Here are some things that you can do to Build Your Personal Brand Online.
- Register a domain name containing your name:
If you haven’t registered your name as a domain, then I highly recommend the small investment (to do it right now. While we all like to believe we are unique; the actual fact is that most of the names are not! Buy yours today if it’s available. Go for a .com if it’s still there, which is unlikely. I did not get Puneet.com when I was shopping for my name, so I had to go for PuneetBangera.com.
Owning your own domain name might not seem like a necessity right now; but with the rapidly changing online landscape, it may well be commonplace in a matter of years for a website to replace your CV. Not only does owning your own domain name give you an advantage in what people see what they search for you, you also prevent this site ever being used against you.
For now, if you are not planning to start your own blog or website, you can simply redirect the URL to your Social media profile. (Eg: LinkedIn, Google plus etc.)
- Register a unique username URL for all your social media pages:
Similarly to owning your own domain name, securing your name on Facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn is another move to owning your identity in a world where many have the same name.
Another valuable reason? Unlike the generic URLs that contain a mixture of letters and numbers after your name, the unique usernames are shorter and easy to remember. And they fit on business cards!
- Ensure you have a Professional photo on all Social Media Platforms:
Give a face to your profiles on LInkedin and Google plus. When someone googles your name, it’s most likely that your social media profiles would be on top of the search results. So you have to show the best to the people searching for you.
Having no profile photo could send a message that you lack in confidence and this can create a perception incongruent with appealing to recruiters or potential future employers seeking talent.
Having a photo of yourself on the social media adds credibility to your profile and is an absolute must!
- Contribute your opinion:
Those wanting to be seen as industry experts and therefore nurture their online brand, should regularly be posting relevant and interesting content to Twitter and/or LinkedIn.
It’s easy to throw a whole heap of links up online, but what shows real thought leadership is when they are accompanied by a comment or insight of your own. It also shows that you actually read the article before you recommended it to others!
You can also socially interact on groups and forums to put your points forward on topics on your choice, this would help in building a strong loyal follower base.
- Set up your Google+ profile and post updates
Google+ is the often forgotten social network but it definitely plays its part when it comes to personal branding. Google+ really boosts more SEO into your online branding toolkit, with G+ content organically ranking well in search.
But if you can build your following on Google+ and garner some +1s, this will boost your rankings even higher. So don’t ignore it, use this tool to your advantage as a weapon in your SEO arsenal!
- Understand what content works for you, and what doesn’t:
The Twitter social network truly helps in building an online brand.
But you need to really understand who your audience is and why they follow you?
Are you across what pieces of content are popular and which are bombing?
You can use tools like Buffer to monitor your tweets. It tells you all the things that happen with your tweet like how many people re-tweeted, favourited, and clicked on your content as well as the potential size of the audience exposed to each piece. These tools will give you great insight into how you should shape your personal content sharing strategy.
- Schedule some content to post at your peak times:
Sometimes you’re not available to tweet at the times that work best for you. Use a tool such as SocialBro or Tweriod to generate a ‘best time to tweet’ report. It analyses your followers and when they are active, and tells you what days of the week and times are best for you to be posting content.
Posting at peak times would ensure more interactions on your tweet, which is highly desirable.
- Re-tweet from time to time:
Share the love and re-tweet others.
One of the biggest objectives of being on Twitter is having your content exposed to more people, therefore increasing your traffic, followers, and online status. This will only happen if everyone continues to re-tweet.
I have to say I have seen a trend lately of more favouriting of content as opposed to re-tweeting. It seems lately that everyone is so concerned with their own personal brand that they are hesitant to re-tweet others. Make sure you give a little in order to receive!
- Follow 10 new people on Twitter:
How often do you proactively increase the number of people you follow on Twitter? Are the people you’re currently following even the right people? In order to be seen as an expert in your field you need to be connected to other experts.
So follow 10 new people every day that are the best in your field, they might follow you back as you’re from the same field as theirs.
- Start a blog:
Probably the biggest investment time-wise, but is an awesome way to boost your profile and credibility as an expert is to have your own blog. Here you can share original thoughts, which you can use your other social channels to promote. This clearly establishes your Online brand and helps you build a following.
- Link Everything Together:
Make sure you link your website and all social media platforms. Your website should have the link to your Social media Platforms. Your LinkedIn Profile should have your web address, Twitter account details and your Google plus profile so on and so forth.
This will help your followers to follow you across all the platforms that you are present in.
- Reply to Followers as often as possible:
You would get a lot of questions and feedback as your follower base increases. Make sure you personally reply to the comments on your blog, the tweets on Twitter etc.
This helps in building the loyalty of the followers.
I hope these 12 points help you build your online brand. If you have any more points that can help in building an online presence do share them. I am sure I have missed some points J