Networking For Your Brand | College Students

8 Actions to Building a Strong Online Personal Brand

Networking For Your Brand | College Students

Networking for your Personal Brand

University of New Hampshire, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, WED 9/28/2016 ~ 6-8 p.m.

8 Actions to Building a Strong Online Brand

Step #1:  Create a GMAIL account.

Professionals need an independent email account to set up their online accounts. Gmail is a great option because it is universally used and it is free. Owning and controlling your online digital assets is all important. Do not abdicate to others, lest you fall victim to the biggest brand bust ever – someone else owning your URL. For more insights on this topic, read My Big Fat Website Problem.

Watch this video on how to Set Up a Gmail Account.

Step #1:  Secure your social media VANITY Urls. 

To achieve continuity with your online brand, you need to consistently brand yourself with the same name across all social media platforms. Ideally this would be your name. But chances are your name is already taken. So do your research and determine the ideal name for your brand online. Once you find one that works, commit to it, and roll it out from your website to all your social media outposts consistently. Start with LinkedIn. This increases the probability others will find you online. Consistently is king.

How To Customize Your Public Profile URL on LinkedIn

Step #2:  Secure your Name.com

The most important digital asset is your name.com. You can secure this by purchasing your URL. Once your name is gone, it is likely our of reach gone forever.

Because most of our clients build a Splash page or single page website within a year, it makes sense to purchase your URL through a trusted source that can HOST your future website. We recommend BlueHost for the way it includes 1 FREE domain with annual hosting.

We recommend BlueHost for clients seeking to build an online brand for these reasons:

  1. 24/7 Real Person Support
  2. Affordable, competitive rates
  3. The platform supports the mobile responsive modern websites & web pages we build.

Secure your vanity URL at BlueHost here.

Step #3:  Collect Endorsements & Recommendations

Build your brand library of 3rd party endorsement to collect authentic and believable social proof for your brand. Once you have the content in hand, you can feature it on your website and also in your social media. For high value endorsements, it is generally best to work with a 3rd party to generate this collateral for your brand.

How to Request a Recommendation on LinkedIn

Step #4. Invest in a Professional Picture

People prefer to consume information visually on brands. Why? They are on information overload and most folks don’t read anymore, I am sorry to say. We’ve got about 6-8 seconds to capture someone’s attention and pull them into the content.

As you build your personal brand, understand that the images you put online are all important. Put yourself in the capable hands of a trusted lifestyle photographer that can show the world visually your unique specialness.

& Consider Video – the ultimate converter

If you really want to gild the lily, consider a video. Something 2 minutes or less. Hire a professional videographer to help you communicate your message and create a product that offers your audience the easiest and even fun way to learn about you and your brand. Video converts like no other. If you want to splurge, this is where to to do it.

 

Your Marketing Mix Needs Video

Step #5: Communicate what Differentiates You

https://annmanion.com/your-linkedin-network-too-big/Why should someone hire you, buy your product, or engage you for your services?

It’s important to do online competitive analysis for your space so you can drill down to what makes you unique and special.

Once you determine what differentiates you, include these core messages in your online branding so you stand our and are memorable.

Step #6:  Create Your Brand’s Keyword Library

Know your keywords for your brand. If someone was looking for someone like you in Google (or a company like yours…), what words would they type into the search bar? Build your brand library of keywords in order to optimize both your LinkedIn profile & your website.

Step #7 Build an Active, High Quality Network

We’ve covered the topic extensively in our bootcamp. If you shape up your LinkedIn network, this article offers ideas on where to start.

Your LinkedIn Network ~ Too Big?

 

Step #8 Build a Personal Brand Website

I believe in a SLOW BUILD and favor this model for personal online brand building for long term success:

  1. Own your name.com
  2. Create marketing collateral that tells your story well, the classic resume or even an infographic is a mechanism to do this. Feature your name.com on all your collateral.
  3. Build a personal brand website where you can tell your story, showcase your portfolio, feature endorsements and recommendations, and have anchor links to your social media and more.
  4. Select 1-2 social media outposts that fit with your brand strategy, and lock in your vanity URLs there so you maximize SEO.
  5. Adopt a Verbal Branding strategy where you stay top of mind for your name.com with your network (Contribute value to your network regularly). Your audience only has to recall 1 data point to reach your content & refer you to others. It’s a beautiful thing.

Personal Brand Websites

 

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