We’ve talked about having a blog and we’ve talked about a landing page but there’s much more that you can do to “up” your personal online brand – in fact, you’ll be finding more and more strategies and tactics as you grow – so never stop learning!
But there are definitely a few things that I’ve found that have contributed to a positive personal online brand that are simple and not entirely difficult to execute on – and that are well within many of your wheelhouses.
What you’re essentially trying to do is refine and perfect the online deliverables that you’re client, customer, and community are engaging with. In other words, becoming the “total package” so to speak.
This includes not only the content that you create on your landing page and blog but also the visual elements that accompany them. For many first-time visitors this can create a profound and lasting impression about who you are and what you do.
1. The Business Card
Many of you might be thinking “I don’t need business cards for my online brand!” but I’ll tell you that it’s a strategic collateral investment that’ll increase your overall brand both online and offline.
The simple fact is that you literally carry your brand both online and offline and I still network a ton offline which then translates back to the online space when they re-encounter me there.
Having a business card can be a part of that. Some people are dogmatic about having one and others will tell you it’s pointless – for me I’ve found it to be a valuable addition to my arsenal and I hasn’t hurt my chances to network!
Here is an example of two business cards that I have in my possession and that I use at networking events:
I share some thoughts as well on what I think about them and why I have them. You’ve got a digital business card now (with your landing page) – why not also have the offline one as well?
2. Images and Photography
There is no question that a picture speaks 1,000 words – the challenge is making sure that the majority of them are positive!
It really surprises me how many people don’t consider this when they create their blogs and their own personal branding pages – I see self-portraits that would make most people cringe!
You know what I’m talking about because you’ve seen it before as well – the personal picture that’s either blurry, at a terrible angle, or has artifacts (other elements in the picture, people, etc) that just makes it look odd or plain terrible. Perhaps they took it in the bathroom of all places (location, location, location!).
You want to invest, when you can financially, in a good local photographer to come and take a few headshots that you can use on your blog and other related online properties. It’s worth it since it’ll be the first (and perhaps last) impression that your visitor will have of you.
There’s just no escaping the fact that your brand identity is wrapped up tightly with how you visually showcase who you are as well. There’s just no way around it, so make it count!
3. Overall Design and Aesthetic
In addition to photography above you’re going to want to make sure your design around your blog and personal landing page is solid, clean, and represents the very best of what you do.
This sound obvious but it’s quite apparent that some people simply do not take the time to digitally “groom” themselves when they enter into the space. I think of like getting ready for an in-person interview for a job that you really would love to have – what do you do to get ready?
- You take a shower. Clean up.
- You make sure your clothes are coordinated and classy, appropriate for the meeting and the culture of the business. Contextual.
- You make sure your breath smells nice and isn’t offensive. Same with body odor.
- You comb your hair and brush your teeth.
- You choose the right shoes.
- You practice, review your notes, prepare yourself for the encounter.
- You remember to smile, put your best foot forward!
- You also remember to relax, just be yourself.
- You show up on time (early perhaps) and psyche yourself up for the encounter.
- You walk in, shake hands, smile, and kick booty. You get the job.
Same thing online I believe. The problem is that people don’t have the same sense of “pressure” to make sure they tidy themselves up. They throw together a design “package” and just wing it.
The point? Make sure your design of your blog and landing page are great, not just good. You’re “interviewing” with hundreds if not thousands every single day. That aesthetic matters a lot! Practically this means that you go shopping for a good design and template, hire someone to do it for you, or make it yourself. Perhaps a combination of the three.
Do your homework, do your research, and make it happen.
[This is part of the Personal Branding Series.]