Beginner’s Guide to Building Your Personal Brand Online

This post is originally a guest post by Kaitlin Zhang @SuperLogoBoy’s website.http://bit.ly/2gk5ViI

When was the last time you searched for someone’s name in Google? What type of information were you looking for and what did you find? Increasingly, we are relying on search engines on the internet to help us learn more about each other. Our personal brand online has become an important part of our professional asset. Having a strong visible personal brand online can help you attract better opportunities, inspire trust, and expand your network.

But most of us don’t know how to manage our online reputation and where to start. Did you know that you are in control of the information displayed about you online? Most people who are searching for your name won’t look pass beyond page 3 of Google’s search results. So all you need to do is to take control of the first 3 pages.

Here are 3 beginner tips to get you started:

1. Search Your Name in Private or Incognito Mode

Depending on which web browser you use, you should search your name in the private mode (for Firefox, Safari, Internet Explore) and in the incognito mode (for Chrome). Browsing in the private mode disables your personal browsing history and the web cache, so the results you receive are what everybody else would see, rather than results targeting you specifically.

Image Credit: Kaitlin Zhang

For example, if you were a florist, your search history is likely to contain a lot of flower related enquiries. So when you search for the word “beauty”, you are likely to see listings or images related to flowers in the result. But for everybody else, the search for “beauty” is likely to bring up images of beautiful woman and no flowers at all. Therefore, browsing in the privacy mode is the best way to see how your name is viewed by others.

Image Credit: Kaitlin Zhang

Step 1: open your browser

Step 2: Go to File > New Private Window or File > New Incognito Window

Step 3: Search the name you want to be known for in Google

Step 4: If you are an international brand, you should go to www.google.com instead of www.google.co.uk which shows more UK-focused results

2. Find Your Unique Personal Brand Positioning

This is a crucial step to effectively communicate who you are to the world. How do you want to be remembered? What impression do you want to leave with people who are searching for your name? What are the jobs or opportunities you are looking for? It’s helpful to have a one sentence pitch that clearly articulates who you are, what you do, and who you can provide value for. Also, remember to use the power of storytelling to engage your audience. Once you are clear on your brand pitch, write it down and put it online. A great place to start is to improve your Linkedin summary and optimize your Linkedin profile.

Read more: 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Personal Brand On Linkedin

3. Create a Strong Visual Brand Identity

A strong visual brand identity evokes subconscious associations with your brand that are memorable and powerful. For example, we associate the color red with Virgin and Richard Branson. Red is a part of Richard Branson’s personal brand. A person’s visual identity is as important as a company’s visual identity. It includes visual elements such as personal logo, font, website design, color scheme, business card design etc.

Image Credit: TNT Tech News Today

As your personal brand evolves, your brand positioning and visual identity should evolve as well. So when you are deciding on these elements right now, there is no need to find the perfect solution that would last forever. Give yourself the freedom to create something, test it out, and over time you’ll have an establish personal brand that will resonate with others and advance your career to the next level.

Read more: 4 Tips To Improve Your Personal Brand Over a Weekend

About Kaitlin Zhang

Kaitlin Zhang is a branding consultant skilled in growing brand assets and managing corporate communication for technology development companies. She writes a blog on personal branding for entrepreneurs and hosts free branding events in London. Follow her for personal branding tips that can help you manage your professional reputation online and grow your influence.

www.kaitlinzhang.com

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