Self promotion: Advertising your online brand

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Is your offline behaviour the same as your online behaviour?  Do you suffer fools gladly online or do you click away?  Do you suffer fools gladly in a face to face environment?

Do you tolerate their behaviour or do you tell them what you think of them in no uncertain terms?  Are you aggressive online?  Are you aggressive offline?  Do you behave differently? 

It’s strange how our the way our perception changes  when we’re online.  We seem to be less tolerant.  Our face to face conversations are handled more gently than when we’re interacting online.  Online we’re only a mouse click  away from the delete button.

Behaviour that often comes across as pushy when we’re interacting face to face, can often work very well in the world of online marketing and branding.  The reverse can be true also.  There are badly written ads and web pages which quickly turn us away from the site we’re visiting.

Imagine this. 

You meet someone at an event.  He’s a salesman.  He’s sells double glazing or something similar and he wants you to buy his product.  He’s at a networking event and he wants to sell you his double glazed windows or loft insulation – or whatever. 

You don’t want his product – and you try to tell him that.  But he won’t listen.  He persists in trying to sell, until eventually you try to get rid of him.  you might even become quite rude to him – or you try to extricate yourself from the conversation.

Now think about how this happens in the online world.

You visit a website offering you the latest  FREE course with FREE SOFTWARE!!  download it and it’s FREE FOREVER, that’s FOREVER!!!

You get the picture Smile

Maddening isn’t it?  And the web site isn’t compelling enough for you to return again.

Of course, after spending just a few seconds on these sites you close the web page.  And that’s when your troubles seem to start.  These web pages have placed cookies on your machine.  Now every time you go to a web page that is served with ads, you’re now bombarded with requests to download the software, you’re exhorted to view the video, you’re begged to book your place on the webinar, you’re asked to pay for the remainder of the free ebook.  The messages seem to be unending.  Unending that is,  until you delete your Internet cookies from your browser.

These online brand popups are just like those annoying salesmen that just won’t go away.

So how do you promote your online brand without turning into one of these salesmen?  Online Panda has a great post with tips for self promotion that works really well in face to face situations.  Here are their top 10 ideas for personal self promotion:

Be excited

Help someone else

Listen more

Don’t act like the world owes you something

Don’t hope for the best

Introduce 2 people

Create the worlds greatest widget

Realise that it’s about value not experience

Stop sprinting, start walking

In the online world, I have 10 more tips I’d like to share:

Create the brand you want: Its difficult, but not impossible to rebrand yourself.  Create a good online brand in the first place.  Make sure you’ve done all of your brand planning beforehand.  How do you want to be known?  What 3 words would you like people to think about when they describe you?  Techy?  Geek?  Expert? Social? Brave? Enterprising?  Ask a few of your close friends to describe your brand in 3 words and use these words in your online profiles.  Over time, others will start to use these words when they talk about you

Manage your brand.  Think about the 4 spheres of personal branding and create your own bullets for your brand

Propagate to accumulate: If you aren’t getting the traction you need on one online tool, then use another one.  use several to get your brand seeded onto other online properties

Communicate: Tell the story you want to tell. make your brand compelling enough for your audience to return to your online presence

Conversions are important: Make your physical contacts into online contacts by using a little bit of good manners

Be amazing: You might just go viral and in a good way. Or you might end up wishing you hadn’t posted that emotional video about how much you love cats"!

Use tools: There are lots of online tools around that let you know how visible you are.  Even Google alerts will tell you that you’re getting noticed somewhere on the web.  Use them to check how well you’re doing and what your presence is online

Be an influencer:  Influencers are authentic, they are believers in their product and they are passionate and personable.  People believe in them.  They will believe in you.

Feed your brand: Like any profile you need to keep your brand active with lots of activity and interaction.  Creating a profile and not keeping it fresh will not bring anyone new to your network. 

It’s easy to damage your brand: Make consistency a part of your online life.  If you’re having a bad day, don’t EVER display this online.  Your brand could suffer as a result.  Don’t ‘snap’ at that disparaging comment or hateful tweet.  Be brand aware at all times.  Follow these tips which were stuck to my monitor when I started blogging in 2004 and they’re still relevant today

And I make no apologies for repeating this quote again. 

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc.  To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

Tom Peters: August 31st 1997

This quote is still valid today, and it encapsulates what we should aspire to when we’re trying to improve the brand of Me.inc.

 

Image Credit: Flickr

 

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.