Categories
Blogging Help & Advice Personal Branding & Brand Management Social Media & Social Networking

Making a name for yourself — Personal Branding tips

So you’ve signed up to a gazillion different Social Media websites, micro-blogging services and Social Networks. Now what? Well, the real benefits are in the planning and not the execution…

So you’ve signed up to a gazillion different Social Media websites, micro-blogging services and Social Networks. Now what? Well, the real benefits are in the planning and not the execution..

Personal Branding & Brand Management

If like me you’re an active member of the social web, then chances are, you’ve signed up with just about anything with more than ten people in it.

But seriously, if you really are like me, you’re trying to create a richly interwoven mesh of profiles, all of which are tuned to funneling people towards your website or blog.

For the most part, we’re just trying to connect to as many of the people we know in as many ways as possible, while at the same time, reaching out to new people and making sure we can be found, too.

Aside from the spreading of ones self too thinly, like some veneer of social glue between the various sheets of world wide web, it’s as well to think of a suitable username and stick to it.

Raising your profile — Personal Branding isn’t a swear word!

Whether you’re aware of it or not, every time you use the same name on different Social Media websites and Social Networks, you’re enforcing and building your personal brand, albeit one that’s effectively a memorable tag that’s relatively easy to associate with you.

This kind of thing is part & parcel of what’s referred to as Personal Branding, which isn’t nearly as heavy or as trite as it sounds.

In addition to the 10 listed in my Personal Branding tips of the Pros, here’s 3 more:

  1. Be consistent — use the same name or title for all of your different social profiles.
  2. Be memorable — choose a name that’s simple, memorable and is likely to stand out.
  3. Be respectful — you want a name that reflects well on you, not one that insults people.

Be consistent — same name in different places

I’m going to suggest you either use your name or the name of your blog, but I know a lot of people tend to stick with age-old usernames, some of which date back to their school or college days.

The thing to keep in mind is that if you’re hoping to promote your blog, people are going to remember very few things about you, unless you’ve already connected and struck up a friendship. So it’s a toss up between your name or that of your blog. Using both could be a waste of energy for everyone.

The great thing about usernames is that if people remember them, they might just try searching for you by that name. If you’re on Digg or StumbleUpon, then there’s a good chance that’s how you’re going to be found.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve not got all my ducks in a row! I have different usernames for places like Digg, del.icio.us and MyBlogLog, which isn’t optimal. But there’s little I can do about that, now.

If your username is also your real name, or the name of your business, guess what? When those same people search for your username, there’s an even better chance they’ll find those other things, too.

So for the most part, they’ll either remember your name or the name of your blog. If you’re super lucky, or someone has an Eidetic memory, they’ll remember both!

Sadly, I have a fleeting, somewhat come & go photographic memory. One strangely optimized for attractive women. Meet that criteria and I’ll probably remember everything about you.

But I digress .. or do I?

Be memorable — stand out from the crowd

As always, you should be making things as simple as possible for us, the poor unfortunates who often sit there trying to recall that woman’s username:

“Hmm, was it KitzLuv899, or LoveKats998?”

If recollection fails them, which is highly likely, they’ll then flee in tears of frustration to the open arms of Google. However, as smart as Google can be, if you’re scattered around the web under a myriad of unintelligible usernames, Google will be none the wiser, either.

If you intend being found, help Google help you.

A while back, Google released their Social Graph, which aims to take the pain out of finding the people you know, but don’t know how to find them:

“With so many websites to join, users must decide where to invest significant time in adding their same connections over and over. Social Graph API … makes information about public connections between people easily available and useful.”

Chances are, the Social Media website you frequent most often is making use of same / similar technologies, which means Google can help you hunt down those pesky people, perplexing you with their penchant for puzzling usernames.

Be respectful — avoiding username shame

For the regular reader, you may be able to recall my tongue-in-cheek swipe at Social Networking whores and their hideous ploys:

“When choosing an avatar, it’s essential you use a photo of an attractive woman, preferably naked, if permissible. A close-up of a large pair of breasts often works wonders, too. Or use a stock photograph of someone more attractive than yourself.

Also, when completing your account / profile, leave out age, gender and location, unless you’re pitching at single white males, in which case, list yourself as a single white female, aged 23, bisexual / sexually unfulfilled lesbian blonde with athletic figure.”

Like it or not, these things turn heads and focus eyes. However, these tricks have a pretty short shelf life. So the wise money is on a striking avatar and username that’s bold but not bawdy!

Speaking of risque individuals, even porn stars have something to teach us about personal branding.

Ultimately, how you choose to present yourself on-line is your choice and your choice alone. But if you’re a blogger wanting to move up through the bloggosphere, raising your social profile could be as simple as a game with names…

Recommended reading

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

2 replies on “Making a name for yourself — Personal Branding tips”

Having set up a Mixx account a while, back I just looked again at my settings and realised I was breaking the golden rule. So I’ve ditched the old username and rebuilt my profile as the one-and-only sciencebase. Thanks for the shove in the right direction.

db

Thanks for your post. It contains really good information, and most of all I agree with the fact that we’re just trying to connect to as many of the people we know in as many ways as possible, while at the same time, reaching out to new people and making sure we can be found, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *