Build Your Personal Brand with These 5 Simple Tools

If you are trying to establish a personal brand or build your own platform, you may be overlooking some of the simple tools at your disposal. Literally, every point-of-contact is an opportunity to create a positive brand impression—if you are intentional.

Construction Site Crane Building a 3D Brand - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/VCTStyle, Image #16582394

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/VCTStyle

Here are five basic personal branding tools you should take advantage of before you move on to more complex ones.

  1. Email address. The other day, I received an email message from someone who claimed to be a social media expert, specializing in personal branding. Only problem was that his email address was something like rooster763@aol.com. That instantly killed his credibility with me.

    If you are using an AOL email address, stop. Nothing screams “I am stuck in the 90s!” like AOL. The same is true for yahoo.com and hotmail.com. The only exception is Gmail. Use this format: firstname.lastname@gmail.com. This looks way more professional than lovecat23@gmail.com.

    Better yet, buy your own domain name for $10.00–20.00 per year. You really have no excuse for not doing this. You will then have an email address that looks like yourname@yourdomain.com. This makes a positive, powerful brand impression.

  2. Email signature. Your email signature is an opportunity to create another branding impression. But be careful. If you include too much information, it just becomes a big gnarly ad. If you include too little, you miss a great opportunity.

    Ask yourself, What information do people really need? Maybe they need your phone number. Or maybe, they don’t. (I don’t provide mine, because I don’t want anyone calling me who doesn’t already have my number.)

    I do think it’s a good idea to include links to your blog or website, links to your social media profiles, and perhaps a mention of your newest project. (Don’t overdo it.) I also include a disclaimer at the bottom.

    Here’s my current signature:

    My Email Signature

  3. Business cards. This is another way to create a powerful branding impression and also pass along important information. I am amazed at how creative people are with this. But don’t go overboard.

    Communicate the basics: your logo, your name, contact information, and perhaps a tagline. Make sure to include your social media contact information. I have seen some cards with just a Twitter username or a Website address. That can be effective, too, depending on your purpose.

    You can do this yourself with software like Photoshop or (my favorite) Acorn. Or, if you want a dedicated software program, try Business Card Composer.

    If you want to kickstart your creativity, here are hundreds of creative examples from a website called CardFaves. The great thing is that you will also find links to designers and suppliers.

  4. Website. This is undoubtedly the single most important branding tool you can have. It is the first way in which most people will encounter you. Even if they meet you first or hear you speak, they will inevitably visit your website or blog. It will shape their opinion of you. That’s why you must get it right.

    Hire a web designer if you can afford one. Talk to him or her about your brand and what you want to communicate. Write down a few words that you hope visitors will use to describe you. Pay attention to colors and fonts. These all communicate in subtle and subliminal ways.

    If you can’t afford a web designer yet, at least start with a professional theme. When I moved to WordPress, I started with WooThemes. I have family members and friends who use ElegantThemes. I am currently using a customized version of Standard Theme, which I love. (Here are five reasons why.) You can purchase a great theme for $50.00–$100.00.

  5. Social media profiles. Once you have blog or web theme, incorporate as many elements as you can into your social media profiles. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and others allow you to customize the background graphics and other elements.

    The goal is to have your fans and followers have a consistent brand experience. Use the same logo, color palette, and fonts on every platform. You want them to land on one of your social media profiles and know instantly that it is your profile.

    I used TweetPages to design mine. I spent a couple hundred dollars to have them design a custom background for my Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages. For a high-quality graphic artist, this was a bargain. As a bonus, it was one of the best customer service experiences I’ve ever had.

These five tools can go a long way toward creating a positive first or second impression. Don’t think of them in isolation, but rather as part of your overall brand management program.

Question: How well are you using these tools for personal branding? What tools have I missed? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    I think I’m doing well using these tools, except that I have nothing to sell. 

    • http://www.checkmatesystem.com/?page_id=20 Mary

      We are always selling ourselves whether we realize it or not (and I’m not doing so well with these tools …).

