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Your Online Brand Is You

You’ve decided to make the leap. You’re going to start selling your products and
services online. You’re excited. Wow! Millions of people will be able to buy from you.

Let’s see — what will you need to do first? Yep. You’ll need to create your own Web
site.

A week or two later, your Web site is complete. You’re thrilled. It’s exactly what you
wanted, your own storefront online slot. You get to work and do everything you’re
advised to do: you send out news releases and submit your site to all the search
engines. You promote your URL on everything from your business stationery to the
side of your car.

Six months after that, you’re starting to see a trickle of traffic, but it’s hardly the
flood you imagined it would be, and you lose heart and interest. The Internet, you
decide, is a sham, a haven for sp*mmers and assorted lunatics. You vow that you’re
staying with the safe and comfy offline world, and you vow never to be taken in
again.

What did you do wrong?

Oddly enough, you did nothing wrong. You did everything right — BUT what about
branding?

In the real world you create your brand without too much effort. People judge you
by your physical presence: by your office, your clothes, your stationery, your
advertising and your voice on the phone. In the virtual world, you lose all those
valuable cues which tell people how to pigeonhole you. You must replace them with
something.

Offline, your brand is you. It’s you online, too. However, it takes more effort to
create. You need to create an online persona and a Unique Selling Point. A tagline,
or motto, is also helpful.

Important: There is no way you can do this stuff wrong. You just need to do it. If
your goals change at some time in the future, not a problem — just change your
online persona, your USP and your tagline. Then hey presto chango, a whole new
you/ brand.

Also important: don’t be afraid to be bold. Share your passion. If you’re enthusiastic
about what you do, others will be too. You must be enthusiastic to create a
memorable brand.