We often talk about personal branding, it can be a scary premise but branding is just a way to keep everything cohesive and make sure you have the same values throughout all your ventures, websites and social media accounts. If you want some pro branding tips for you and your online space, whether it’s a blog, a business or a lowly Facebook page, read on!
#1 What is your purpose?
For yourself:Firstly you need to understand your purpose. What do you love doing? What do you want to do as a job? Is there anything that you’re really good at, or a skill that you think you could build upon? If you already have an idea of your dream career, make working towards it your purpose, and make everything you do a stepping stone towards your dream. Even if it doesn’t feel like you’re on the right path, anything that could be teaching you something invaluable is part of the process of getting what you want.
For your website: What do you want to do, what service do you offer, you could run a blog that shares images of cats in renaissance paintings or just be someone offering a website design service. Your website’s purpose is important and needs to be clearly stated as soon as someone visits your site. If you currently lack a site slogan or mission statement, take a few moments to write one up, are you a blogger who loves to write about beauty products? Tell your readers that, if they’re confused about your purpose they might not stay!
#2 What’s your big vision?
For yourself: If you’re using these tips for yourself, you need to think of your big dreams, your 5 year goal. Where do you want to be and what do you want to be doing? A lot of the time we don’t think that far ahead and sort of stumble blindly through life, but if you already have in mind where you want to be then you can work towards it. A lot of the most successful people have already outlined their 5 year goals and continue working towards something at all times. However, don’t use the 5 year goals to reflect on failures, things you haven’t achieved and things you never will. Use your 5 year goals to focus on health and wellbeing, on happiness and on career too, write down what skills you want to learn, whether you want to be closer to your dream job or whether you want to focus on owning your own home. Don’t set yourself up for failure by asking to be a CEO in 5 years or own your own private jet. Be realistic and be patient!
For your website: With your blog or online space you need to think of the end product, in five years time where do you want your site to be, do you want to be collaborating with brands or other bloggers, will you be offering advice and insights? It helps to make a note of these things, even if you’re not so sure right now, things like this are constantly changing. Write down your goals and dreams for your site, whether you’ll be taking on clients or have published a novelty Ebook that sells in Urban Outfitters. Putting these dreams down on paper can help you push your brand in the right direction.
#3 What elements of design reflect you and your brand?
For yourself: Okay so, if you’re using these tips for personal branding this would come into play for Twitter backgrounds and business cards. You can’t really use pictures of dancing dogs as your Twitter background if you want to use Twitter to network with very serious career-minded people, but if you just want to use it for social reasons then go ahead. Your business card should reflect the kind of jobs you want, too. It should be clean and interesting, and use luxurious colour schemes to connote how serious you are.
For your website: Similarly, with your blog or website you’ll want a professionally designed logo and a colour scheme that follows throughout the brand. You can use a site like Material Palette to choose two colours and create a colour scheme from there, complete with HTML codes for your web design! You should also think about how easy your site is to navigate, busy backgrounds and bright colours make a site hard to look at, and a cluttered sidebar will make people more likely to leave your site!
#4 Define your morals
For yourself: We all know what our morals are, what we stand for and what we don’t, what causes we get behind and what our principles are. So it seems strange to identify them on paper, but it can help you decide what jobs to apply for and what decisions to make later on in life. You need to decide what jobs and sectors you’re comfortable working for, what you absolutely do not stand for and what you’d be willing to do to get to your dream career. These things can guide you for life, so it’s important you weigh them up now.
For your website: Have a read of our article about the woman who defined Netflix’s morals to see how this is done right! If you’re working on a website, decide what your site is all about. What tone do you write in? Chatty or formal? Do you swear? Do you only share photographs of cats in suits? Will you work with brands and do sponsored posts? Will you invite other bloggers to guest blog on your site? If you hash it all out now, then in future you’ll have less tough decisions to make.
#5 You need a strategy
For yourself: This is seriously important. If you’re looking for a job you’ll need a strategy. You need to dedicate a few hours a day looking into your dream industry for openings, researching who you could connect with on Twitter or LinkedIn and how you can succeed in your chosen career. If you’re already employed you need to know whether you’re comfortable in your position, whether you dream of changing careers eventually and what your life goals are. You need to have a clear idea of who you should talk to in order to get a promotion, whether you want to pitch more changes to the company or befriend more of your co-workers. Your strategy is important.
For your website: For your online space, you need a similar strategy on what content to post, what social media to use and when. The best times for you to post, other networks you could use to connect with your readers, hashtags to use and other blogs to visit to start networking. It sounds like a lot of work but all it takes is five minutes to analyse your stats and read any constructive comments and then write down the results in a document that you can easily access. It might come with a lot of thinking and planning, but once you’ve got your editorial calendar and you know your strategy it’ll be easier to work the rest of your life around running a website.
#6 It’s time to search yourself
For yourself: Googling yourself can help you determine what an employer sees when they search for you online. Make sure your Facebook photos are private, anything crude or in bad taste is deleted and that when you’re googled the only thing that can be found out about you is what a catch you’d be for any place of employment. If you need a little help managing your online reputation you can use Brand Yourself which is free for personal use, this way you can manage what comes up in the search results about yourself and bury the things that aren’t so good. According to The Guardian 77% of recruiters google prospective employees and 35% of those have rejected someone based on what they found online!
For your website: Google your blog/site/brand name but make sure private results are hidden, that way you can see Google’s “unbiased” ranking. Check where your site came on the list and who was above you, this will let you see Google’s “unbiased” ranking. Have a look at images and check the rest of the search results to see if there’s anything negative or cringe-inducing you want to delete or bury. You can use a tool such as Brand Yourself to keep track of your google results and use Google Alerts or Mention to monitor when your brand or site is mentioned.