    • http://www.facebook.com/don.ettore Don Ettore

      Based on the first line of your latest blog post, it would appear that you do have something to sell – Youself.

      “In order to diversify my job hunt while exiled in Europe…”

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Likewise, if no one is buying, does the concept of “selling” apply?

        • http://www.bradandlindsey.com Brad Bridges

          Perhaps you could rethink “what” you are “selling”, and what it means to “buy” what you are selling. I’d argue that each person who reads a blog post you write is “consuming” and has thus bought (ie clicked on the article, took the time to read, etc) your product (in the case of a blog, your knowledge, ideas, or other thoughts). As you build your brand, two helpful questions to ask (at least they’ve been helpful to me) are:

          In what industries or topics do I have experience or helpful information that I could contribute in a way that would be a benefit to others? How could I repackage those thoughts/experiences in a way that others would find helpful?

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      You have a great domain name and cool logo. It really says online writer in a very unique and powerful way.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        Maybe I can sell my domain name and my logo.

        • http://www.bradandlindsey.com Brad Bridges

          You could definitely pull this off. The name of your site alone appeals to a very clear group of people: those who write and are online. How could you target this audience with a clearly defined product that they would be interested in? (ie landing page? what elements would it include?)

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      We always have something to sell. You just need to dig it out and find out what it is.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        First I need to find find my shovel.

  • http://smallgroupbooks.com Ryan K

    Great tips Michael. I haven’t really invested in branding much yet but will make it a focus this month.

    Also, thanks for the Tweetpages link. I had not heard of that site.

  • http://twitter.com/TheBlaqueWidow Black Widow Spider

    Michael, you left out ‘what you do’ on those business cards – I have seen business cards with names and contact information and yet I have NO CLUE what they do. Especially when building a personal brand and you’re a jack of all trades, I think you should definitely put a short statement or simple points on your skills.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a good thought. I included that under “tagline.”

  • Jeff

    Mike, a really good post.  I love how you include links to really helpful sites, this makes reading your blogs so much more beneficial than so many others.

    I also like how you went “back to the basics” in today’s post.  These are things that we can easily forget in the current climate of always being tempted to engage in the newest stuff – the basics are always important.

  • Tina

    Teh hardest thing fir me is coming up with the name. I have all the idea. How do you come up with a name?

    • http://www.checkmatesystem.com/?page_id=20 Mary

      Brainstorm with friends.  I often see people asking for help with this sort of thing on message boards; TwoPeasinaBucket has message boards with some very creative people who have helped other members do this.  I know there are many others.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s always the challenge. I don’t know of a shortcut, other than just to think long and hard about it. Perhaps you could also ask friends for ideas.

  • Alan Kay

    And, if you’d like to figure out a way to define your personal brand here’s a recipe to create it. http://tiny.cc/jvu1a

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great list, Alan. Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://brevis.me Robert Ewoldt

    I use all of these tools, with varying efficiency.

  • Bill Keith

    Thank you for taking time to share this kind of helpful information with us. ~~ Bill in Texas

  • Martiveto

    All sound suggestions, Michael. I bought my domain three years ago and still don’t have a website! If professional help is a must due to time constraints, then what is the most efficient/economic way to go?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I really like CrowdSpring.com.

    • http://www.enmast.com/ Brad Farris

      For many years I just had a simple one-page site that I hosted with my domain name provider for free!

    • http://www.bradandlindsey.com Brad Bridges

      You could always use a free wordpress theme that tends to have a pretty easy to navigate CMS. If you redirect your url to the wordpress theme, you can setup your url to not even should that it is in any way related to wordpress (url masking). May be a good first step until you have the necessary funds for professional services.

  • http://www.momstoolbox.com Amy @ MomsToolbox

    Absolutely agree!

    I’ve used a designer from the very start so that I could always put the best image out that represents me and MomsToolbox.com. My design has evolved with time, but the basic principles remain.

