Lately, I’ve been listening to Gary Vaynerchuck’s book on tape: Crush It: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on your Passion. He is passionate about creating a personal brand and gives tons of great ideas for how to maximize social media networks. I recommend it if you don’t mind the energy with which he expresses himself. I don’t.
My largest motivator for learning about web design was the infinite marketing potential it offered. That was years before social media hit. Now that it’s here, it only further extends the capabilities of each of us to market to an infinite number of people. Here are some tips for how to get your brand out there!
1. Focus on what might make you famous. While fame and becoming famous can be an elusive concept, what have you got to offer other people that will set you above the online masses? There are some key elements that will help your quest:
2. Define fame your idea of “fame”. Do you want to be famous everywhere for being an amazing personality, a tech goddess, or the most followed social butterfly? Or are you more focused, hoping to become famous for being the best in a particular area, such as being the best blogger on women’s fashion, the best video creator of science fiction spoofs, the best nature photographer online, etc.? Determine your style of fame so that you can remain focused on your online purpose. The second kind of fame is more likely online because fame is more “intimate” than the fame of movies stars and other celebrities.
- If you’re wanting to earn a living from being famous online, remember that a lot of “Internet fame” leads to speaking engagements, books, and a following of people keen to trust your expertise.
3. Expect your Internet quest for fame to require effort. If you want to be famous, be prepared to put in the hard yards. Working an hour a night and playing the rest of the day won’t make you famous “just like that”! As well as being present, you’ll need to create content of interest so that people have something to read or watch and enjoy. Do your best not to repeat the wheel, and definitely don’t just cut and paste other people’s content. Not only will your viewers have already read it but they’ll be unimpressed by your laziness. That won’t make you stand out online!
4. Publicize yourself. Publicize your IM screen names, URLs, and Net addresses everywhere and often, and reply to everyone. Treat the Web like your house: When people knock, be there to answer.
- Use real photos of yourself for avatars and profiles. People will want to be reassured that they’re connecting with the “real you”. Remember that the brand is “you”.
- Social networking sites are the best, as many as possible. Try Buzznet, Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, Glogster, and anything related to whatever it is you’re promoting, such as blogging, moms, geeks, greenies, etc. is also a good new one. Add everyone – you’ll need to have at least 300 friends to help start spreading your existence and catapulting you to internet stardom.
5. Build a website with personality if you want to build a fan base. People need to feel that you – and not an anonymous webmaster – are personally available at least on a regular basis, if not daily. Make sure to update every single day, and remember: If it’s not interesting, users will click to the next page and move on.
- Update your site with new audio and video clips as often as you can. Give your visitors stuff! For example, give them video, streaming audio, images for their PSP, etc. If you want to offer rich content, you’re going to have to spend a lot of time and a little bit of money, but it’s worth it.
6. Upload something that goes viral. Although it can be difficult to predict what will and won’t rock the socks off viewers, give things a go and publicize them well. One great example of fame gained as a result of a viral video is the story of Christian the lion. The video of Christian the lion was originally posted on a fan site, three decades after making. From there, a MySpace user posted it to MySpace, then another person placed it on YouTube. The resulting views in the millions made internet stars of Christian and his two original owners, Australians John Rendall and Ace Bourke.
7. Realize the fleeting nature of fame. Fame comes and goes. Even movie celebrities have their zenith and tumble into obscurity or have their downward spiral “problems” splashed across the tabloids or blog equivalents. It always comes back to working it constantly, staying fresh, and enchanting your readers, followers, and viewers. If you’re up to it, you might be able to maintain your online fame for a long while. Aim for fame of the sort that will cause you to be written up in the annals of Wikipedia, proving you’ve reached adequate notoriety. In this way, your fame will live on unassisted, unless someone deletes you, of course, but that’s the Internet for you!