From English to Portuguese, .ME carries a personal meaning in multiple languages, helping people from all over the world build their personal brands online.
In a world where technology changes in the blink of an eye, and the turnover of job vacancies is even faster, you have to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Creating a strong online personal brand became an important task on everyone’s “must-do” list. Whether you’re a blogger, freelancer, or a student trying to get your first job, the best thing you can do to stand out and take control of your digital footprint is to get a personalized domain name and build a personal website.
This post is going to explain:
- why you should care about your personal brand in the first place
- why the .ME domain name is the foundation of your online presence
- why you should consider having a personal
- how to build a strong personal brand
We’ve also linked to additional resources should you want to know more 🙂 For inspiration, you will find examples of great personal websites built
The Case for Personal Branding
In ancient times, before the Internet expansion, having a personal brand went hand in hand with sharing a bunch of business cards. Not that they have vanished nowadays, but some of the rules of the game have changed. Whether you like it or not, if you want to reach someone today you don’t head to your yellow phone book – you go online. We are all relying on the Internet to tell us everything we need to know about others.
If you’re about to apply for a new job, what is the first thing you’ll do? You google the potential employer, and the employer will google you, too. Trust us, we have research to prove it. What many people don’t know is that the Google search results that come up largely depend on you. Just as you would carefully manage the reputation of your business online, you have to do the same for yourself.
Our offline and online personas are slowly merging, and the one increasingly impacts the other. The lack of awareness about this fact can create a disruption between who we truly are and who we want to be online. In a world where nothing can ever be deleted, it’s extremely important to take care of your online reputation, in order to build a strong personal brand you can be proud of.
Still, there are people that get an instant migraine when someone mentions “personal branding.” Others think that “being yourself” has been replaced with “build your brand,” i.e. build something artificial, and they are not loving it. We gave our arguments on why we don’t agree with that view here, but here is the main idea:
Even though personal branding as a term may sound a little bit egocentric, there is no term or phrase that could replace it and still be as easily recognized and understood by everyone. Moreover, it is the concept of personal branding that is important, not the term per se.
There’s one ultimate truth every one of us has to acknowledge – we are humans, and we are brands, and one does not exclude the other. As Mark Schaefer, an internationally-acclaimed college educator, author, strategy consultant, and keynote speaker at #SparkMe 2018 wrote in this great article:
“A brand is simply the idea that somebody has about you (or a product) from their accumulated experiences. Those experiences, increasingly, are formed from the online impressions we get of you through content, photos, and videos.”
We talked to four personal branding experts about the most important advice they would give to someone just starting to build their brand. You can read the whole thing here. But the key thing to remember is that, when creating a personal brand, you’re just unveiling your true self to the world. Your personal brand should reflect the real you, not some imaginary, perfect, and, therefore, non-existent person. Take a page from a superheroes branding book and always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman. 🙂
.ME Domain: The Foundation of Your Online Presence
Let’s imagine it’s not an anonymous someone that is being googled this time. It is you. It’s the first impression that counts, right? So what is it that people see? That is your introduction to the world.
If you could choose three things that you want someone you just met to remember about you, the first one would surely be your name. In the digital world, your name is your domain. And here’s a fun fact: your name can actually be your domain. Whether you want to share your skills, blog about your experiences or showcase your work, there is no better way to do it but under your own name.
Due to its higher availability compared to traditional domain names and the meaning behind the word “ME,” with
This combination is great for both personal and business purposes. It carries your name and you can use it as a hub for both your professional achievements and things that interest you personally. Having a personal domain name and a personal website sets you apart from everyone else doing the same thing as you, and from anyone who shares your name. No more maria557florida!
Taking it a step further, you can use your .ME domain name to create a custom email address; for example, in a firstname.lastname@example.org form. Now doesn’t that sound professional?
Of course, from an SEO perspective, just having a domain name that matches what people search for is not enough. What is even more important is the quality of the content on the domain name, which brings us to our next point…
Does Personal Branding Require a Personal Website?
Ok, but I already have a top-notch LinkedIn profile and I’m very careful about the stuff I post on Facebook and Instagram. Isn’t that enough for building a strong personal brand? These questions are at the core of the social media vs personal website dilemma, leading
Yes: If you think about it, even the best job application requires a cover letter. A piece that would introduce the person behind the carefully crafted CV or LinkedIn profile. Your social media accounts reflect just one part of your online personality. What we are looking for is the full picture. Social media does not offer you full control over your virtual self – you are limited by the features of the service, its purpose and rules of conduct.
Most importantly, you don’t own the content you create and if, at any time, the service decides to shut down … all of it could be gone. Just remember Vine.
