Yes, you have just 3 seconds to make a first impression! I think sometimes as artists we forget just how important that is! Discovering how to create an online personal brand will fix that immediately and give a starting point for your audience.
Imagine getting an interview with a prospective gallery that you’d only dreamed of. Would you turn up in last weeks’ jeans, a dirty tee-shirt and a disorganised portfolio?
No I guess you wouldn’t! No matter what you do, people judge you (whether you like it or not) on how you present yourself at a first meeting.
Quite honestly that’s exactly what a lot of people’s online presence looks like! Is that what you would like to have?
Or would you like to ‘wow’ your audience, or at least have a solid, together branded look and feel? Then you need to know how to create an online personal brand that will wow your viewers.
Let me ask you this question: What will people find when they search for YOU on Google?
Do you dominate page one of Google? With sites you can control? I.E. your own website/s, Social Media pages, blogs, pins, videos etc. – all giving the same message and professional look?
Or will people find that ‘not to flattering’ photo someone tagged you in on your personal Facebook profile? Oops – is that you?
I’ve put together some really simple guidelines that are quick and easy to follow, so that you can start to represent yourself professionally online. These days wherever people find you or your work they need a go-to reference point, something about you the creator. Something also about what you stand for, what you offer and to whom.
A last note about having an online personal brand – people are much more likely to remember your name first, so start with that and link any further sites off that one.
I often suggest to clients that should start with your own name, even if you later want to set up a separate business name and presence. Sometimes you will just have the one site, otherwise you can branch out as you grow and move forwards.
OK let’s take a look…
How To Create An Online Personal Brand In 9 Simple Steps:
- First you need to buy your domain – ‘yourname.com’ and create a couple of emails – email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org . I recommend either GoDaddy or 123-reg.com. I know this sounds very basic, but there are a lot of people who still don’t own their own domain name. If you can’t get an exact match, go for the nearest you can. Otherwise you can often add a ‘hyphen’ in somewhere.
- Then get some simple hosting via Hostgator or similar. (More on this in the next blog).
- Next either build yourself or have someone build a simple Blog Website via WordPress that you can add your regular Blog articles too (like this one). I will be posting an article shortly on how you can build this yourself for free.
- You will also need a professional head-shot or photo that visually describes the person you are and is inspiring to your target market when they look at it. Maybe a shot in your studio or creative space.
- Choose an overall branded ‘look’; including colours, font and a simple logo. You can see I had some professional shots of me at the laptop in a creative setting, as well as more general shot for use elsewhere.
- Next is your story. Often titled the ‘Hero’s Journey, it will describe your ups and downs of how you arrived at where you are today.
- Then write a summary of your expertise, success stories in terms of happy customers who bought your work, where you exhibit, which is similar to a CV. That can often be your ‘Home Page’ – the first place people land. (And where you will have your Free Giveaway that will Build Your List).
- Then go on to create matching Social Media profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ & LinkedIn (where you have the chance of doing the most branding visually).
- Lastly consider creating a personal strapline that sums up what you do for people and have that on your website header by your name. See mine across all my header images and in my email signature.
Tip: Use a professional designer and a web builder if at all possible. You can jump on over to somewhere like 99 Designs or Up-work and search for them yourself, or ask for recommendations locally.
The most important thing of course once you have your online personal brand website, is to keep updating, posting content and adding images etc. to keep it fresh. Every 6 months or so, take a good honest look at it all and see if it’s still looking good, or maybe it’s time for that over-haul!
This is my online personal brand, which has recently had an over-haul. Sign up for your E-Book to hear more about that. I hope this little blog on how to create an online personal brand has been helpful. Please ask any questions you might have in the comments below.