This is the first article to my Branding 101 series. For many, they look at identity simply as branding, when your identity is just a strand of hair on the head we call branding.
An identity is the first step in creating a solid brand. In order to have a solid brand, you must have a solid online identity. I mean think about it...
The most successful people you know, have some of the strongest brands and the reason being is because they utilized this first step, which is finding their identity. What you do now, how you act, what you tweet and post all makes a difference right now. So it's important that while you read this article, you understand that the first step is deciding that you will be committed.
Now since times are a bit different, we have ways to get to the masses a lot quicker than back when Jay Z and Oprah were coming up, so, with that being said let's get right to it.
Here are some super awesome steps to creating an online identity:
1. Check yourself
The most effective way to learn about who you portray yourself online is what I call the 360 audit. What that means, is basically taking a step back to look at your brand from afar. Write down all social networks you are involved in and create a checklist. Are you portraying the same message on Facebook on Instagram? Are you using the same profile pictures? Same taglines?
All of these things should be consistent within your social streamlines, if they are not, then you know where to put a little more of your time to ensure everything adds up.
2. All usernames and URLs are consistent
Make sure that every name related to the business or person all matches. Unless you have a common name like Joe Smith, you might want to add something before or after to distinguish yourself from others.
3. Profile photo - yup it's that serious
Make sure your profile photo is personal yet professional. Don't have a photo that shows you in a negative light, and that is for women and men. Use a photo that will still make an exec want to talk to you, not make an exec run away.
4. Find Your Passion
What do you like? What are you good at? What are your strengths? What do people need that you can offer?
Finding your niche is the most difficult of them all and it takes some time unless you know what you want out the gate. Figure out what you are good at and work on that talent everyday. Once you've mastered that talent it becomes a skill, and after that you are truly unstoppable.
Simply put. Put in time and work to figure out what you like or what you want.
5. Know Your Audience
Know who you are dealing with. The worst case scenario is you will try to break into the wrong market. So know your audience and know who you are talking to and how to say it.
Tweets can be misinterpreted and posts can be misrepresented so make sure everything you make viral is for your audience and just that.
It's important to understand that while you are building an online identity that you don't want to overstep your boundaries.
Although I'm not sure if that's the right term.
Simply put (again), posting and tweeting all day long can become a bit of a drag. Post in moderation and pay attention to the traffic you are receiving.
"Think like a marketer. Advertisers don’t buy back-to-back time slots or play the same commercial over and over again on the radio. You are are using social media as a form of broadcasting so don’t abuse it just because you can and it’s free." - Sadie Cornelius
Make sure when you post, every now and then you do cross promoting with a link to another social outlet stating: follow me here
Overall, there is nothing better than creating a solid online identity that is a clear portrayal of you. Be consistent with your posting, create a plan on when or what you should post and be sure to keep an eye on the number of posts you make per account a day.
Hopefully that doesn't sound like too much, but if it does, don't worry. This is exactly why many people hire social media and brand managers. :)