    I also like your email disclaimer that all info shared is ‘off the record’ unless discussed otherwise. That is a clever reminder/ request.

    • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

      Great domain name and a very nice blog design on the Genesis framework.

  • Jennifer

    Hi Michael. I am doing okay with these things however, I struggle with trying to sell myself…I have nothing to sell but I love to write, blog, connect…I started my blog when we were in the process of adopting our daughter from China. It was a way to keep my family updated on the process. It’s evolved since then yet, I still struggle with trying to attain an audience…For me it’s more of a personal thing and I am not concerned with followers, numbers, commenters, etc…Should I be?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Only if you believe in your message and want to get it out to a larger audience.

      • Jennifer

        Noted… and something to think about. Thanks Michael!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Michael!

    Thank you for taking the time to share this with us! I totally and can’t agree more with the points you shared, especially #1. 

    I personally never had a domain of my own, until recently, when I started to read and follow more blogs online, and actually realized that there was a whole new world of information out there that was constantly generated by people like me on a daily basis.

    I can’t say how much I’ve looked back on registering for a domain, obtaining my blog, as well as a personalized email. I don’t regret it at all, in fact, the journey has been enjoyable so far. The only thing I’m a little unhappy about is that I didn’t manage to get a domain in my name, and had to settle for thedaniellim instead, some people might think I’m cocky.

    Anyway, I found your blog while randomly browsing through the web yesterday and I’ve enjoyed all the articles that I’ve read so far. Keep it going Michael! 

    On a side note, I tried to find a way to contact you privately, but did not manage to, as I wanted to let you know about a typo on this article.

    Under #3 Business cards, “hear are hundreds of creative examples from a website called CardFaves”. I suppose it should be ‘here’ instead of ‘hear’. kinda anxious about it, and hopefully you’ll be able to change it in time :) you can remove this portion of the comment once you’ve edited or something.

    Sincerely,
    //Daniel

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m glad you found me! Welcome.

      Thanks also for letting me know about the typo. I have fixed it! I appreciate you bringing it to my attention.

      • Anonymous

        No worries Michael! Thank you for being nice about it!

        I’ll definitely be hanging around. Great site you have here!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    Really like this post. I am a youth minister in southern MO who I really trying to step up in my leadership. I do not want to be your stereotypical unorganized, messy, always late, never takes anything seriously, only joined youth ministry because he refuses to grow up youth minister. I want to look and act professional. Youth ministry is about families more than just the kids and I want parents to be comfortable coming to me as well. That’s a lot of information to say that I have been working on looking more professional, while still approachable, in writing. I created a new email for the youth group (apparently not a good one since I am using hotmail!) and I have business cards. I cannot really afford to pay $50-$100 for a professional theme or a couple hundred on TweetPages (youth minister salary and being married 2 years with a 1 yr old takes a lot of money). So I guess I do the best I can for now until one day I can save up for those things. 

    • http://twitter.com/tweetpages Matt, Steph & Bailey

      Greetings Brandon… I hear ya (I come from youth ministry/children’s ministry/family pastor) so sometimes forking out the bucks can be tight.

      Here is ONE thing you should do for sure on your Social Media (i.e. Twitter, etc). At least match the HTML colors to match your overall site. Ditch the “sample designs” that Twitter offers you and match the color scheme. This can at least match the overall “look & feel”.

      If you have PhotoShop: the next thing you can do is create a 1920×1280 background with your logo & photos in the Left Gutter Design.

      Since coming from ministry… we’re also testing out some “Social Media Principles” that Youth Ministries can utilize when taking their Youth Ministry online. As soon as we have that ironed out (which will be free)… we’ll be posting some of these ideas on our Blog/YouTube/etc.

      Hope that helps :)

      • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

        Thanks for the tips! I will definitely be trying that out. The Social Media Principles sound great and I will be looking for those as they come out as well!  Thanks again!

