What is your brand?
Back in 1997, marketing guru Tom Peters wrote a fascinating article titled, “The Brand Called You.” He argued that we were all becoming brands and he said we must develop our own micro Nike-Swoosh. There’s still some confusion about what a brand is. I always tell people that your brand is what people think about when they hear your name, or as is most often the case, what shows up when they Google you.
The fact that you have an opportunity to present your unqiue brand when you’re name is Googled is a fantastic opportunity for those us in business. You can take control of your online brand pretty easily but few people do this, which is a great shame. In our increasingly connected and global world, we need to be aware how others perceive us on Google. Here are three quick ways to manage and develop your brand.
1. Have the right images
Images are a great way to present who you are to the world. We all want to see the face behind the name and you can easily do this by uploading a picture onto your LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. However, it’s worth thinking a little about what picture you want to show. The type of images you show will be a little different depending on what platforms you’re using. On Linkedin and Twitter, keep the image professional looking. That doesn’t mean boring. The key thing is to make sure you can clearly see your face. No sunglasses, no yawning, and please, no hair covering the face. If you’re the CEO of the company or maybe the Business Development Manager and want to seem more “approachable” than your title may suggest would be the case, upload a picture of you and your children, or of yourself on holiday. Make use of your Cover Photo on Facebook. This is major real estate to present your brand so use it wisely. Whether you use to upload a picture from a recent vacation or of your family, be sure to add some words along with the image explaining where you visited and what you enjoyed about it. If you’re a speaker, add a picture of you talking at an event with the audience in the shot, too. Don’t waste this area on poorly thought out photos or even worst, no photo at all.
2. Make the most of Twitter
There is no better way to engage with your industry and show your online brand than through Twitter. Twitter is easy to set up and allows you to quickly interact with the key people in your field, tweet about your latest thoughts, share an article that you read, and more importantly, share your thoughts. For virtually every industry whether it’s international trade, social media, finance, there exists some sort of blog titled, “Top 10 people to follow in venture capital.” So Google something similar to that for your industry and start retweeting these people, respond to what they say and share your thoughts. Be careful though. Don’t use your Twitter platform to just rant about the horrible customer service you just faced, and at the same time don’t keep it purely business related. People care about who you are and what values you have. So be sure to show your full self. Former Burberry CEO and current Senior Vice President, Apple Retail, Angela Ahrendts, will tweet things relating to her company such as:
However, she will always tweet about inspiring speeches such as this one Oprah Winfrey did at Harvard.
3. Manage what people see.
Once a month Google yourself and see what comes up. The more active you are on Twitter and Linkedin the more presence you’ll have on Google. If you have a Facebook account, use the feature Facebook offers of viewing yourself how the public see you. To do so, simply do this.
1. Log in to your account.
2. On the right of your cover photo click the 3 dots and click “View as”
3. By default it will show you how the public view your profile
4. Have a skim over your profile page and see what shows up.
Can you change your cover photo to make you look more approachable? Do you need to change so your page has a more professional feel?
If you don’t have any images at all, firstly don’t steal any, go to this website https://unsplash.com/ as they give you permission to use their photos, and find something appropriate to use.
Make sure that those drunken photos, or inappropriate comments are either deleted or not visible to the public.
Building your online brand takes no time at all and if you’re willing to manage your brand for a few minutes each day, you’ll be confident that when you’re Googled, you have a brand that you want to present.