Companies have worked on building their brand for as long as companies have been in existence. We recognize brands just from their logo or colors. We visit their websites and social media networks. We even share their content with our own networks.
Building a brand isn’t just for business. In fact, we all have a personal brand. Just like any brand, building a personal solo-preneur brand is something that will happen online with or without our input. But you can take control of your solo-preneur brand and turn it into what you want it to be.
Using the same tools and techniques that businesses use to build their brands.
Materials used for brand-building have included brochures, business cards, Facebook and Twitter accounts, LinkedIn, and of course websites. Building a solo-preneur brand is just as important as building a company brand. This is true even if you previously build your company’s brand apart from your own. What do I mean by this?
Let’s say you’re a yoga teacher that writes about or films tips about yoga. You have a website that focuses on yoga tutorials and the site is known by its yoga branded name and not by your name. If you guest post on another site, the post will be more important and valuable to readers of the site if they are familiar with you and your work. Not just “a gal that writes on that site,” but you… they know you by your name. You have your own platform; your own brand.
You can use your WordPress website as your hub to the world. Visitors might connect with you on one site or network, find your website, and then connect with you on other networks. And using WordPress is a great way to build your personal brand.
This post will look at how to do this with the purpose of promoting your work and services. However, aside from a portfolio and services, these ideas work just as well even if you don’t provide services.
Let’s take a look at what’s involved in building your personal brand, and then we’ll take a look at how to build your brand using WordPress.
Elements of a Solo-preneur Brand
When you think about your brand, think about how your future perfect clients will interact with it. Think about how they will recognize your brand and share your information.
Here are some of the ways they can learn about you and your brand:
Your name and URL
Your portfolio or image gallery
Your social network
Your contact information
Your “About Me” page
Your email URL
Use Google and other search engines to audit your online presence. Knowing your current status (or the current status of others with the same name as you) will give you a starting point in building your solo-preneur brand. Keep a check on what others are saying. Use alerts so you know when others mention you. If you do come across a situation that needs to be addressed, respond and resolve issues as quickly and professionally as you can.
Your Solo-Preneurial Personally Branded WordPress Website and Email
Building your solo-preneur brand is about promoting yourself. Your URL should be your name or at least a variation on your name that is available. Try to get a .com. This is important even if you use a different website to work from. Why? Because you can use it as your email address–even if you just use the URL as a redirect to your primary site. If I got an email from an address like firstname.lastname@example.org telling me they could improve my SEO I’d delete it straight away. Your email address should look professional and send your clients to the website you want them to go to.
Your Website’s Design
Use a theme that looks and works well. You want to look professional. Use colors and fonts that match your solo-preneur brand. Use images and categories that portray the kind of work you do.
A logo is one of the most identifiable branding elements. Clients will hopefully recognize it instantly. A good WordPress theme lets you take advantage of your logo by letting you place it front and center on your website.
Develop a sharp logo that stands out and is easily identifiable. Think about Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Did their logos come to mind? You can picture them in your mind and you recognize them immediately. They’re simple, yet identifiable. They’re distinguishable. They look great on mobile devices.
Your logo should tell your story without much effort. If possible, hire a designer to create your logo for you. Hire a designer that gets the foundational message of your mission (you don’t have to pay that much). If you have to create your own, draw pictures that relates to your mission and will connect you with your readers.
Just like your logo, the colors you use say a lot about your brand. You want to use colors that your clients can associate with your brand. For example, when you think about Barbie, you think about a specific shade of pink (Barbie Pink – for real). You can do the same thing with your WordPress site. Use your color-pickers and specify color combinations to represent your brand. When readers see those colors they will think about you. Use the Branding You™ process to find your color combinations and font combinations for your solo-preneur brand.
Produce Relevant Content
When you own a blog you have the ability to produce any kind of content you want. Resist. Resist the urge to publish anything and everything that crosses your mind. Resist the urge to rant about the cab-driver that took you the wrong way, or that guy that pulled into your lane without looking.
Produce content on your specific topic that others will want to read. Produce content that others will want to share. Give readers a reason to come back to your website. Create in-depth articles and reviews that your readers will find helpful.
The same goes for sharing content. Share content that will add value to your followers. Associate yourself with strong brands in your topic. Give good and proper links to other quality sites and articles. Don’t plagiarize. Cite your work and give proper references.
Here is a list of common ‘must-have’ pages that your future customer is looking for on your site:
Your Portfolio – Samples of Your Work
The work you do tells your readers a lot about you. Even if you’re not trying to sell through your site, your WordPress site could include samples of your work. This can be a page that includes a gallery, a list of samples with links, and an image in a widget in your sidebar. You can feature a sample on your homepage using your featured slider.
Services You Provide
Along with your portfolio will be a page that tells the types of services you provide. You can so this by writing your services on a page, creating graphics, using a theme with this built in, or using a plugin.
Your Social Network
One of the most important tools you have at your disposal is your social network. Make your social network activities visible so others can follow and connect with you.
You should place your bio at the end of any content you write. Spend some time and write a great bio that rocks. It should establish who you are, what you do, and tell if you are available for hire. It will let you hype and sell yourself as a professional in your field. You can use the little bio section in your WordPress profile, but a by far better choice is using a plugin to create a fancy bio.
You can easily create an About Me page that includes some good information about who you are and what you’re all about. You can take this a couple of steps further by including the widget in your sidebar, such as an About.me widget.
Rather than just a contact page (which you should have) you can also display your contact information on your site. You can easily do this by using text in a widget. Another way to do this is by placing it in the header with something like GC Message Bar.
Whether you’re selling products or services or not, a WordPress site is an amazing tool for building your personal brand. With just a few tools and techniques your WordPress site can help you build a solo-preneur brand that is recognizable and one that others will share and follow.