    • Anonymous

      One thing that I firmly believe in in ministry is empowerment, especially when you’re dealing with youth and young adults. I think this is an opportunity to engage and empower some of your youth to step up and serve.

      I would encourage you to get a team of your youth together who have shown potential in graphic arts, and work with them to come up with a graphics theme. Once that theme is defined, have one of those students make a simple web page for you. If the web page is clean, intuitive, and matches the overall look and feel of your graphic theme, then that accomplishes a lot of what you’d pay money for.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      I am also a youth minister in southern MO.  I’m married and have 5 kids.  I struggled with the expenses, and finally decided that if I want to bbe seen and grow my presence, especially as I start writing books that will one day be published, I couldn’t affored to NOT shell out a few hundred bucks. 

      For me, it happened a bit at a time.  First the Standard Theme for my blog.  Business cards cam next, from grprint.com.  Double sided and full color glossy.  They look pretty good.

      I haven’t spent the money on Twitter/Facebook themes… yet.  But I will down the road.  It’s all a matter of priorities and budgeting your expenses and spreading them out.  You can do it!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    You have really kicked up the bar on your posts lately, Michael. This is a really great resource. One of my problems with branding is that I have a very common name. I’ve tried to buy various iterations of my name as a domain name, but they are all taken. So instead of my name, I’ve used various versions of the word “success” in e-mail, Twitter and other social media. Unfortunately, these have all evolved over time and are not completely consistent.

    My blog name, Success Begins Today, is long at 18 characters. This makes it tough as a e-mail name and to further confuse things it is a dot.org instead of a dot.com because my previous domain host went out of business and I lost the dot.com name in the process.

    Now that I’m taking a SEO course, I decided to do some testing. I picked up a really short and easy to remember dot.com domain name which is only 5 characters, and I also picked up a long dot.com domain name that contains my three most prominent keywords in it.  I want use these to promote an upcoming pair of e-books. Once I get the new site done, it will be interesting to see how they do. The short domain name will be great for e-mail and social media, while the long domain name will be great for the search engines.

    There are many days when I wish I had a short and unique name. It would make things so much easier. You have done a great job with your name and brand. Hopefully many people that are currently building a platform will read this and follow your advice.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. Could you use the acronym SBT or some version of it (e.g., SB2D)?

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        I looked into short names like that, but most initials are already taken. I can’t believe that SB2d is in use. This really brings up the question of baby names in the future. Parents might want to use a unique name and secure the domain name when the child is born. This could make a huge difference when the child grows up. Or, heaven forbid, parents could name their children with prime keywords. Imagine Lasik Hyatt… :-)

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Ha! Great idea. I secured all my kids names a few years ago and I was glad I did. I got them all. Unfortunately, three of them got married, and it wasn’t so easy for them.

          • http://www.enmast.com/ Brad Farris

            I bought my kids names too. Hadn’t thought about the maiden/married name problem…

  • Peggy Bell

    I have something to sell!  i am out of the loop in understanding all this – past prime and yet, I have something to sell so will keep reading.  Thanks! 

  • http://avajae.blogspot.com Ava Jae

    You have some really great tips here–I never really thought about my e-mail signature or customizing my Twitter profile. I’ll have to try that out. 

    Thanks! 

  • Tony Dye

    Where do you think having a logo factors in? How about a tag line? (I’ve seen that’s already been mentioned). Your name is your brand, but the way you’ve stylized it is also a component. Any guess how much different your perception would be if you hadn’t done that extra work?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I do think everyone needs to think of a logo. Even if you simply put your name up, the font you choose, the colors, etc., become a logo. It is worth being intentional about it.

  • Curtis O Fletcher

    Thanks for the reminder…again. I’ve been “Claymor” so long in a number of venues that I’m finding I need to change that everywhere as I start becoming “me”

  • http://www.portyonderpress.com Chila Woychik

    I’ve done these things for several years now, Michael, but have also found wisdom in dividing my personal indie press “brand” (business) from my personal “brand” (connections).  It’s too easy to overdo it with family and friends, kind of like the salesman with the list of people they have to “reach,” but who ends up doing nothing more than alienating those he cares about.

