If you are marketing online, whether building a business around a hobby, or selling products via an ecommerce store. It’s important to understand what branding your name online entails.
Branding via Trust
First Off, it help you establish yourself as an authority in your market, because people trust authority figures.
They trust their recommendations, they trust that their products will be of good quality, and they trust that they have integrity. It also lends credence to the buyer that you’re a real person – not just some nameless, faceless entity trying to sell them something on a static, automated website.
You should put your name on everything you create. Whether it’s a membership site, an eBook, or something as small as a PLR article pack for sale – you should put your name on it. Getting your name out there is so essential to your ongoing success. Don’t forget to brand your website to attract more clients to you.
Think about all of the marketing gurus you’ve heard of. Some of them you may not have heard of yet, especially if you’re new, but chances are you’ve heard of at least a few of these. Have you heard of John Reese, Mike Filsaime, Frank Kern, Dan Kennedy, Joe Vitale, Willie Crawford, or the late Gary Halbert?
If you’ve been in marketing long at all you’ve surely heard of at least one of these people. People know and remember the names of these people because they put their names on everything they put out.
Their names are all over the marketing forums, their eCovers, their headers, and everything else they do. They work very hard to brand their names, because their names become the brands. People buy their products simply because their name is on it.
Buyers think that the product must be good, because the person is so well-known. You should do the same thing with your name. Always use the same name on everything you do within a particular niche.
You may not want to use your real name for whatever reason, but your name needs to be a “real name.” A nickname usually won’t cut it in most markets, but sometimes it works – like in the case of Travis “The Bum” Marketer or the “Rich Jerk.”
If you’ve signed up for forums under a nickname, ask the moderators if they can change your name to your real name or pen name. You might not want to tell the moderator’s it’s a pen name. That’s up to you.
Keep getting your name out there any way you can. Host teleseminars, JV with well-known people if possible, and offer to help create content for well-known people in your niche in exchange for a Bio Box that hosts your name and link to your website.
Offer to be an interview subject for someone. Be a “guest author” for popular websites and blogs in your niche, and create 100% original content for them. Never stop branding your name. Even when you’re as famous as Donald Trump, the king of name branding, don’t stop.
Donald still puts his name on everything he does. His name appears in huge, bold letters on his books. He names buildings after himself. Think of Trump Tower, Trump Taj Mahal, and Trump Plaza. His name is all over everything.
Not only is it a matter of pride, but it keeps his name everywhere. You may never be as famous as the Donald, or even as famous as John Reese, but you might become known as the king or queen of your own little niche or for a particular slant that grows in popularity.
Branding can also be linked to being asked what do you do for a living?
When you make a living online, a lot of people won’t understand what it is you do. Some of them will think you’re nothing more than a spammer – just because you work on the Internet. You might even run into people who automatically assume you’re into promoting porn, because they think that’s all the Internet is used for!
But if you have solid branding in place, then it will be much easier for you to explain. And for them to actually see and understand what you do.
You need to be prepared to deal with people like this. Some of them may even be close friends and family members who are simply ignorant about the various marketing uses for the World Wide Web.
The first thing you need to explain to people is that very few people who work on the Internet are spammers. Spammers actually make up a very, very small minority of those who make money online.
If you do any sort of email marketing, you should explain that every single person you send email to has signed up specifically to your newsletter, and clicked a link to confirm that they really want to be on your list.
Explain to them that subscribing to your newsletter is a lot like signing up for delivery of the newspaper, or a magazine subscription. People sign up to your newsletter, and then you send them valuable information, not just advertising.
If you sell eBooks online, you can explain to people that you’re a bit like a book publisher, but all of the books you publish are in digital format. You can tell them that instead of paying a lot of extra money for the printing, binding, marketing, and shipping of a physical book, you eliminate those costs by selling all of your books as downloadable products.
If people still don’t understand, you could even show them what an eBook is by letting them view one on your computer. If your main business is advertising affiliate products, you can tell people you’re in advertising.
Explain to them that you run a website (or websites) and you place advertising on that website. Every time someone clicks an ad and purchases something, you receive a commission. If you make most of your money through AdSense or selling advertising on your sites, you can simply tell people that you place advertisements on your websites, and you charge advertisers for that ad space.
If you want to, you could show them some of your sites or blogs to illustrate the point. Some people feel more comfortable just telling people they design websites. If you’re a decent website builder, this will probably really impress people, but be prepared to get requests from people asking if you’ll make them a site, too.
If you don’t want to deal with all of the questions about spamming and porn, just telling someone you design websites will usually be enough to throw them off your trail. If people are particularly persistent with their questions, you can start to point out some examples of people who have been very successful making money online.
Don’t just use examples of famous Internet marketers like John Reese or Yanik Silver! Use some examples with verifiable “proof” in mainstream media. For example, the famous “make money” blogger John Chow has a number of stories out there about him.
There’s also teenaged entrepreneur Ashley Squalls who has made mainstream news in a big way by making over $70,000 per month with advertising on her site that gives away MySpace layouts. And of course, the infamous Perez Hilton – a celebrity blogger who cashes in on the ad space his blog has.
You should try to realize that some people will just never understand what you do. Try to explain it the best way you can, and if it doesn’t work, accept it. Some people just won’t get it. If the in-laws or your spouse are nagging you because your money isn’t yet streaming in, and you feel pressured, put together a simple presentation that answers all of their questions and puts their minds at ease.
The easiest solution to this question is to put your branding in place so you can answer the question “What do you do for a living?” with ease!