In this post, Antti Kokkonen talks about the benefits of using your personal name and photo in boosting your own personal brand)
Personal branding is about building up trust and establishing yourself as an authority, a source of valuable information. By being honest, being yourself and branding yourself as an expert in your niche, you’ll have something that cannot be taken away from you, a personal brand you can be proud of.
And the first step is to put your name out, so make sure your name is visible on your blog, your social media profiles, etc. I know, it might be scary to use your real name online, but think of it this way — would you trust and buy something from someone whose name you don’t know? I certainly wouldn’t.
The next step is to get an image that your name can be connected to. Logos are important for branding. Having a logo means you can utilize that logo everywhere. So if you like, you can get a logo designed (or design it yourself) for your blog.
But more importantly, for yourself, you really don’t have to design a logo, as there’s a good chance you already have one. Your photo! Choose one great photo of yourself and use the same photo as your avatar and profile picture in all the social network sites, like Twitter and Facebook, and also your blog! Not having your own photo in your blog is something that’s ridiculous. Of course it’s debatable since guys like Maki of DoshDosh.com don’t use one yet is considered an authority.
When you use your real name and photo on your blog and social media, you’ll start building an audience and a following for yourself, not just your blog, business or service. Your personal brand stays with you, even if you sell your business, your blog or start providing a new kind of service.
Using Real Name and Photo Builds Trust
When I see a blog or website with someones face on it, it’s immediately more interesting than a blog without one. I’m much more likely to subscribe to a blog which has a “face on it”. I don’t know, maybe it makes it all feel more honest. If I can’t find who is keeping the blog, I immediately become suspicious. And even more so, if I’m in the process of buying something from that person, or something he/she recommends.
I don’t know about you, but I think seven times before I buy anything from someone who I haven’t met or seen. That’s seven opportunities to convince myself not to buy from this stranger. And that’s seven opportunities for you to lose that sale. If you’re planning on selling anything online, keep that in mind.
Also, if I find a blog filled with great posts, I want to know more about the author, I want to know who he or she is. If I can’t find anything about the blogger, I’m gone. And I’m not alone on this, as your readers want to know you and get connected. Don’t disappoint them and make sure the links to your primary social media profiles are clearly visible.
By seeing your name and photo, people on your blog or social networks will know who they’re interacting with. They will know that this certain guy right here is not just a “fly- by night person”. Of course, there’s more to personal branding than just putting your name out there and using a real photo, but this is the first step you have to take.
Now it’s your turn! Are you in the process of building a personal brand? Do you use your real name and photo in your blog and in the social networks?
Antti Kokkonen has been hiding under an Internet alias “Zemalf” for many years, and you can find his not-always-so-focused blog about blogging, social media and Internet business at http://zemalf.com. To stay connected, go ahead follow Antti on Twitter.