    Along the same lines, people want to see us for who we really are – and there’s a fine line there – so while trying to maintain a high level of professionalism, I’m also very open and honest with people.  Most appreciate that; some are taken quite aback by it all.

    Great post!

  • Anonymous

    Funny.  I’m currently in the process of printing business cards, so the CardFaves link is especially appreciated.  If anyone reading this has seen unique designs for business cards for pastors, I’d be grateful if you’d share.

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    I think you hit it right on the head Michael, very helpful post. I just wrote a blog post yesterday (for Tuesday) about business cards. I try to give a tip of the week on my website (blog) and it was about business cards. I talked about how cheap and nice I got them from vistaprint.com

    If you don’t take your business or yourself seriously, why would anyone else? Great post!

  • LRovig

    I will read and reread your advice in today’s blog…much meat here and no filler.  May I suggest that people designing their website, Facebook, and etcetera, remember “universal access” touches — such as embedding the name of a link or the name of the person in a photo so that this useful information will pop up when a curser rests on it.  Building in these friendly touches is easy during the design stage but less so afterward.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It is also important for Search Engine Optimization.

  • http://twitter.com/jamespinnick7 James Pinnick

    Mike,

    I freakin love your blog. I try to follow most of your steps on a consistent basis. I have also adapted Standard Theme into my blog now. Looks great and is a huge upgrade from a few months ago. I have to try to be more intentional with my networking. I will work on that!

    Keep up the great work!
    James
    Author-The Last Seven Pages
    http://www.jamespinnick.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, James. I appreciate that!

  • Tsign46

    Appreciate your desire to help others succeed.  If Zig Ziglars statement “My success is achieved by helping enough other people achieve their success” is true (and I believe it is), then I hope you are enjoying your success.   Dale

  • Dean

    Thanks for the tips! I plan on taking things to the next level soon!

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    You’re right on with the email address. It amazes me when I still see people with an AOL address. I was at a BNI Networking meeting last week and there were two business owners with that address on their cards. Also, out of 32 business cards I collected, only 2 had Social Networking information. 

    Also, since I purchased my own domain and changed my email to @sundijo.com, my business relationships have improved. 

  • C.H. Dyer

    I appreciate the strive for excellence and Kingdom values you provide on your blog and other media streams.   I would consider it an honor if you follow me on Twitter @CHDyer1:disqus
     

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I now follow very, very few people on Twitter. Here’s why.

  • http://www.godmessedmeup.blogspot.com pamhogeweide

    Great tips.

     The word “brand” is such a business word that I find myself cringing when applying it to myself. What are some other words to use to define brand?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Reputation.

      A brand is simply what you stand for. What people think of when they think of you.

      • http://www.godmessedmeup.blogspot.com pamhogeweide

        I like that. I can relate to Reputation more than brand.

        Thanks Michael!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Thanks for the insightful thoughts Mike! I have never realized the power of email address and email signature in creaing our personal brand. I feel I need to harness the power of both these platforms well.

    • http://www.bradandlindsey.com Brad Bridges

      I don’t know much about all the different services out there for creating a good email signature. However, I’ve found Wisestamp (http://www.wisestamp.com) to be effective, easy to use, allows multiple accounts, and integrates social media. If you find other companies that do a better job, please let me know as this is a new area for me as well.

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Thanks Brad! Let me try Wisestamp. (I have not attempted any other company in connection with email signature. )

        Subject: [mhyatt] Re: Build Your Personal Brand with These 5 Simple Tools

  • Reba Stanley

    Thanks Michael,   I am 3 books in doing Self-Publishing, and along with SP there is self-marketing.  Your 5 tools were very helpful and imformitive, I plan to get started right away with implimenting them in my brand.

