September 23, 2010

The Social Medium: How to Brand Yourself Online for Beginners

"Using social media is easy. If you think it's hard then you're doing it wrong."

1) Create a brand name.

If your real name is taken or is not ideal for whatever reason, create one. Keep it simple, basic, but be creative and clever. Own your brand across the internet and social media platforms. Make sure you can easily Google your chosen name. It should make sense with who you are and what you do. And DO NOT use numbers. No one will ever remember it. Try tacking on adjectives, cities, or job/industry titles.

Good examples of creative personal brand names and  hybrids from Vancouver:

Amy Fabulous (Amy Chan), Follow Me Foodie (Mijune Pak), Nicole from Le Mode du Jour, Gourmet Fury (Melody Fury), MonicasMedia (Monica Martinez), Erica Lam (The Style Spy), and of course yellowrainbootz (Angela Jung).

And yes, I noticed the examples are all women. Maybe, they are just more creative.

You can use NameChk to see if your desired username is available online across platforms.

2) Create a hub.

A blog or static one page website will do. Make sure it contains all your work in one easy location.  It is really not that hard to set up. I have this blog and I also have which is not updated regularly but acts as another static hub. Having everything about you in one convenient, easy location is very important.

Please, BUY a domain name. They cost less than $10 and you can always make it redirect to another page. Do not piggyback off other sites. Own yours. I just tell people to go to or Google me. Easy peasy.

3) Sell yourself.

Have a good avatar or profile picture. But not too good. It should look like you so people can recognize you in the real life. Do not have an overdone, professional photo that does not say anything about you. Smiling always helps. Trust me, a cool photo makes a difference. Use your name (or brand) and throw it out there. A little design work goes a long way. A consistent template is key. But always, keep it simple.

Slogans help. Mine is "Broadcasting out loud".

4) Publish. Publish. Publish.

Your work cannot be seen if you do not make it available. It does not have to be (that) good. Set goals. First, publish once a week, twice a week, every other day, etc. Be consistent. Post interesting photos and link to other blogs and websites. Build a community. Get responses. You will get better. It will not happen overnight but you have to start somewhere. My first posts were all junk.


This is the most important one. Your online presence should be a good reflection of yourself in real life. So be yourself, unless you suck. In that case, stop sucking first. Start being awesome and then be yourself and in that order. It is called "social" media for a reason, so be social.

Social media is a virtual handshake and that all important first meeting. So make it count.

Note: After the great response I got from talking at the Working Super Fair and the subsequent post, I decided to expand it with a new series of articles on how to "do" social media.

Photo | Yelp / Source | Kemp Edmonds / Yelp Prohibition

0 reactions:

Post a Comment