The web already feels like a cluttered space with the 200 million websites that are active. Now imagine what it would feel like if each of the 7 billion humans on earth had a website of their own!
That said, a website is an important tool, especially when it comes to personal and business branding. Having your own website gives you a digital face, which you can customize to suit your changing personality.
But what if you want to build your online brand with a website of your own?
In this article, we have a couple of solutions for you. Keep reading to learn how to brand yourself online.
First, Why Not Build Your Own Website?
If a website is central to the development of an online brand, why not just get yours? One might wonder.
Well, for starters, building a professional personal website requires skill and costs money. In fact, the biggest reason billions of people and at least 45 percent of small businesses don’t have one is lack of funds.
Sure, you can DIY a website, and there are hosting platforms like WordPress that will enable you to own one at no cost.
The only problem is such websites rarely cut a professional look. And given the short attention span of today’s generation, anything short of a professional, attractive and user-friendly website will hurt your efforts to brand yourself online.
Social Media Simplifies Everything
Back in the early to mid-2000s when the social media firestorm was really gathering pace, personal online branding wasn’t a thing. Social media was for connecting with friends, sharing photos of you and your cute puppy, and, admit it, stalking your crush.
Two decades later, social media is serious business. It can make or break your career, build your business or crush it. This is why it’s an ideal platform to build your personal brand, especially when you don’t have a website of your own.
Because there are quite a number of social media platforms, from Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Pinterest, you have to be careful about where you choose to build a presence.
To find the perfect platform for you, begin by identifying your branding goals.
Are you looking to turn your personal brand into a business, perhaps start selling your own products? Are you branding yourself to boost your career or attract employers?
Once you know your goals, picking the right social platform will be easy. If your efforts are career-related, for instance, LinkedIn is the most logical choice. It’s a social network for professionals. Google+ is also ideal.
If your goal is to eventually start a business, you’ll find most platforms appealing. Facebook with its 2 billion monthly users is an obvious choice, as are Instagram and Twitter.
The next step is to sign up with your personal details.
Ensure your content reflects your branding goals. Use a combination of text and visuals, and engage with your followers.
YouTube Is Where It’s At
Video is the future.
Scrolling down on various social media feeds, it’s easy to notice the trend. Almost every other post has a video. By 2020, video will drive over 80 percent of consumer internet traffic.
When building your personal brand without a website, you have to give YouTube a serious focus. Not only because it’ll enable you to publish your video content, but also because it’s owned by Google, the largest search engine by market share.
You see, you’re building a personal digital brand so that when someone Googles your name, your information shows up. A personal website gives you a solid chance of this happening, but so does YouTube.
Google has a tendency to rank relevant YouTube results highly. This means that if you Google the name of your favorite musician, it’s highly likely their YouTube channels will be ranked higher than their personal website.
If your YouTube videos are well optimized for search, there is no reason why your channel (or video links) won’t show up when some looks up your name.
Besides setting up a channel, what else do you need to do to maximize your branding efforts? Upload quality videos!
We know, in the age of the smartphone, shooting a video is as easy as pointing your phone camera to the object. And why not when the latest smartphones have ultra-powerful cameras?
The thing is, making a video is not all about positioning a camera and hitting the record button. You have to get the context, angles background and lighting right. In fact, quality videos are shot by multiple cameras, and then the footage is edited into one stellar clip.
The gist of it all? Invest in a video producer.
Leverage the Branding Power of Online Forums
Online forums such as Reddit, Quora and Tumblr have incredible branding potential, especially when your goal is to ramp up your professional credibility.
Every day, millions of people go to these forums in search of answers to their curiosities.
If you’re an expert in a certain field, you can sign up and start providing your well-informed answers (or opinions) to questions in your niche. The more people view and like your answers, the stronger your reputation will get.
Search engines routinely pick up signals from online forums when ranking individuals.
Let a Branding/Marketing Agency Help You
There are several branding agencies that can help you brand yourself online when you don’t have a website. They have the experience and tools to enable you to achieve your goals, at a fee, of course.
The trick lies in finding the right one. Be sure to learn more about marketing agencies and how they can build your online image.
That’s How to Brand Yourself Online
Learning how to brand yourself online without your own website can seem a daunting task, but in truth, it’s an easy one. As long as you follow the tips we’ve laid out above, nothing is beyond you.
Looking for more branding tips? Explore our blog.