll need.
This is where the fun starts. You’ll want to create at least three pages:
a. Home Page – This could be a brief welcome to people who visit your site, a description of what you do or who you are.
b. About Page – This is more of a biography of yourself that tells about your professional life, your personal life, and your various accomplishments. You can also highlight articles that you’ve written or other content.
c. Résumé/CV – If your goal is to have a professional presence then your resume/cv is a must!
c. Contact page – on this page you can create a form that people can use to send you an email, find out your mailing address, a phone number, or follow you on social media.
Build Your Embassies
What’s an embassy, you ask? Well, and embassy is a place on web that you have a presence on, but you don’t control. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other sites are what you would call an embassy.
Now, you may think that you need to be on every social media site when you start out. This simply isn’t true. My best advice is to pick one and stick with that until you gain a following and understand how it works. My suggestion is to start on Twitter.
What are outposts? Outposts are anytime your name, business, or product is mentioned somewhere on the web. Think of this as listening for mentions of your brand or product. The way that you do this is to set up Google Alerts. You can also create a search on Twitter for mentions of any keyword you choose.
Why do you do this? You do this to help monitor how people are talking about you and keep track of what people are saying. You’ll be able to chime in and say thank you to people who mention you or handle any misperceptions people may have.
Build Your Tribe
Let’s say that your website is also your blog, where you write content that helps you establish expertise in your industry or business. You’ll want to start building a following so that people will be able to continually read your newest post, video, or podcast.
Start by collecting email addresses of people who visit your site. Doing this is easy and free, especially if you sign up for MailChimp or a free service.
In four steps: build your home base, build your embassies, set up your outposts, and build your tribe, you will have a professional brand that will set you up for success in your chosen field. You’ll be able to stand out in your industry and be seen as an expert.
Question: What have you done already to build your brand online? What theme does your website use? What things aren’t exactly clear and you might need help to do? You can leave a comment by clicking here.