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building brand awareness

how to go about building it for individuals?

     

han solo

7:42 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I am interested in general thoughts on how others think it might work best to approach the whole issue of brand development, on a personal level.

I feel like, given my "real" identity, things could get even better, if I had enough brand behind me.

I know that there are many me too search engine optimization sites, vortals dedicated to helping the aspiring webmaster, etc. But I don't see switching from Search Engine World any time soon, and I can't imagine even attempting to motivate others to do the same. Or the users here, for example.

So, aside from building my own portal, what other avenues do you think/ know of/ heard of / etc. would work to accomplish the simple goal of getting my name into the hearts and minds of the companies willing or thinking of hiring my firm?

I imagine it must help, for those who have something like Webmasterworld: "See, these thousands of people come to my place to swap ideas. Do you think I know what I'm talking about? Now, nod your head..." or something like that. I'm sure Brett isn't quite so gastapo.

Just trying to give an example...I'm thinking, having a recognizable name in the field would be very good, for myself, and my firm.

Does anyone here have any ideas they'd share on how to start?

Thanks a bunch,

Han Solo

8:02 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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han solo - I've been working on the same thing - although I'm loathe to call it self-branding :)

I figured that SEF and WMW are both frequented by the potential hirers - so I started using my "real" name when posting there. It's good for building a reputation and it's a great reference to show clients - just point them towards some of your posts for the last year or two. Since they're posted under your name instead of a handle there no worries about their authenticity.

han solo

9:41 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I like the idea of using my name here, but what about the mods on the sytem? How will they react if I suddenly up and change, then post the url of [this-is-the-seo-firm-im-with.com...]

Would that be okay? I know that I'm not supposed to self promote here, which is why I remain anon...although I can't see how a link in the profile, coupled with the real name I use in the 3d world.

Does anybody else have any ideas? I've thought about starting a site for reporting on the various seo firms, marketing agencies, etc. Does that sound viable? Would the population here even look for something like that? I wouldn't be able to url drop, so if the question becomes: do webmasters actively look for new sources of information on their fellows, in the marketing realm, at least.

I know many of us have our sources, but would people actually want one more?

Any comments, criticisms, etc. would be dearly appreciated. And thanks, Marshall_Clark, for letting me know about your strategy. Might I inquire as to how it's going for you?

Cheers,

Han Solo

han solo

9:47 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Oops, in my last post, I meant to say, put the url in my profile...and I should have made a link that wouldn't actually work, although that one doesn't, how many people might click?
11:00 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Hans, I'm not sure if this is too general, but we have found our brand awareness improving a lot since we started writing regular articles on the Web site, producing a XML/RSS news feed, and listing it is the various news aggregators. Your headline appears on many sites through the net as news with your company/site name and sometime byline, with a clickable link to the news item with your byline on it.

As a Web only ezine, we now find ourselves listed alongside mainsteam respected print/Web newspapers and magazines. The branding exposure that gives us is priceless, not even before we count the referrals from the news feeds.

you do have to make your articles newsy and original though.

Hope im not off topic but it may be worth a try for increasing personal/corporate brand awareness generally.

11:05 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I think using your real name is fine, and I think posting your URL in your profile is also fine. Posting your URL as a signature is probably not a good idea.

My take on branding:
I strive to have my online persona as removed from my income as possible. This sounds counterintuitive right? No, not for me. I enjoy the freedom of having littleman and even my real name removed from my SEO efforts. I like to think that my work is shielded from my big mouth -- so far it has been. It would be a nightmare if I were in the situation of doing work in conjunction with another seo firm and then find out that I lost the deal because I argued with him about the effects of link popularity in a public venue.

I am grateful that I am in a situation where I could be the ghost in the machine. I make a good living and am still free to speak. On the opposite extreme would be Brett, every post he makes adds to his online reputation which is tied directly to his livelihood.

11:16 pm on Feb 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

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This will sound like I'm hyping the forums, but I'm not. Put an url in your profile and make quality posts. I've hired from forums before, more than a few times, in fact. I didn't do it because I was impressed with the nick or the signature line (if allowed).
1:30 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hans, I'm waiting for may patent to come through for my exclusive method of attaining cult hero status...lol (no dumber than Amazon's "one click" patent). But it can be yours in this one time offer for only...

One of the only tips I have or willing to share is, contacts, contacts, contacts. Meet people. Establish net relationships without being needy (don't call them only when you want something, and do call them when you can reciprocate with quality info). Everything I've done to build has been through email and forums.

I understand what you mean about switching to your real name. I'm on some other boards under aliases/nicks myself and I wish wouldn't have done that. If you do want to switch to your real name, let me know and I'll do it on the system so you won't have to create a new profile (but you will have to sign all posts for six months "the artist formerly known as hans solo".

You are welcome and encouraged to post a biz card style post in the Commercial Exchange forum (it could use the traffic).

>my work is shielded from my big mouth

That is so true. It does make me watch what I say.

On the other hand, I seem to be stuck at this level right now. The next thing for me to do is finish my book and get an agent. Only problem is I can't resist putting the content online! I'll write a chapter and *poof*, it magically appears on some site. I can't help myself. Original content is so hard to come up with anymore, that it's online value almost out weights its paper value.

4:39 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>So, aside from building my own portal, what other avenues do you think/ know of/ heard of / etc. would work to accomplish the simple goal of getting my name into the hearts and minds of the companies willing or thinking of hiring my firm?

My online name (which is my company name as well as my domain name) is much more recognized than my real name, and I attribute that to a couple of things.

1. I am pretty active in forums and directories on the Internet. This has both bad and good effects. Most of my clients first hear of me online, which is the good part. Because of my involvement with a fairly large directory where I use the nick "laisha," I have gotten some hate mail and general ugliness on the Internet. I think, for the most part, the good outweighs the bad. :)

2. I do this and also force my clients to do it: Find online publications which target the same market you do. Submit articles to those publications. Most of them give a link to your site as part of the byline.

han solo

6:58 pm on Feb 9, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, everybody, for all of the information. It was very, very well worth it, to hear the opinions of those who frequent here, I value this community very much.

Didn't mean to give the impression I was about to try and drop a signiture here, I believe that I would get more hate mail than anything that way.

Hmm, pros and cons of being online under your real name. That is one I am still considering, and the news feeds, etc. sound fantastic...now I just have to learn xml, and figure out what rss is.

Cheers,

Han Solo

3:29 am on Feb 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Hans,

XML and RSS, as far as what you need to know to provide a practical newsfeed is not difficult. Start off by reading the documentation at the biggest newsfeed my.userland.com , which will direct you to the netscape one page guide on producing a feed, and later on start submitting to the majors such as moreover, etc.... Starting it only took us about a day. Making sure you keep content up to date is the time killer... but you would do that anyway if your site provides original timely content. The new feed only is a distribution mechanism that broadens your exposure.