Whether you are a freelancer, internet marketer, offline business owner, or a recent college graduate who is looking for a job, you need to create a strong and professional online presence to succeed in today’s business world. How do you create an online profile that is recognizable and trustworthy? Follow the steps in this article and within a couple of months you will establish a polished online personal brand for yourself.
1. Get a domain. A top level domain, preferably a dot com domain, is a must for your personal brand. It can be a your name, your business name or some other assumed name that you want to associate yourself with. If you already own an offline business you can start with your business name.
Finding a short domain name is almost impossible these days. In most cases, you will be able to find a three words domain name easily. If your own name is somewhat unique, you can be that lucky one whose name is not already taken by domain squatters.
Use DomainBot to do your domain research. When you enter one or more keywords in the DomainBot search box, the website will suggest a large number of available domains that are different variations of your keywords. If you like a domain, you can directly register the domain with one of the domain registrars like godaddy or 1and1.
2. Get a website. After you register a domain, you need to get a web host to host your website. If you are absolutely not going to spend any money for web hosting, sign up for Google’s Blogger platform to start a blog. It is free. Use your own registered domain, instead of the default sub domain that Google offers for Blogger platform.
If you are ready to spend $25 a month, you can sign up for a reseller account at Hostgator. With a reseller account, you can create unlimited websites. Hostgator offers a commercial script library called Fantastico that automates installation of web applications in your sites. Start with installing a Word Press blog.
3. Get your globally recognized avatars. A globally recognized avatars or gravatar is a picture that follows you from site to site appearing next to your name when you do things like commenting in a blog, posting in web forums.
You can use your own picture or a professionally designed graphic image for your gravatar. If you are using a graphic picture, make it unique and get it done professionally. If it is your own picture, take the picture in a lighted area showing your face clearly.
4. Start a blog. Pick a few topics that you are interested in. One of them should be your chosen profession or business niche. Also pick topics related to your hobby or something that you want to learn more about.
Create an about page in your blog, put your avatars and tell your story in short 300-600 words. Make it interesting, intriguing, or humorous.
Go to Technorati, a blog directory, and search your topics to find blogs related to your interests. Subscribe to a dozen high quality, popular blogs using Google reader. Make a habit of reading a few interesting articles in your niche every day.
Now start writing your own articles for your blog regularly. If you like writing, you can write couple of times a week. If you have hard time coming up with topics to write about, start with a few articles a month and slowly work towards one article per week.
5. Visit blogs and forums related to your topic of interest. Leave insight full comments in other blogs and create interesting posts in forums. Create a forum signature with your gravatar in every forum you join.
Use a back link to your blog in your signature. When you create a post in a forum, your signature will be appended to your post. When you post a comment in a blog, use the URL of your blog and your gravatar name. You will be instantly recognized.
6. Create Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin Profiles. Facebook and twitter are two popular social media sites with millions of users. Facebook is mainly used for networking with like minded persons and Twitter is for sharing short timely messages about news, industry trends, interesting articles, and if you are doing any interesting thing. Linkedin is for exchanging information, ideas, and opportunities with professionals in your field.
Update Facebook status and post twitter messages every day. You can start with sharing interesting articles that you have read, productivity tips, interesting pictures, etc. You will soon find people start following you in Twitter if you are posting interesting things every day. Using Facebook’s friend suggestion tool, you can request friendship with others in the Facebook network.
7. Learn and use search engine optimization. It is a very valuable instrument at your disposal to propel you websites and social media profile pages for higher search engine rankings. You don’t have to be a professional in search optimization, just learn the basics and apply them whenever you create contents.
You don’t need to buy any expensive books or sign up for extensive training program. Use free information available online. You can start with SEOBook site and download some free ebooks on search engine optimization.