Creating a presence online may take different forms as the internet provides a smorgasbord of options. You may be in Direct Sales and already have a static website provided by the company you represent, you may be a stay-at-home mom or dad who is looking for a way to reach out to others, whether for friendship, or to find money-making opportunities. You may be a self-employed professional or the owner of a brick and mortar store who wants to expand his/her reach, or you may be an employee looking to transition. Regardless of your background, there is one important point to keep in mind: Exercise care in what you say and enter on various websites because once they are there they are like marks made by a permanent marker or indelible ink that cannot be erased. They may be submerged, but can always be found with a little effort and can come back to haunt you later on.
We will discuss how to build your brand in another post, but today we are going to look at some reasons why it is important to build your brand. What is a brand? Wikipedia.org defines brand as a name, sign, symbol, slogan or anything that is used to identify and distinguish a specific product, service, or business. From the outset branding sets you apart and distinguishes you or your business from others who may be marketing the same product or offering a similar service.
If you are new to the internet you will become aware that you can start in various places; for example, many persons will encourage you to start by joining one of the social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. There is value in doing so because you can observe and eventually participate in interactions, become aware of groups that you can join, create networking opportunities and expand your reach. However, on each of these sites you will be asked to create a Profile. What will your Profile say about you? When people click on your profile what will they find? What do you want people to know about you and how much of yourself will you reveal? It is truly important to be authentic, but at the same time caution should be exercised that you do not reveal information that could make you become a victim of ID theft.
Building your brand is important because –
1) You need your brand to create an effective presence on the internet
2) Your brand builds credibility, which can only be achieved over a period of time.
3) What will be your USP – Your Unique Selling Proposition? It’s important to identify this so you can express it clearly. The first person who asked me that got a ‘Huh?” answer as I had no idea what they were talking about. This is one thing that will set you apart from others and identify your brand.
4) Deciding on a niche may take time, but is a highly recommended step because you cannot be all things to everyone and it’s important to determine what or where you will focus on. Your niche will be one of your branding tools.
5) One of the basic items you will need for your online business is a Domain Name. You can select a domain name with keywords that reflect the brand you will be building, or you can select your own name.com. You will also need to determine how you will brand your name. What do you want people to associate your name with?
From the foregoing, you can appreciate that to have an building your brand is important. Tomorrow we will discuss how to build your brand in order to have an effective presence on the internet.