When you start out with an online business, it can be hard to get heard amongst all the chatter that goes on throughout the World Wide Web. So exactly what differentiates you from the competition, the simple answer is your brand identity, followed by customer service!
To start off any business, you need a brand to build upon. With today’s technology, this is easier in one sense but harder due to the volume of noise out there! There are many reasons to build or enhance your personal brand online. The biggest reason is that it’s a digital world – not only do most people search online when looking for information about products and businesses, it’s also how they find information about people.
Do you know what people will find if they search for you?
If you’re a recent graduate beginning a new business, a new mum looking to launch something to work alongside her family commitments or a retired person looking to earn some extra income for their new found hobbies, of the many people looking to make a career move, make sure you think about your presence on the internet. You can give yourself an extra edge and stand out from the crowd by taking control of your digital footprint. This is by way of registering a domain, proper email address, as Hotmail and Gmail just don’t cut it! You need to look professional, so the basics need to be there without fail. Next you need your domain to say exactly who you are and what you can offer your customers.
It doesn’t have to be complicated all it takes are a few simple steps to build your brand online.
1. Define Your Brand
The most critical decision in personal branding is figuring out what you want to be known for.
For instance, do you want to showcase certain skills, values, knowledge or experiences? The more you can focus in on your unique talents and point-of-view, the better.
The goal is to stand out from your peers and establish a narrative that is authentic and showcases the very best of what you can offer.
2. Choose & Register Your Domain Name
Once you know how you want to define your brand, get your own space on the internet and register a domain name that reflects your brand’s direction.
Registering your name is always a safe bet, but a keyword-rich descriptive domain name can better convey your brand as well as be more memorable.
You should select a domain name extension (the part after the dot) that’s credible and well recognized, however .com or .co.uk are few and far between, hence why new extensions have been released, such as .restaurant .school .law etc. so choose one that supports your personal brand.
3. Choose the Right Communication Channel
Next, consider how you want to communicate your message. Your social media pages are a great way to boost your brand, but a personal website can also provide additional flexibility, control and maximum awareness. Think of your website as a shop window on the high street, this is where you will introduce your company, show your location, contact details, but most of all showcase your product or service that you wish to sell. It’s like a catalogue online for customers to browse about your company.
4. Be Consistent in Your Contact
To build trust and confidence, consistency is key. Like strong corporate brands, strong personal brands utilize a carefully chosen set of core principles and messages, and focus on them throughout all aspects of the brand’s execution.
Depending on the communication channels you’ve opted to use, make sure that you brand your channels and communicate with your audience appropriately, e.g. consistent messaging and frequency. For example, if Twitter is your focus, you should try to post at least one Tweet daily; however if email marketing is your focus, daily emails may be annoying to your audience.
Also, consider creating a branded email address that matches your domain name as explained previously. Branded email can add a sense of professionalism and extend your brand across all of your channels. Plus, people are more likely to view you as credible if you have a branded email address.
If you already have a Gmail account, learn how to forward your new branded email to Gmail so it is a seamless process, although if you start correctly you will have no need for forwarding.
So having thought of all the above, ask yourself the following questions before you start anything, it is always better to be prepared than try and change things later on.
1. What is the main core of your business, what are your values and strengths over your competitors?
2. What is your preferred business name? Does it state what you do, who you are etc?
3. Logo design, colours and strapline. These need to be consistent across all social channels and paperwork.
4. What channels of social media suit your product or service best?
5. Realistically, how often can you take the time to post on social media, daily, weekly etc.
Once you have the above answers, you are ready to get going on your journey to launch your brand online. If you need help at all, please do not hesitate to contact me, as always I am here to help guide you through the processes.
If you need help with logo design, web design, copywriting etc. all these small business services are available in a complete package from KISWebsites.
Have a great week!