Right now is the time you should start building your personal brand. Are you in high school? Build your brand. Are you in college? Build your brand! Right now! With the rising climb of social networks on the Internet, the way we think of privacy is changing. People can find out all sorts of information about you. Why not make them find what you want to find?
Increasingly, employers are going online to look up employees before hiring them. The same thing goes with customers thinking of buying a product or using a service from a company. Your personal brand and business brand are becoming one in the same. This is why personal branding and online reputation management are becoming more important in today’s world.
Here are some tips to start building your brand and manage your online reputation.
Own Your Property
Register domains. If you’re building a personal brand, normally, yourname.com or your-name.com is enough. Try buying .net and .org as well so you can control your name. If you have a name like John Smith, you’ll obviously have to get creative and brand yourself off that domain. If you’re a company, make sure not only to register your brand name but also domains such as ‘brandsucks.com’. With Google suggest, searches along the lines of “brand scam” and “brand sucks” are becoming more popular, so controlling those search results as well will help your brand out immensely.
Manage Your Property – “Social Mediatize”
Be a content creator. Pumping out content is the biggest way to build and control your brand. Make sure that you are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks. But just being there is not enough. You have to produce quality content that interests you and your readers/followers as well. Managing these can be a drag sometimes, but tools such as HootSuite and Cotweet can easily help you manage all of them from one user interface.
Also, keeping a blog that is updated regularly is a big key to success. Use it to write about whatever fits you. And if you ever have to respond to a situation that arises with your personal/company brand reputation, you can use it (in conjunction with social media) to control the situation in your favor.
Get Connected Offline
My last tip would be to get involved offline as well. If you have a profession set in your mind that you want to be in or you are already in a profession, get involved in a local organization of fellow professionals and start to network with them. This will help you make great connections that can help you later in your career.
It’s important to keep monitoring your brand and be constantly keeping up with content creation. Set up a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Otherwise, you may find yourself falling behind saying: “Oh, I’ll catch up on that tomorrow”. When tomorrow becomes next week and next week becomes next month, you’ve screwed yourself and your brand. By constantly managing your brand and reputation now, you’ll be in a much better position to react against personal and/or company attacks.
Any thoughts, ideas, comments?