Random thoughts of a digital web weaver

The Importance of Branding to Your Online Identity

I know there have been many articles out there that talk about branding and how important it is to a business, but I thought I’d share a little insight from personal experience. 

Like many, in addition to my own website, I use various social media sites to interact with others. One of the things I have tried to do is to keep my branding consistent between sites that I use for business/professional means (most notably Twitter and LinkedIn). For the most part, that involves using my logo as my profile picture on these sites.

I didn’t put much thought into it. I like my logo. In one form or another, it has been the representation of me as a designer since I started learning about the web. It just made sense to use it wherever I was promoting myself as a web designer.

However, I didn’t realize how much of an impact this kind of consistency actually had with people until I attended An Event Apart (AEA) earlier this year in Seattle.

As part of the event, a feed aggregator called “A Feed Apart” is set up so that attendees can interact with each other via tweets. It’s a wonderful little tool that helps to enhance the whole experience. I used it as a notebook of sorts where I could record notes (until I saw Luke Wroblewski’s in-depth notes and decided to use his instead), jot down interesting/relevant quotes, ask questions to see what other attendees thought, and also engage in some banter and fun.

So people saw my logo pop up on the feed as I happily tweeted away during the event. However, if they were like me, all they were associating the profile picture with was a twitter user name. Granted, it was kind of easy to connect my twitter user name @shaunrashid to my AEA name tag but work with me here.

Here’s the connection part.

During lunch, we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with our fellow attendees. It was nice to be able to meet those twitter user names and associate them with people. Many would recognize me by name (again those AEA name tags) but when I handed them a business card, I was surprised by how quickly they recognized my logo. Many comments along the lines of “I saw you on the feed” followed and it was quickly apparent to me how important that logo was in terms of establishing and promoting an identity.

Making connections has always been an important part of business and life in general. The explosion of social media and it’s use as a communication and networking tool, we are able to connect to many more people than ever before. It becomes important to establish your online identity and to make that identity consistent across your social media channels.

You don’t want to become just another name. You want to be known for who you are, what you’ve done, and what you can do.

I found that a little blue and white symbol helps me to do that.