  • http://twitter.com/waterfallbooks Katie Hart

    The main reason I use Yahoo instead of Gmail is because Gmail’s web interface is highly lacking. Why can’t they offer a simple preview pane option after all these years? I do have email addresses with my domain names as well, though.

    • Anonymous

      I stopped using my Yahoo account  6-7 years ago because Gmail did so much more then. I’m sure Yahoo has caught up, though. My favorite feature of Gmail is the filters–my inbox stays very clean and my new e-mail is automatically routed to the appropriate folder it belongs to.

      There is a preview option available in Gmail. You have to enable “Message Sneak Peak” in the Google labs. It’s not a reading pane, but it gets part of that job done.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QBTBNCD7RSBNMSWAGYDX6YPB3Y JohnK

    Don’t forget ThemeForest for WordPress themes as well. That’s where I get all mine now. Lots of options for getting a professional look.

  • Jonathan Labelle

    Hey Michael,
    I know you work on a Macbook air. What e-mail program are you using? I’m using “Mail” from Apple but I can’t do HTML signature. So the look of my signature are horrible!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m using Mail, too. You can use HTML signatures. You just have to create them outside of Mail and paste them in.

      • Jonathan Labelle

        Thanks!

  • Alexandra Swann

    Great info here. 

  • http://twitter.com/tweetpages Matt, Steph & Bailey

    Thank you Michael for listing us in your post! Too kind :) 
    We’re also working on a Video on the difference between LOGO | IDENTITY | BRAND. This always helps with understanding how to build your platform. As soon as I am finished with it… I’ll send it to you (or with your permission — post as a comment).

    We also recommend some of the same WordPress Themes as you have above (plus a few others).
    Great stuff… and thank you for the post.

    Questions? Reach us at imaninja8722@aol… just kidding!  ;)  (info@tweetpages-dot-com)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Matt. I would love to see your video!

  • Kiana

    I’m going to disagree slightly with the email address advice. Keep your aol address for your friends and family and get one of those recommended email addresses for your brand. There is nothing more annoying than a friend or relative who is constantly changing their email address so that they can look hipcoolwithit. 

  • http://twitter.com/cubed Robert Greenwood

    I have not used Tweet Pages as a service yet, but have interacted with them online for a while. Very professional and talented group.

  • Clif Ditmore

    Thank you for all of your splendid ideas and suggestions of how to do it right. I may never receive another free book from you after making this comment. LOL You don’t want to “instantly kill your credibility” by confusing homonyms as you did when writing about business cards. You wrote: “hear are hundreds of creative examples.” I’m a great fan of your writing. Clif

  • http://barrypearman.blogspot.com/ Barry Pearman

    thanks for this Michael. I have added some more of my social networking profiles to my email signature. I have also added my logo. I just realised I have a Linkden profile, must add that too. 

    A question, when being too ‘professional’ be a bit of a relational turn off. Let me explain, I agree lovecat23 is a bit ridiculous when your a professional social networker, sends all the wrong messages! But it might be quite quite appropriate when your context is Loving Cats, Pet care, Pet accommodation etc 

    I suppose its all in the context of the audience you are branding too. 

    My email address is 4turningthepage, my Brand name is Turning the Page which is about change within the Mental Health and Christian Spirituality context. The number 4 refers to the person plus Daddy, Jesus and Spirit. 

    I was recently in Borders placing an order and had to give over my email address and I got a very favourable response from the assistant, unfortunately I didn’t have a business card on me at the time to give her. 

    But don’t you think branding is about context?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, definitely. However, you are lucky if you can get ONE brand message across. People often unnecessarily dilute their brand impact by trying to manage too many brands.

  • Anonymous

    I think that an active twitter account and a intuitive website should be #1 and 2. 

    I think that I am doing well at these things, but I don’t really have the opportunity to use them professionally. 

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    I have a LONG way to go!  It’s exciting but a bit intimidating as well.  One step at a time…

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      So do I… But you’ll be doing great things before you know it. Just keep taking it a step at a time.

