This article is contributed by Alex Gavril.
We’re all familiar with brands – Pepsi, Apple, McDonald’s are some of the most familiar names in the world.
But what about your personal brand – how you come across to other people. Does it matter?
Well, if you’re looking for a job, you need to think, act and plan your employment strategy just like a market-leading company does.
Now more than ever you need to focus on managing your own reputation, both online and offline.
When you’re applying for a job, employers won’t just review your resume. You can be sure they’ll Google you first. Even when you interact with different people online or at a conference, they’ll search for you online to see who you are and what you’ve been up to.
If you want to impress, don’t leave your professional reputation to chance. Instead, take control of your online reputation and be your own PR guru. Your personal brand is all about what you want to be known for, so start managing your image properly.
A domain name is key to a personal brand
Although you probably have several accounts on various social media sites, owning your own domain name is vital if you want to build a long-lasting web presence.
Social media sites are fantastic are great for self-promotion but you have very limited control over the kind of content you can create. And what do you when the social media site where you’ve spent years building your online identity disappears? You have to start again from scratch.
That’s why it’s wise to have a web identity that you’re in control of. When you have your own website, you have complete control over your online identity. A domain name is not only cheap it’s also an essential part of owning your brand online.
What if my name is already taken?
The chances are if you have even a moderately common name you won’t find it available on .com or .co.uk.
So, what can you do if yours is taken? Here are a few alternatives:
• Include an initial eg – FirstnameTLastname.com – although you should remember the aim is to keep the domain as short as possible.
• Use a different domain extension like .eu, .net, or .info, etc. There are so many extensions to choose from and using a less common one won’t adversely impact your site.
• Be different – If you have a commonly used nickname (that sounds professional) you can incorporate that into your domain name.
• However, make sure you avoid tying yourself into the sector in which you currently work – if you move to a different industry your domain will become obsolete. The site should be about you, not your job.
Building your personal brand
A domain name is the starting point for building a personal brand, and the best thing is you have complete control over what you do with it.
Here are a few things you can do with your personal site:
• Create an online portfolio to showcase your work
• Build an online resume that highlights your skills
• Start a blog and write purposeful and interesting content
Even if you aren’t hugely technical, there are guides, tutorials and free software packages which can help you set up an impressive site without much effort.
You can extend your personal brand further by setting up an email address related to your domain Regardless of what you want to achieve with your personal branding, a domain name is a great place to start and can be the backbone of your presence both online and in real life.
Author Bio: Alex Gavril regularly writes for the 123-reg.co.uk blog team.
Image Credit: personal brand image courtesy of bpsusf.