Apply Your Visual Brand Online and with Media
Your online look is as important as the look of the hard copy materials that you create. You’ll be carrying a consistent theme from the printed materials through to your online visual identity, although you may opt to use different fonts (for better readability) and more images online.
You want to apply your branded logo and colors to your e-mail signature, website or blog, social media sites, and any video that you add to your sites.
Some people develop fabulous websites and online communications, but when you meet them in person, you’re disappointed because they’ve presented an inflated picture of themselves. Even as you’re trying to sell your brand, you need to authentically represent your best self — not create a persona that you cannot live up to.
If you know that your website has stretched the truth, best not to go down that path as you’ll disappoint who you’re trying to influence. Personal branding is based on authenticity.
Secure the right online addresses
You want to use your name to build brand recognition. You can reinforce this element every time you send an e-mail or connect with someone on a social media site.
If you haven’t yet secured your website name, do so right away by purchasing your vanity name (meaning yourname.com). You can buy your name at GoDaddy or HostGator. Even if you don’t plan on using it right away, a website name is relatively inexpensive (less than $20) and worth securing.
Social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter should use your name as well to build your brand. Having a common name makes using your name more difficult, but with a little creativity you can secure an identifiable name.
One place to find out who else is using your name is at knowem. This site looks to see who uses your name at the various social media sites. You can visit HowManyOfMe to find out how many people online have your same name. The website Visibility creates a scannable code and allows you to point people to your sites even if you are not using your name.
If you’re still having difficulties, make yourself identifiable by using a professional credential in your name. Or, if you are in business for yourself, add your company name.
Carry your identity into your website
You want your website to communicate your brand and connect with your target audience. Use the logo, font(s), color(s), and images that you’ve already determined speak to who you are.
The secret of branding your website is being clear so that others understand who you are, what you can do for and with them, and how they can reach you should they need your service. Making the effort in designing a well-branded website helps prepare you for future opportunities. Here are some fundamentals:
Invest in a well-designed logo and design for your site; they strengthen your professionalism.
Make absolutely certain that your website is easy to read and navigate.
Have a professional headshot taken. Using your headshot on your website gives the viewer a sense of trust.
Make sure that your hyperlinks work and are current. Link to good resource sites that support your viewer.
Have links to your social media sites easily accessible on your website.
Update your website frequently so that it stays fresh and shows you are current.
Continually question whether your website aligns with your promise of value.