It’s quite simple – the key to success for any business, even online business is in ‘branding yourself’! So why do people buy a certain product or services? Or, why do they choose one particular company’s service or product’? Most likely, the difference is in the brand. Branding is like personifying a product or service, giving it a name, shape, color, identity etc. Your brand is a promise to your customers. It takes a while to establish a brand but that doesn’t necessarily mean that people will only buy those brands which have been established. There are a lot of other factors which people consider when buying something like the price, association, experience, impulse, rankings and the list goes on!
“What’s your brand? If you can’t answer that question about your own brand in two or three words, your brand’s in trouble.” Al Ries
Exactly! So, when laying down the foundation of your online business, don’t forget self-branding! It is a very important internet marketing tool that you need to establish RIGHT in the beginning so that you can build up the rest of your business on it. There are several ways for self-branding your online business, in fact more or less the same way any other business is branded. You create an identity of who you want to be, what you are selling and give the customers a CLEAR message about yourself. The worst thing you can do to your customers is to confuse them about your brand. Something about you needs to be different from the other brands whether it is your values or price or anything else of importance to your customers and brand. Your website should be laden with the keywords that self-brand you. Do exactly what you have promised your customers that you will, don’t mislead them because it is, after all, your reputation on the line.
“At Philips, the brand informs how we do business; from product development to the billing department. ‘Simplicity’ is not just a tagline. It is a guiding principle, which is continuously tracked externally and internally.”Geert van Kuyck, Philips
Your brand will get lost in the millions of other brands online, so how do you gain customers and keep them with you? The answer is -through self-branding! In internet marketing and social media marketing, it is very important to brand yourself!
For an online business you will be self-branding mainly through social media networking because it is an essential tool of internet marketing. If you are not already a part of the various social networks, join them now. Also, a small tip on the way, don’t join ALL of the social networks, just join the top 10 and that will be MORE than enough for you. Although social networking and social media marketing requires quite a lot of ‘virtual legwork’ (running around updating your social profile about yourself and your product), it is very important for your brand. It is advised that you add a little about yourself too, making yourself more real to your customer and interact with them one on one. Have online discussions with your clients as well as other internet marketers on the various forums on the internet because the best thing about social media marketing is that it is not a monologue like advertising. You are saying something BUT you are also hearing from your potential customers or other people like you and having discussions!
“The times are starting to completely shift for the network marketing industry. If you are still promoting your company, instead of branding yourself, you will be left behind in the industry without building any kind of leveraged business” – Donny Gamble, Veteran Internet Business Strategist and consultant
When you use the social media to introduce yourself and your brand, than continue interacting with the people it boosts your reputation and builds up your brand. You become a common name, a common face someone they can trust and therefore invest money in. People will NOT spend money online unless they know who you are and can trust you completely! There should be a bond of trust between you and your customers. So how do you build that bond? Self-branding will bring about that trust in you and your brand. Social media is meant to be…well, social, so you can spread the message about your brand to as many people as you want to and the whole point is that your ‘socialize’ with them. People need to keep visiting your social network page or website, so for that you can upload videos, pictures, quotes, articles, anything to keep your customers coming back for more, to find out more about you. Add a picture of yourself and maintain a blog on what you’ve been up to in your personal life (not a lot, just details that you think your customers would be interested in). Basically, what you will be doing is ‘humanizing’ your online presence.
When self-branding, do anything you can to make yourself a trustworthy brand and even though it is difficult to build a bond of trust online it is not impossible! Make your presence felt on social media and on the internet, so people know who you are.
“A business based on brand, is very simply, a business primed on success” – David F. D’Alessandro, Brand Warfare