What’s In A Brand-name?
Have you ever been shopping in a grocery store and got into a frustrating thinking battle of “should I get this one or that one?” This usually happens when you see something you absolutely love and they have the store brand which may slack a bit in taste but you’ll save a whopping 35 cents if you buy it.
I experienced this the other day in the meat section when I decided to take the Butterball turkey bacon instead of the Wal-Mart brand losing out on saving 19 cents.
So why did I go with Butterball even though I’ve bought the other brand plenty of times before? Because Butterball has branded themselves to be a top producer of meat thanks to kooky humored commercials. I had the other brand in my hand in dropped it once I saw Butterball sitting there.
Besides being a bunch of letters put together, a brand-name is a direct representation of you. In the blogging world, it will take a number of things to build a brand.
A Brand-name is:
Figuring Out Your Brand
Figuring out your brand is just a matter of figuring out what you want to do or what’s important to you. Perfect example is one of my brands; Dennis Knows. All my life, I’ve been a know-it-all and when I got a hold of Google; lets just say there’s not much I don’t know now.
Now people call me Mr Dennis Knows and there’s even a catch-phrase going around to the tune of “can’t believe Dennis didn’t know that“. I love it and get a kick out of it simply because people know who I am.
Me aside, we can look at one of the biggest brands in the world being Apple. They named their company after a fruit and have the loyalty of millions from around the world (including me). Do you think they chose the apple because of the “apple a day” phrase? Who knows… (No I don’t know. 😉 )
Figure out what you want to do with your blog. Put all your ideas on paper and just brainstorm a few names. Throw them at some friends and family to see what they think. Don’t take their advise too much; just get an honest opinion on the name. You can even ask me if you want. I’ll be glad to help you out.
Time For Complete Domination
Once you figure out your name, you need to go to your nearest registrar and lock a domain name in. Don’t talk too much if at all, about your brand-name on the internet. I would hate for you to run into a savvy domain flipper that picks it up and then resells it to you for a quick flip.
After getting a domain name, your next step is to lockdown Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress.com and Blogger. There are many more you can do if you want. If this sounds like a bit much, you can just do Facebook and Twitter. I like to take care of everything to prevent anyone from profiting off my brand-name. Facebook owns everything Facebook name on the web and even fb.com.
You will also, at sometime, want to take care of getting your brand-name trademarked and copyrighted. This will protect you from any thieves in the future trying to profit off of your brand-name.
Put Yourself (brand) Out There
After you have your blog ready to go (with WordPress of course), it’s time to do some marketing; not just your blog but you (or your brand).
A picture is worth a thousand words
A great suggestion from a huge influence in the blogging world by the name of Andy Bailey, was to make your branding image very well known. You can start this process by using Gravatar.com. Their free service allows you to attach an image to an email address. Now anytime you use that specific email, your image will show up.
I suggest using an image of yourself as people feel more comfortable when they can attach a face with words. If you’re a bit shy, then I suggest creating a cartoon image of yourself. Many do this and it works out quite well.
I’ve come to find guest blogging as a very good way for branding. Some stray away from it thinking selfishly but truth be told, I get a lot of my traffic from people that read my guest posts. Put quality information on someone else’s blog and they can only imagine what you have on yours.
Don’t think you have to be a total expert on your niche either. Your goal is to know more than most people know; not everything. Be game and guest post or enter a blogging contest. All of this is great for branding!
Commenting and Forum Posting
Get out there and comment. Every-time you leave a comment, because you used Gravatar.com, your image shows up in your comments. Now people will recognize you as they browse the web. I’m branding myself as “that guy with the red glasses” and soon, after seeing my face everywhere, they’ll make a trip over to my blog.
You have to leave good comments though. Don’t just say thanks and leave it at that. Read the article and tell what you liked most about it. You can even ask a question. Bloggers love when visitors ask them a question. I know because I’m a blogger.
Posting in forums is great because they get tons of traffic; at least the good ones do.This is more chances for people to see your brand. Get in there and answer questions, ask questions and make suggestions.
Now some people still don’t get Facebook or Twitter but with them being in the top 5 websites in the WORLD, I think it’s very important you use them to help build your brand-name.
I’ve devoted an hour a day on my schedule to social media. This includes talking with people, answering questions and even getting a laugh or two from some of the more hilarious tweets.
What you have to realize is social media is a way for you to DIRECTLY connect with your readers. Top bloggers may not be able to answer your emails in a timely manner but you can shoot them a tweet and they’ll write you back almost instantly.
In Conclusion About Using A Brand-Name
Where most people make their mistake is trying to make everything perfect from the beginning. You will commit “success suicide” if you try to focus on making everything perfect. You’ll never get started.
I challenge you if you’re a perfectionist. Look at every successful blogger’s beginning compared to what they are doing now. You’ll see PROGRESS. No one started out perfect. It’s a matter of creating a ladder of success in taking the necessary steps (mentioned above) to achieve them.
I look at some of my old videos on YouTube and boy was I BORING. I put myself to sleep. Now when I shoot videos, I’m full of life and energy. Allow people inside your brand to see your progress and they’ll follow you forever.
This was my first guest post on this blog and I look forward to bringing you many more. If you enjoyed it, please share and comment as they will be the steam I need to power my locomotive for producing great content.
Thanks again for reading and best wishes with branding yourself. Have a blessed 2012.