When you start out online, it’s tempting to try and be someone you’re not. After all, who wants to listen to the rants of a 40 something, wrinkle faced rocker like me!
Pretending you’ve made millions online from internet marketing when you’re living in your mum’s spare room is a hard part to play for any length of time. Sooner or later the truth will out.
By building a presence online, like it or not, you’re building a brand.
You are the brand.
You’re brand should let people know who you are and what you stand for.
Consistency is important. Your name and picture will carry your values as you purvey your message across the internet. When you’re posting comments on far flung blogs, it’s worth remembering that people will see what you’ve said and link it back to you.
If a blog post get’s you wound up, there’s no point diving in with a torrent of expletives, they’ll come back to haunt you – unless of course, that’s the image you’re trying to build.
Decide on your brand and stick to it
Choose a username and use it wherever you are on the internet.
If you’re just starting out, try and buy your own name as a domain, if you’ve got a common name, like me, register something as close as you can, maybe include an initial or middle name.
As people, we like to feel a connection with whoever it is that’s talking to us – the internet may be vast but people want to communicate on a personal level. Even the most well known internet marketers will try and speak to you as though you were the only person listening (In my case that could well be the case!).
Across the internet it’s good practice to use a recognisable picture of yourself – whether it be on Facebook, Google+ or a Gravatar for general use (I’ll show you how to get one of these below).
People will start connecting your website, forum posts and blog comments with you, eventually they may recognise you as an authority in your particular field.
Use a picture of yourself rather than a picture of your dog / cat/ wonderwoman / a robot…
You may well laugh but we’ve all seen them!
Don’t worry about how you look – we’re all different, I mean, look at me.
Just choose a picture you like and stick with it – don’t chop and change every other week or you’ll defeat the objective.
If you’ve ever been looking at blog comments and wondered how some people manage to have a picture of themselves shown next to their comment, it’s actually a ‘Gravatar’.
The Gravatar is a ‘Wordpress’ feature that’s recognised across many blogs – they’re a great idea and help people recognise you away from the home turf of your own website.
To get one, head over here and click “Create your own Gravatar”. The good news is, they’re free. You’ll need to sign up for a WordPress blog if you haven’t got one already. Doesn’t matter if you’re not going to use it, you need this to be able to create your avatar, sorry, Gravatar.
Once you’re registered, your Gravatar will show up automatically as you leave comments around the web. You get recognized by the email address you used when registering at Gravatar so make sure you use the same email address whenever you leave comments.
Adding a Facebook profile picture is easy – if you’re not sure how, ask your children or Google it. The photo you upload must be at least 180×180 pixels. Facebook recommend uploading a square image which will actually display at 160×160 pixels on your Page.
Google+ profile pictures show up whenever you interact with someone on Google+, however, the best thing is the link with Google Authorship. This one feature really helps with your position and ranking in the search results. If Google can connect your content with you, one of it’s known authors, it loves it. Even if you’re not at the top of the results, your little picture almost guarantees a higher click-through rate.
To have Google+ profile picture, you need a Google+ account which I’m sure you’ve probably already got, if not – go and get one.
Google+ profile photos should be 250 x 250 pixels, although they currently show your face in a little round circle unless you’re looking at Google search results where it’s square! Whatever next?
Details on how to set up your Google+ photo can be found here
So there you have it – get your face up there where we can see it – If we see it often enough we might even remember your name!!
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