Branding, branding, branding. People ask me about this often, citing the fact that they seem to find me everywhere on the Net. First off, I think that finding me everywhere just means that I’m spending too much time claiming my name on all these various social networks, not that I’m well-branded. You want great branding advice? See my new friend, John Moore from Brand Autopsy. Or learn from the woman in this picture, Grammar Girl. These folks know more about branding than me, and yet, I’ve got an idea or two
Here are some ideas specific to your use of social media as part of your personal branding strategy.
Stick With One Name
If you’re one name on your blog and another name on Twitter, and forced into a semi-real seeming name on Facebook, and using something different for Skype, how will I know it’s you? I’ve got a new friend here that fits that description. When she added me in Facebook, I didn’t know who she was. It took a little bit of dissection to get it, but that’s okay. Stick with one name if you want folks remembering you easily.
Make a Good About Page
I owe someone credit, and I forget who. They linked to my About page as an example of something telling about who you are. (When I look at it, I see that I’m going to add even more to my about page).
Simply, put your name (at least your first name), and some reason for why we’re participating in your media (your blog, your podcast, whatever). Don’t make your about page about the company, at least not first. Make it about a human that we can get to know. If you have a multi-author blog, all the better. Make a page for ALL of you. Make it human.
Add a link to your personal media on your email signature. Don’t make it super huge and complex, because then no one reads them. Here’s how much I’ve compressed mine:
Video on the Net | PodCamp
631-612-8945 | [chrisbrogan.com]
In my case, I list the two most likely ways you know me because I’m often sending emails to folks who might have met me once or twice, but might need their memory jogged. Note that I have my website URL in there. That’s because I want to drive more people to visit my site and know me through my media.
Cut Back on Widgets
I’ve visited a bunch of websites over the last several days and I’ve seen an abundance of widgets along the sidebars. Some of them make sense, but several seem a little overly silly. I use widgets that help strengthen the brand of the site. In my case, I’ve got a MyBlogLog widget that shows who’s stopped by the page directly. I’ve got an Upcoming.org widget to show you which events I’m attending so you can meet me. I’ve got a Google Reader Shared Items widget to show you other articles I’ve read and liked lately, and I’ve got a few buttons for events and things I support.
Rethink your widgets.
Build a Topics Catalog
A week or two ago, I jotted off 100 Blog Topics I Hope You Write. If you’re finding it difficult to know what to blog about, keep a text file somewhere of potential subjects. Add to it when you’re feeling creative. Swipe a post or podcast or videoblog from it when you’re looking for inspiration. Remember that your audience deserves your very best. Give it to them all the time. Reading a blog post about nothing isn’t all that exciting. Reading a bunch in a row, with a long pause, and then an apology that you’re not blogging much lately is a way to lose me forever. A topics catalog will help.
So, you’re the expert too, you know. I bet you’ve got ideas on how you’ve used your social media to brand yourself. Tell me about your graphics, about the things you took special care to make just right, about your favorite ways to spread your brand around. If you have questions, share them here and I’m sure we’ll get them answered. Let’s see what comes up.
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