Ever visited someone’s social profile only to find they are represented by a logo, building or their glamour shot, circa 92′?! Branding yourself online plays a key role in helping others learn about who you are and what you do. So don’t give people the wrong idea….that you are stiff as concrete or unwilling to age. People don’t connect with buildings and signs, people connect with people. And we can do an even better job of relating with each other if we are represented accurately.
When it comes to online branding, remember the 3 P’s: personality, professionalism, and passion! Your blog, social profiles and avatar should be consistent but also showcase your 3 P’s! Now when I happen upon these visual missteps, the teacher in me wants to fix it immediately. Fortunately, I can do one better….give you the tools to fix it yourself, as well as a few basic guidelines to consider.
Avatar: This is the image that can be associated with everything from your tweets on Twitter and your status updates on Facebook to your business cards, LinkedIn profile and other professional marketing. I suggest selecting a photographer than can shoot both a headshot and more relaxed or natural pose. Then you can use both versions for all your marketing needs. NOTE: When it comes to Twitter and Facebook, you can and should have a little more fun with your avatar. Take your professional pose and magically enhance it with one of these sites: BeFunky, Blingee, PhotoFunia, Picnik.
Social Profiles: Some social profiles like Facebook and LinkedIn will only allow you to upload your avatar. But others like Twitter and YouTube, allow you to completely customize your background. A custom background can imitate your professional blog/Website branding, but should also be infused with personality and passion! Here are a few examples of some of my favorite custom backgrounds: @SellingPeoria and @Cyberhomes. If you liked these, then visit TwitterPinch for truly amazing Twitter and YouTube backgrounds. It may cost you $150, but it’s worth every penny! In the interim, try these free branding tools: Twitbacks & BackgroundTube.
Blog/Website: Your business home base. Should be highly professional, showcase your expertise, include your logo, branding colors, highlight niche or local flavor. Consider hiring a professional designer to create your logo and/or header image. Once you have those pieces in place, it’s pretty easy to take your logo on the go….by adding it to the design of your social profiles.