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        Thanks for the encouragement, I pray blessings in all your endeavors.

  • http://twitter.com/CardFaves CardFaves

    Thanks for linking us in your article Michael, much appreciated. The site is updated with 3 business card designs a day so there’s plenty more to come.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s very good to know. Thanks!

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    I couldn’t figure out WordPress and found SmallBiz themes who saved the day. Through their templates and great customer service my website is up and running. There is more I can do, lots more, but grateful to SmallBiz Themes who were within my very small budget!

  • http://lifeengaged.net Joseph

    I finally changed my email about a year ago. It was a nickname with crazy numbers at the end before that. thanks for the advice.

  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric

    I’m interested in building my own platform as I develop my blog and community of followers. What advice would you give someone about building their own blog tribe?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Search my blog for the topic of platform or blogging. I have dozens of post on these topics. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Your first suggestion is a good one and it made me laugh. My husband has been saying this same thing for years! He has looked at resumes and the email addresses has sometimes worried him. You have to think about what you are saying about yourself professionally. You may like cats and that is a fine address for personal usage, but when you use it for your professional life, it just doesn’t work. Think about it, what if your intended client/boss doesn’t like cats? ;)

  • Anonymous

    I never have understood using some kind of pseudonym for an email address. even back when I was an Aol user it was just my name. From your post, Mike, I will consider getting a domain….have thought about it many times.

    Usually don’t bother with a signature…most of my email is to people who know me well. When I do use one, it has my credentials (alphabet soup), title, employer and phone number if I think the recipient will need to call me.

    Other points are all great advice. Thanks for your thoughts on this!

    Bill Spinks
    http://about.me/bill_spinks

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      William, as for using a pseudonym, sometimes people have very common names and could not obtain a username for it. Others may just prefer the anonymity a pseudonym provides.

  • http://www.facebook.com/louise.thaxton Louise Thaxton

    What great suggestions!  I have used all 5 in one way or another – but I fear not consistently and also not  consistent with the “image” and the “branding” as I should have, i.e., using the same logo, fonts, etc.  It makes sense, of course – and some great links that I will check out.

  • http://CaptivatingCappadocia.com Duke Dillard

    Thanks, this is helpful information. I looked at Tweetpage and their prices don’t match what you paid. Did you get a special deal? Or did you have them make something and use it for more than they said. For twitter, youtube and FB they list $297. Is that what you meant by a couple hundred dollars? I’m not accusing you of anything, I’m just trying to save money if there is a coupon out there. I’ve been looking for something like this. Thank you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Nope, that’s what I meant by a couple of hundred dollars. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t mess with YouTube, especially now that I use Vimeo to host most of my video.

      • http://CaptivatingCappadocia.com Duke Dillard

        Thanks, that is good to know. You may want to do a post explaining why you chose Vimeo over Youtube. Maybe you did but I don’t remember seeing it. Most “experts” say that youtube should be first because of traffic and search and such. I guess you already have the platform so it is less important in that respect for you? What are the differences for you?

  • Suzana Milijasevic Djuric

    I agree with this notes completely! Every single detail is important. In personal meeting it is crucial what you will wear or how you will hold your head and hands. But, in online communication it’s essencial to fulfill all mentioned rules. Beside them, your personal picture is very important on every social profile you have. Serious businessman doesn’t work with avatars, but with live people.
    So, don’t be shy, but don’t be someone else. Be what you are, and express it clearly!

  • Chris Johnston

    I don’t get turned off so much by an AOL email, but have always been leery of Hotmail and Yahoo.  Especially Yahoo.  Great service.  I have one for misc. things like a place to receive discounts and coupons.  But who wants to be branded a Yahoo?  I have also wondered about Gmail.  Just because it looks like someone hasn’t made the jump from sticking their toe in the water to being around on a permanent basis. 

