Here we are, we finally made it – Part 3! For those who may have just stumbled upon this, please be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2. We’ve discussed the importance of creating and maintaining your personal brand as well as several tips that can help you get started if you haven’t already. Now I would like to present some ideas to the slightly more advanced users to help enhance their brand in a number of different ways. Let’s get started…
You Don’t Need A Logo
This is often difficult for someone like myself to comprehend. The key to most major brands is their logo, think Nike and Starbucks. So, why would I say that you don’t need a logo? Because it’s distracting to the real value you can contribute to your brand. I started my life as a designer, so I know what it’s like to want a logo for your personal brand, but let me explain why it isn’t completely necessary and some other things you can do that take half as much time and are equally valuable. A logo would typically be displayed as the icon/profile pic for your social networks and you would expect it to be at the heading of your website/blog… right? This can have disastrous long-term effects. Your personal brand is your personal brand, don’t make it about a logo. Keep it simple and stick with a nice picture of yourself and your name… brand YOURSELF. That’s what this is all about isn’t it? If you search my name on Google Images, you will see the same picture in most of the results… the image I use for my personal brand. In addition, you won’t find “Design by Joshua” or “Marketing Talk By Hays”… it’s “Joshua Hays”. People remember these things. So, designers… lay off of the logos that only help to boost your own ego and start with your name and a nice picture of yourself. Note: You may update your image if necessary, but don’t do it too often and be sure you give search engines enough time to pick it up. If you decide to update your image, be sure you do it on all of your networks.
Pick Two Colors
It’s important for people to also visually recognize you and your brand. The image of yourself will help serve as a visual enhancement but the next thing I suggest you do is pick two colors that will serve as the colors that represent your personal brand. Think about it like a sports team, they all have their two recognizable colors, don’t they? I suggest eye-friendly tones that aren’t too bright and aren’t too dark, mine are a nice shade of green and blue. Be sure you don’t limit yourself to just these two colors though. I utilize black and several forms of grey for text, headlines and other small details. Pick the two colors that suit you best and be careful not to go overboard, slight enhancements will do the trick. I actually picked my colors with the eyedropper tool in Photoshop from my default photo. Designers note: Be sure these are web-friendly colors, adjust as necessary.
Remember, search engines pick keywords out of everything, including image names. Be sure the photo you pick of yourself is named “yourbrand.jpg” so that it will assist the search engines in image query’s. Also, be sure to pick several keywords that will be associated with your brand and the content you contribute. Many don’t believe keywords to be of value anymore, but I strongly disagree. Keywords are losing their value where they are being abused. Search engines are evolving, they know when someone is being abusive. Abuse is commonly found in the form of useless blog posts and comments that serve to help promote an individuals search rankings; the posts and comments are laced with the keywords that define their brand. Don’t do this, it only litters the internet and search engines will put you on a black list. What I am suggesting is that you pick several keywords and/or phrases that best describe you and what you are contributing to the web. Some of mine include “marketer extraordinaire”, “personal branding” and “social media marketing”. The best place for you to start with determining what your keywords should be is your Twitter bio. Twitter bio’s are limited to 160 characters and writing it can be quite difficult, so it’s best to limit it to the best keywords or phrases that describe you. See: How To Write An Effective Twitter Bio.
This is the hard one, as ridiculous as that might sound. In fact, it is one I still need to embrace myself. Adding video content to whatever it is you’re contributing only serves to enhance your content. This might be as simple as adding related videos to your blog posts, with the proper credit of course, or as advanced as making your own video content and posting in through your channels (YouTube, Vimeo, blog). Videos can be tagged with keywords and phrases. This means that if you’ll show up in related video searches. I shouldn’t have to sell us both on the value of video, think… Justin Bieber.
In closing, these tips combined with the others listed in Part 1 and 2 are sure to help anyone at any level of expertise start and/or maintain their personal brand. As the economy shrinks and jobs continue to disappear, your personal brand is about as important as a college diploma. If you aren’t a job seeker and you’re an entrepreneur, the roles are still there except the entrepreneur is the job seeker and the investor is the employer, and the employer will still start with a Google search. Good luck!