In our increasingly complex and fast-paced world, creating your own “personal’ or “corporate” brand has become more and more critical. According to an article by Fast Company, taking control of your own personal brand is a critical priority:
It’s time for me — and you — to take a lesson from the big brands, a lesson that’s true for anyone who’s interested in what it takes to stand out and prosper in the new world of work.
Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.
It’s that simple — and that hard. And that inescapable.
So, understanding that both personal and corporate branding are critical tasks for all of us, how do we go about creating and maintaining a brand?
In this post, I want to suggest just one simple step, a first step we can all do to start taking control of our personal or corporate brands.
That task is simply to take control of your name. Whether it is your own personal name or your corporate name – maintaining control over your name is critical. I want to suggest two simple task you can do to help control your own name:
1. Register your domain name – with every popular ending
Suppose your name is John Smith. I would suggest immediately going to a domain name registrar (I use 000domains.com) and registering your name with as many possible endings as you can. So, for our example, I would immediately purchase johnsmith.com, johnsmith,net, johnsmith.org, johnsmith.tv, johnsmith.me, johnsmith.mobi, johnsmith.biz.
While the domain names aren’t free (they run between $15 and $30 per year), it’s a lot cheaper to buy them ALL now than to try and buy them later from a reseller, or, worse yet, to try and repair the damage when someone buys the same name as you with a different ending and puts up an offensive web-site.
So, take the time and buy ALL your names now – by the way – I own designedbyeh.com, designedbyeh.net, designedbyeh.org, designedbyeh.biz, designedbyeh.tv, and designedbyeh.mobi. Right now, all these domains simply re-direct to the same web-site: www.designedbyeh.com.
2. Register your name on EVERY social networking site you can
Whether you use them or not, you should register your name on as many social networking sites as you can. Now, before you start to freak out and think – “I don’t use these social sites – I don’t even know what they are.” That’s not the point… YET. The point here is to simply secure your name in as many places as you possibly can. And, it’s not as hard as you might think.
I suggest two services to help you with this:
- NameChk – www.namechk.comThis site is simple to use. Simply enter your desired name (username) into the text box at the top of the page and click on the “CHK” button. The site will automatically check if this name is available on 145 social sites and let you know the results.
For example, here’s a screenshot of the results when I did a Name Check for “ehdesign”:
The red sites are sites where I have already registered “ehdesign”, while the green sites are sites where it is still available. As you can see from the screenshot, I have already registered the name on many of the sites. A few are typically reported incorrect (about 6 were on this example). But, a service like this provides a GREAT starting place. Just reserving your name, so that no one else does, is a GREAT way to be ready for personal or corporate branding.
- KnowEm – www.knowem.com
KnowEm can be a lot more advanced – it will look through more sites – grouped by cateogries such as entertainment, business, blogging, etc. – AND even register your name for you (although you have to pay for this service – usually around $100).
So, are you in control of your own personal or corporate brand? If not, maybe these two step are two easy steps to get you started. While there’s a LOT more you could do with your own personal brand – including adding real content to all the site you registered in step 2 above – these two steps are a great starting point.