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    You map out new territory for me and give enough clues that I may actually arrive at the right destination. As usual, you provide excellent counsel.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Here’s the steps that I have taken:

    Recently obtained a domain name and am starting to switch over to my branded email address.
    Setup and posted content to my blog, http://www.jmlalonde.com

    I had never thought about the email signature and using it in the way you described. It seems like it would be a very effective way to grab peoples attention.

    I also like your idea on making all your social media sites look alike. It does make your brand carry more weight and makes it easily recognizable. I’ll have to look at implementing that into mine once I’ve decided the path I’m taking.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you in getting your own domain!

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Thanks Michael. I’m hoping this will be a fun journey.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Subscribed in my RSS!

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Thanks for subscribing Jeff! I hope you like it.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          No problem!  Looking forward to it!

  • http://www.inhisseason.com Teresita Glasgow

    I have all of these tools in place but changes are needed! Thanks for the advice.

  • Anonymous

    These are great tips for me to use for my personal life and my workplace! I just said something similar about aol the other day. My aol account is used for spam!

  • Superstar Aria

    great design! i also make this things in adob photoshop.

    discount card printing
    printed gift cards

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Awesome suggestions.  I’ve implemented each of them, except #5, which is what I’m working on now.  I’ve always had a Facebook, YouTube and Twitter profile, I’ve just never implemented the same feel across the board.  That’s the next step for me.  Thanks1

  • Sherri

    I am looking into buying my own domain and in the process of looking around and researching found something called “WhoIs” or something like that. It was referenced toward the end of the information and is supposed to keep your personal information private and protect you from spam. Have you heard of it? It’s not very expensive for coverage for a year, but I’ve never heard of it – or anything like it – and just wondered if this was a totally unnecessary thing. They make it sound like you could be an easy victim of identity theft without it… 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Naw, I wouldn’t sweat it. But I use a P.O. Box.

  • http://darensirboughblog.wordpress.com Daren Sirbough

    These tips have revolutionised the way I use social media. Over the past couple of days I have revamped everything from my twitter to my blog to my facebook and email signatures. It all adds up and is starting to have a recurring them about it.

  • Bert Savarese

    Just a comment, not meant to be snarky.  On #3. Business cards, second paragraph, you said, “…..hear are a few …..”  It should  be ‘here’ , not ‘hear’.  

    Spent a lot of time looking at resumes, so notice wrong choice of word, misspellings, etc.  Thought you may want to change it.  We all over look things when we write — so easy to do!

    Enjoying your blog!  Thanks.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think I fixed this right after it was posted. Unfortunately, it went out via RSS feed (and email). Is that what you are looking at? Thanks.

  • Donald Smith

    Good information given here would really assist people in knowing in this niche. I will have no problem of directing standard business card dimensions and its ideas to my friends.

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    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for pointing this out. I wasn’t familiar with this site.

  • http://www.register-web-domain.in Domain registration

    Great tools  branding is the important part of the every business this information is very useful to me  thanks to sharing 

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  • Steven

    Michael, I am enjoying your posts and podcasts. My wife is considering a bakery type business. How important would it be to have a  .com website name as opposed to .net, etc?  In keeping with the platform building idea, should her name be in the business name?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      COM is best. If you compare it to the telephone, COM is like an 800 number. NET is like an 888 number. Either can work. Putting your name in the business depends on what the business is and what you want to accomplish. If it is a personal services business, it is almost a pre-requisite.

  • Wkroeplin

    HI Michael,
    I am big time enjoying what you do.  I am in the process of branding and have a question.
    I am concerned that my name is too complicated to use as my url, email, etc.  I soooo understand how important it is to include your name in branding.  But, is there a diminishing return when using a more complicated name?  My last name is difficult for people to remember how to spell.
    thoughts?
    thanks for the help

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      How difficult?

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    Thanks, Wayne. Personally, I would use your name. Just get used to spelling it out for people. I don’t think it’s a problem. Thanks.

    • Wkroeplin

      Thanks
      :)

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