You have a brand
Even if you don’t think you do, you have a brand. In earlier days it was known as your reputation. Didn’t your Dad always say that your ‘name’ or your ‘reputation’ was important?
Your online life…
Your reputation online (and often in the ‘real world now’) can be drastically influenced by what you put online. Author’s are always in pursuit of more readers, photographers are looking for clients and people who enjoy their work, musicians want that illusive listener. We all value having somebody look at our ‘work’ and oftentimes we hope they will like it enough to remunerate us for that work.
With this in mind, we pour time and effort into writing blog posts, making web pages, posting to Twitter or Facebook, all those things. Things that take time and mental energy that could actually be used to produce what our adoring fans really want – more pictures, music, books, whatever we hope to be known for.
So, given our limited time here on this planet, where should we be spending our time?
A question we’ve probably all asked ourselves at some point. Guess what, right now I’m not going to tell you an answer. Instead, I want to make another point that I hold near and dear to my heart in this online world.
Mike Damphousse had a good article speaking to some of these ideas: "Fathers’ Day and Your Brand"
Don’t give up control of your brand
As much as you may like (or dislike) Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (remember them?) or whoever is the current trendsetter, remember – they are somebody else’s brand. Unless your name is Zuckerberg (Facebook cofounder), then the employees and management of Facebook have little or no interest in your success.
Why then would you hand out a card saying "check me out on http://facebook.com/brucedillahunty"? Bruce Dillahunty is my brand. It’s my reputation. I care about that reputation and the people that come here. Nobody else can place that importance on my site. My brand is BruceDillahunty.xyz – not somebody’s else’s site.
I may (or may not) use the social media site which is all the rage this week, but I’m going to use it to drive people to my site. Then when Facebook shuts down in a few years (and I’m betting it will happen), or they put such onerous restrictions or pricing around their use that I don’t wish to use them, my users will still be looking at my site.
Get out there, but your own domain, get some decent hosting, and turn up a web site. Its not rocket science any more, and if you aren’t comfortable with it, pay a local student $100 and you’ll be online in no time.
To get you started, click here (use BCD50 for the referral code if it asks for one). This will give you $50 off Dreamhost hosting, which I’ve used for nearly 10 years, and as a bonus you’ll get a free domain registration.