Our friend Dan Schawbel, author of Personal Branding Blog, just wrote an excellent article, “Personal Branding Tips From the Hidden Vault,” which was posted on MarketingProfs as well. Dan covers 3 tips that will help you brand yourself better than the next guy. Personal branding starts the first time you post something for the world to see and doesn’t ever stop. Everything you say and do that is public will be tied to you forever. He says we have the opportunity to do personal eBranding where we take the “real me” and translate it to a Web version without losing authenticity.
First tip is if you want to be known for a specific topic, then people have to be able to connect your name to it and the reverse for every time they hear your topic, your name should connected. We do this all the time with clients and keywords. We integrate keywords that they want to be associated with and put those in title and meta tags and sprinkled throughout the site copy. Offsite, we try and create anchor links with those keywords. The idea here is to do that for yourself and your personal site, blog, or social media profile. I would also add that you should participate in conversations (forums and blogs) that are related to your desired topic association.
The second tip is to have a consistent brand whether that be with your avatar, picture, profile, and even writing across sites. He cautions to not rush into promoting yourself, but to think clearly if your brand message is consistent. Pictures such as in avatars or profiles should be the same so that people will remember you once they see you a few times or even in person! As for writing, he says your tagline, name, picture and bio should be identical. I would respectfully disagree with the later part about the bio being identical across profiles. As an SEO professional, I can say that it is best to vary those profiles in order to avoid duplicate content so that the engines have to pick which bio to rank. In addition, I think it’s a nice touch to personalize the bio just a bit depending upon the site you are posting to. I know I change up my bio a bit if I’m joining a social network that is more personal rather than professional and vice versa.
I think the third tip is worth its weight in gold and something that my coworkers and I have just been talking about this week with the rise in Twitter users. Don’t join the 3 to 5 social networks that spring up every day. I do think that as online marketing professionals we have an obligation to test each network, however we don’t have to continue to participate after the test. The key is to pick a few and maintain your presence. And by maintaining, I don’t mean posting what you have for each meal for your friends to read on Twitter (spare me, please!). I mean to continue through your ebranding through relevancy and credibility on these social networks. Just think you could really participate in the few networks that are most relevant, instead of complaining that you have no time to keep up on the 20 profiles you’ve just recently signed up for this week. It’s about quality, not quantity.
Thanks for letting me integrate some of my thoughts in with your article Dan!