If you are an entrepreneur, you can’t escape building your personal brand online. To grow your business, you rely on your website, social media, and other technology to attract, engage and convert new customers.
A study compiled by the Behavior and Information Technology Journal evaluated how long it takes for someone to form an opinion when they land on your website. In three different studies, the participants were timed, and they assessed the visual appeal of the site. Once all of the data was compiled, it was concluded that it only takes 50 milliseconds to make an online visual impression.
To grow your business, you rely on your website, social media, and other technology to attract, engage and convert new customers. A study compiled by the Behavior and Information Technology Journal evaluated how long it takes for someone to form an opinion when they land on your website. In three different studies, the participants were timed, and they assessed the visual appeal of the site. Once all of the data was compiled, it was concluded that it only takes 50 milliseconds to make an online visual impression.
50 Milliseconds, let’s put that into perspective.
It takes 300 to 400 milliseconds to blink your eye. Does that startle you? It should.
You have 1/6th of a blink of an eye to capture someone’s attention online. That means the images and brand you showcase has to be on point and clear. If you want to capture someone’s attention in 1/6th of a blink of an eye, your personal brand has to be dialed in and consistent across all platforms.
Here are three ways to make your personal brand pop online:
1. Be intentional about what people SEE
Open up all of your social media accounts, your website, and any other online tool that you use to interact with your prospects and customers. Take a screenshot of the home page or landing page that is most often visited. Compare them, side by side.
Now answer these questions:
- Are your images consistent across all channels?
- Is your logo clearly represented across all channels?
- Does this visual impression of your brand represent you as the expert, authority and best choice in your industry?
If not, it’s time to step back and begin to refresh or redevelop your brand. One of the most powerful ways to refresh your brand presence or visual voice is through your brand images.
High-quality photographs that authentically represent your personality will boost your credibility and make your brand more approachable. Remember, in the personal branding world; people don’t buy widgets, they buy people and the experience they will have with you and your company.
Your personal brand should not be thrown together with clip art and candid photos. If you want to be taken seriously, your personal brand has to reflect your best qualities, visually.
2. Be intentional about what people HEAR
Do you have a clear brand message and is it repeated everywhere? Don Miller with StoryBrand says that your brand message online needs to pass the grunt test. The grunt test means super-simple messaging that would allow a caveman to understand and quickly grunt out:
- What your business does
- How it will make their life better
- How a customer can buy from you in a matter of 5 seconds
If your audience doesn’t instantly understand the answers to those three questions, you can’t convert them. People don’t have the luxury of time to figure out who you are and what you do. If you are lucky enough to have someone land on your website or visit your social media accounts, it is your job to make your brand message clear.
To clarify your personal brand and your message, step back from all of the ‘marketing’ language and answer the questions with simple, clear answers. Don’t try to be creative. Try to solve the problem. Simplicity is key.
3. Be intentional about what people EXPERIENCE
Customer experience is the hallmark of your personal brand online and off. How people are handled from the first point of contact to the purchase and beyond links directly to your personal brand.
Everything you do should create an experience of your brand that is consistent with what they see and hear.
Today, more than ever, the customer experience is delivered online, and there are strategic ways to make each customer feel special.
Think about it; some brands are forgoing email for messenger bots because people spend more time on social media accounts than they do anywhere else online. How you craft those messages and sequences can make or break your personal brand.
If you are not using bots, you are probably using email as your primary contact point. How you handle those emails will determine the customer’s experience with your brand.
Here are three questions to answer about your customer experience online:
- When someone emails you from your website or social media platform, do you respond immediately? If you can’t, do you have automation technology in place to do that?
- When your prospect or customer connects online, do you ensure that they are getting their questions answered or are directed to what they want to know promptly?
- Do you follow up with your prospect or customer after the online interaction to see if they have any other questions or needs?
How you handle the customer experience online can turn into marketing gold. You can get tremendous exposure through social sharing, review apps, and comments and ratings that can help you make deeper connections with your prospects or customers.
The key to making your personal brand pop online is to strategically address all three areas: what they see, what they hear and what they experience.
If you want to stand out in a crowded market, aligning your personal brand with these three objectives is the first step.
Invest in creating the right look and feel for your brand, spend the time to clarify your message so that it passes the grunt test and make sure that you have an active and engaging customer experience plan in place.
If you do, your personal brand will definitely pop online.