You’re probably thinking, “Umm, why do I even need a personal brand?” The answer is simple — it will help your business become a market leader. As a business owner, if you’re active in self branding, you can drive conversations about your products or industry in a way that your business cannot. By building your personal brand, you create a massive storytelling opportunity for your business through your website, blog, social media posts and more.
Especially for businesses that are difficult to market, self branding can create a significant contribution.
Some of the ways in which your personal brand can directly impact your business are:
- Talking about your professional journey and beliefs to build a positive sentiment for your business.
- Giving glimpses of your personality to create affinity for what you do.
- Participating in ongoing conversations about your industry, which could result in invitations to speak at relevant industry events.
- Connecting with like-minded individuals to increase awareness, encouraging new clients to work with you and forging strategic professional contacts.
- Having a ready-made platform to share your side of the story, which can be handy in case of a PR crisis for your business.
- Communicating directly with customers through your personal brand to build long-term brand loyalty.
- Plugging your business in your personal brand — and vice versa — to add a human element to your business and inspire trust.
With these direct business benefits, you cannot ignore the value of self branding. Ready to get started? Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to bolster your personal brand.
1. Create a website
A website is perhaps one of the most crucial tools for self branding. It gives you an opportunity to showcase who you are. By landing on your personal website, your followers and your customers can build an impression of you in their minds and extend that belief to your business. Since everything on your website should reflect your personality, the choice of colors, design, content and domain name are crucial.
Not sure what to include in a personal website? Here are some things to consider:
- Display some of your best work (not all of it) to demonstrate what you do.
- Give your social media profile links.
- List your awards, achievements and professional experience.
- Create a writing journal or blog that’s updated at least once a month.
- Include a professional logo.
- Add a professional headshot or photo of yourself.
- Provide a branded email address as a simplified way for anyone to connect with you.
Now that you’re aware of all the benefits that go with maintaining a personal website, it’s time to talk implementation.
Choosing your website’s identity
When it comes to self branding, your first and last name is an obvious choice. You’ll want to incorporate this (if possible) into your website and professional email. Since .com has been around since the beginning, don’t be surprised if a domain search shows your name is unavailable (or available for a premium price) like so:
Since you’re already spending money on your business, a price tag like that might not be feasible for your personal site. But with so many new domain extensions at your disposal, you can secure your online identity at a more reasonable price. For example:
Since many new domain extensions are comprised of meaningful words, you have a massive opportunity to get creative with your domain name, even with your full name. You could try:
Notice the use of .site gives the personal impression you’re looking for when it comes to self branding. The following option, JohnSmiths.website has a similar effect:
With creative approaches like this, you can establish an online identity that is both memorable and meaningful.
2. Create a blog
The more humanness you attach to your business, the more customer trust you will win. Therefore, a personal blog is a great investment for your business.
If you are successful in creating and publishing relevant content at least twice a week, you might eventually become an influencer in your industry. The result? Your customers will take your word for all the recommendations you make!
Bear in mind that being an exceptional writer is helpful, but not a necessity for being a successful blogger. Consider including:
- Knowledge about your business or industry.
- Entrepreneurial learnings.
- Books and authors that inspire your leadership.
- Belief in your business and how it can improve your customers’ experiences.
- Philosophy that guides your customer service process.
- Views on latest industry happenings.
- Personal stories of travel, hobbies, etc.
Choosing your blog’s identity
With new domain extensions, it’s possible to play with words to create a unique identity for your blog, such as:
When choosing your blog name, keep in mind that it can become a brand of its own in the future. Hence, the domain name should be bold and purposeful, such as:
3. Brand your social media
Social media is a valuable tool in the brand-building process. Through social media, you can amplify your personal brand and grow your reach.
Since social media platforms are not your own, like your website or blog, you can add a distinctive touch by branding the links you share on external platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, etc.
This means that you can pick any link from any website and brand it with your own name before sharing it on social media. Most URL shortening services allow use of custom domain names.
But how does it work? Let’s say you wish to share this link on social media:
The link can be shortened on Google, but it will become unpronounceable and complicated, like this:
Instead, you can brand it with your own name or your business’s name, like this:
Benefits of using branded links on social media are:
- Trust — It adds credibility to the link. Users do not wish to click on suspicious links, and by branding each link with your name, you will add a layer of trust to everything you share.
- Tracking — It will let you track how many people clicked on it.
- Visibility — Custom links will reinforce the brand name over and over, resulting in higher brand recall.
Now the only question is, what kind of domain extensions are available for this kind of URL self branding?
Choosing your link sharing domain
Keep it short yet creative for maximizing the impact. Remember, every letter in the link counts, so choosing a new domain extension that’s relevant to you is recommended. So, if you are from the media and entertainment industry and your name is John Smith, you can choose a domain name such as:
So there you have it — three ways to use self branding and domain names to boost your business. With new domain extensions, you have an opportunity to carve out a unique space for yourself on the internet. By building a strong personal brand, you can propel your business toward becoming a market leader.