We now live in a world that is in part, at least, virtual. Crossovers from the virtual to the real world are done constantly. Many of the people we meet in our daily lives we have ‘’met’’ before thru their LinkedIn, Facebook, blog, webzine articles, tweets or other web presence. Some people we meet in social settings we will google, when we have a chance, to learn more about.
In fact, if you are an entrepreneur and you are absent from the web, most potential business partners (suppliers, customers, investors, employees, etc.) will see this as being suspicious or at the very least be surprised not to find you there.
The image we project on the web is now a part of how people see us. If you are an entrepreneur it can either hinder or help your business endeavors. The good news is, the outcome is pretty much up to you.
Building your personal brand
Marketing yourself on the web is very similar to building and managing a brand. You need to put some thought into the brand Me inc. brand. Ensure it reflects the product (you) well, fits with what your customers are expecting and the image you want to project. The idea is not to create a fictitious character but to work with what you have and shine the light on your best assets.
Produce, or even better, give others the opportunity to produce content voluntarily about you that sticks with your brand objectives. Don’t be shy to promote your activities and accomplishments.
Monitoring the content about yourself on the web, to ensure it does reflect the image you wish to project, is also part of taking care of your image.
The basics of business web presence at this time are a bio on your corporate website or at the very least a full and accessible LinkedIn profile. There a dozens of other tools also available. The most effective ones are usually the content that you appear in that has been posted voluntarily by others. Just like any brand, a basic presence won’t get you far. You need to invest time and effort to stand out from the rest of the pack. The table below gives you an idea of the tools available and for what purpose you can use them.
|Visibility/ Reassurance||Getting to know you||Thought leadership|
|Bio on corporate site||x|
|Re-tweets of your tweets||x||x|
|Articles on you||x||x||x|
|Tagged pictures of you||x||x|
As an entrepreneur investing in your own personal brand will automatically benefit your company(ies) as long as you make sure most of your content ties back to your corporate site. Rich web content on you will ensure good SEO positioning as many people who meet you in networking situations, may remember your name but not that of your company, will find you more easily to do business with you or refer you.
It’s becoming more and more of a buzz word in marketing circle. Consumers are increasingly preoccupied with who they buy from not just what company they buy from. Case and point would be the actions of one of Uber’s co-founders behavior that got a lot of press on the web a few months ago. It seriously affected Uber’s overall image and sales were affected.
We have all been fed so much advertising content that we are getting pretty good at discerning the icing from the cake. Given we generally don’t trust the icing, we want a look at how the cake is made. Getting to know the owners of a company, we are thinking of dealing with, is the best way to do this. Making your Me inc. web content easily available through your corporate web site is simply making it easy for your potential business partners to see if they like the cake.
The strongest argument for investing in the Me inc. brand is portability. Despite all our best efforts sometimes our businesses don’t make it. For entrepreneurs, this is usually a temporary setback until the next business venture. When the time comes to raise capital, find partners and get your new business on the map, the collateral you bring with a strong Me inc. brand will prove invaluable.
There are other benefits to having a strong personal brand. Hopefully these few arguments have convinced you to work on yours.
I challenge you to google your name. What do you see? Are you in the top pages? Is the top content a good reflection of the image you want to project? Is the content linking back to your corporate site?
If so, bravo! If not, you may want to invest some time and resources in what may be your most profitable marketing investment to date.
p.s. I just took the challenge myself. Wow, I have to get to work on my own Me inc.