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What does branding yourself mean? The most effective way I explain this is by giving one example: Golden Arches. What did you think of? Unless you have been seriously isolated for the last 60 years more than likely you think of McDonald's Restaurant – Fast Convenient Food.

When you brand yourself online, you want the same reaction. No matter what business you are in, when people come across a need that your business will fulfill, you want them thinking of you immediately.

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People will spend money with businesses they trust. Offline that is an easy thing to do because your clients can see and hear you; they can watch how you act. Online it is different and even more important to be 'there', ensuring people that you are 'real' and available to meet their needs.

How can you do this? Below are some great ideas to achieve the goal of being a recognized brand name (or expert) in your field:

  • Create an easy to recognize logo or Avatar. Keep with the same colors in your marketing materials and designs. Keep consistent; you want people to remember you quickly and easily.
  • Be helpful. Offer free advice, create an 'Ask an Expert' website or social media page. Share helpful articles and tips with everyone every chance you get via social media or your website.
  • Create a Facebook group that pertains to your trade; and become a leader there.
  • Create a YouTube channel and make videos with helpful advice for your niche. If you don't like YouTube you can also host your videos yourself using a site like Wistia. Facebook native video is another platform you can consider.
  • Create your own products and put your logo on them. Everyone loves a cool stress ball, pen or memory stick. Hand them out to your network, clients and via social media connections.
  • Host free webinars sharing valuable information that your clients would possibly have to pay for elsewhere. Post the webinars on your website for any visitors to view too.
  • Write an eBook about your trade and give it away for free on your website by using an autoresponder or social sharing.
  • Create a trade blog that you update at least weekly and use your name as the domain (website address). Blog about trends in your industry or breaking news.
  • Create a complete LinkedIn profile with a good professional photo, get recommendations from clients, list your achievements, services and keep active on the platform.
  • Write a book! If you are a published author this gives a lot of credibility to your personal brand.
  • Give the power of live-streaming a try. Using live-streaming like Periscope, Meerkat or Blab gives people the chance to connect with you on a more personal 'face to face' level. Host a weekly or daily show sharing your tips or a look behind the scenes of what you do.

Making the effort to brand yourself online takes a bit of time and consistency, but will always pay off with you getting the business over your competitors. You want to be the 'Go To' person in your field so that word of mouth serves you in a positive way. The key to branding is that you want to focus on being helpful, for a period of time, and forget about just selling and broadcasting especially when you use Social Media. You will have to monitor and engage to truly be successful.

You can start straight away with tools like Spaces to generate yourself a logo, get business name ideas, slogans and many more. It is a very easy to use tool and you can start working on your branding straight away! No need to spend hundreds of dollars to start building your image. Give it a try here > gospaces.com

By spreading the word about your industry, not just your own business, you are displaying that you know what is going on and are a true leader in your field – you won't be misleading your customers and they can rest assure they are in knowledgeable hands; that they are safe.

Brands give us comfort and assurance.

When we know what we are buying, we have no need to worry, and that is the kind of trust all business people should be striving for.

Learn more about branding yourself and you will find the need for expensive ad campaigns and aggressive sales pitches completely unnecessary.

If your business is lagging, and you don't want to spend money on ads, take a look at the status of your personal brand and improve on it. Personal branding for the most part is free and usually the only cost is your time; which is always well spent in this way.

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Adel de Meyer

Social Media Strategist | Live Streamer
Adel de Meyer is a Social Media Strategist, Trainer and Brand Ambassador. Adel is a Top Listed Social Media and Tech Influencer, ranked by Dr. Jim Barry as a Top 20 Social Media Coach and listed by Post Planner as a Top 25 Social Media Blog.Adel works with companies like Pitney Bowes, Huawei, Later, Hootsuite and Brand24 and she is a Personal Branding Advocate.Adel helps Small to Medium-Sized Businesses, Entrepreneurs and Personal Brands globally by using Social Media as a Marketing and relationship building tool. Captivating your audience using Social Media and Technology.