Branding is key. Why else would someone pay above market price for a particular product? In today’s connected world, personal branding is just as important.
Before the internet and social media, most prominent brands were developed by businesses to sell their product, think Mad Men. A team of Madison Avenue ad execs were needed to turn a product, Lucky Strike cigarette’s, into a lifestyle brand. A lot of human capital was needed for this to happen.
Today the equation is totally different. Instead of product brands, individuals can brand themselves in their particular field. A robust social media presence, website, great content, and sufficient engagement are all it takes.
There are many avenues for personal branding. For example, YouTube has created a market for video content producers. These are the folks that constantly create
viral videos to gain more views; thus giving YouTube more impressions for their ad product. YouTube brands have been so successful that YouTube created a production space for brands to continue their content production.
I’d like to focus on personal branding in terms of one’s career. There is a key piece of SEO related advice to ensure you are adequately visible. This involves having consistent identities across the web and various social media channels.
I’ll use myself as an example. My Twitter handle is @jamesfgibbons. The “jamesfgibbons” identity is also my domain, jamesfibbons.com, and linkedin.com/ln/jamesfgibbons. If Google+ let individuals customize their urls I would obviously change it to plus.google.com/jamesfgibbons.
I’ve carried the jamesfgibbons theme on other social networking platforms like AngeList: angel.co/jamesfgibbons. AngelList is a great site for VCs and start-ups looking for early stage funding. There are probably a few other sites I have created profiles for that follow the theme, sometimes you lose track.
Facebook is my least favorite of the social networks for personal branding and I am not active on the Platform. However, its utility for company lifestyle brands is very important.
Consistency is key as well as incorporating the necessary keywords to identify yourself. There are exceptions to the rule of course. Sometimes a vanity domain or twitter handle can be just as effective because of the organic traffic that it can generate.
As our lives become increasingly digital, these profiles will eventually replace traditional resumes. Those working in the online space have a greater incentive to follow these instructions. They are the perfect way to showcase your knowledge and expertise in the field.
If you are just starting out, it’s best to make sure your online brand is consistent. It may be wise to change.