Solution? The only way to have complete control over your content is to feature it in your online space – a website of your own on a domain name you own. Having a personal website means owning the content you create. Every photo you share and every word you write belongs only to you. You can control how it looks and the way others can approach you.
No: But, it does not have to be a full-blown website as we are sure you are imagining it. We know how impossible building your website from scratch can seem. Luckily, you don’t have to
How to Build a Strong Personal Brand
1. Choose carefully the elements of your personal website
A personal website, displaying hundreds of hours of your hard work and dedication, can help you reach the stars. However, it’s very easy to get carried away with all photos and stories you want to share and create something too complex and confusing. Here are the elements that you should focus on when creating your personal website:
- Short bio: Aside to you name, what people should see first is a short sentence that should answer the question – Who are you? Create something catchy and unique that sets you apart from others. Your bio should feature a brief professional description targeting your niche.
- About me: Include a longer bio that summarizes your professional and personal achievements and communicates what you have to offer. Writing concise and effective “about me” section is perhaps the hardest thing you’ll have to do when building your website, so here is a useful tutorial on how to do it!
- Your portfolio: If possible, include examples of your previous work. Add your resume, projects you worked on, companies you worked with, testimonials, or, if possible, a blog section.
- Social media: Not connecting your social media profiles would be suspicious, but make sure to choose those that present you in the best light.
- Visuals: You want to leave an extraordinary impression? Make sure everyone
reMEmbershow amazing your online portfolio is by adding a professional headshot, logos, or photos for other information on your site. Do you love making videos? Even better! Showcase your references and skills at the same time.
- Contact information: Finally, you brought them where you want them, now give the necessary information to close a deal.
That said, as your website should be as unique and amazing as you, there are no rules. Ok, except these two:
- Keep it simple: Despite all other things on your website, the main focus should always be on your work.
- Keep it up-to-date: Is there anything worse than constantly checking the release date of the next season of your favorite show? Nope. You have to be consistent and make sure that all the information on your website (and blog) are valid at the time.
2. Make your online presence consistent
There is a reason why big brands stick to the same name and imagery for decades, even hundreds of years. They may change a slogan or invest in different campaigns, but there are things that remain the same that make them recognizable and capture the essence of their brand.
If you want to build a strong personal brand and make sure you are easy to find, it’s important to keep the same look and feel across all your online profiles. If available, use a first and last name combo for your social media usernames, and feature the same photograph. It’s important this matches the information on your personal website. Likewise, if you already built a social media following with a specific nickname, then your .ME domain could be that nickname as well. People will check multiple places when they want to learn more about you, and keeping it consistent will help to make you memorable.
Remember that short bio from your website? It should be the same on your social media accounts as well, with some slight changes to account for specifics of different networks. Also make sure to display the link to your personal website on each bio; it will help to connect with your audience across your social media profiles and will serve as a door to all your online activities.
3. Start blogging
Blogging is one of your most powerful weapons here. Your blog can become the cornerstone of your personal branding efforts!
Did you know that 62% of bloggers are using their personal blog to grow their career? True story! Blogging about things that are related to your industry, or just writing about something that you’re truly passionate about, can set you apart and position you as a thought leader, or at least signal that you’re following the latest news and know how to express yourself in a written form.
Blogging reveals your personality, mindset, and intellect. It’s where you showcase your creativity and point out the strengths that make you unique. And that’s not all! Having a blog can bring you a lot of new connections and networking. You’ll find like-minded people and get a chance to exchange opinions, embrace new knowledge, and expand your views.
“Many people and many companies fail to see that bloggers are actually small business owners. They are a one-(wo)man show, yes, but they progress and learn all the time. They grow – they have their own fan clubs, communities, and they earn money from it.”Nataša Đukanović, CMO of Domain.ME
There are some important things to consider if you are serious about stepping into the magical world of blogging. What kind of a blogger do you want to be? How to choose a perfect domain name for your blog? What are you going to blog about and why? Who are you writing for? What is the main goal of your blogging adventure? Coming up with the answers is not an easy quest but once you do it, you’re ready to rule your blogging kingdom. As always, our absolute beginner’s guide on how to start a successful blog is here to help!
Never ever underestimate the power of blogging! If you’re new to the world of
A good, personal domain name is your most powerful asset in the great battle for a unique and MEmorable online identity. Add
So, who is using .ME?
Many professionals choose .ME as their online home. From developers and designers to photographers, bloggers, and students. Arnan de Gans is a web developer who uses his personal website to show his work, his hobbies, and all his business related info. Take a look at arnan.me and see for yourself! Adrian is a perfect example of making a memorable website which tells his story, and player.me showed us all how you can easily build a personal community around something you’re passionate about!
.ME can help you if you are a student or if you are looking for a job. Shuai Wang,
You too can use .ME to make your personal brand awesome – so what are you waiting for?
The true power