Saturday, February 17, 2018

How's your brand?

This morning I read an interesting post from a school librarian who was talking about social media and branding. So much of what she said is also true for genealogists and family historians.

Ashley Cooksey said in her post Social Media Profile and Branding  "One of the most important things a #ConnectedEducator can do is to build a stellar profile and create a social media brand. You may currently be thinking, “a brand is for a company, fast food restaurant, or shoe, not for a teacher.” Well, my friend, I disagree. Your profile gives followers a quick snapshot of who you are as a professional (and a person). Your posts will develop your brand. Think of this as your digital footprint."  The same goes for a Connected Genealogist.

In the article Ashley answers to three questions:
  • What do you need to include in your profile?
  • What should you post? And how often?
  • Why is it important to brand yourself?
I cannot think of many family historians whose content I instantly recognise. Some that I recognise are those with unique usernames/aliases (or as I call them AKAs) like The Chart Chick, Dapper Historian, Lonetester and ScotSue. These unique names have much more meaning than Mary Brown or John Smith. When I enter the search term GeniAus into Google the majority of the results that are returned are about or by me, ie relevant. I imagine that DearMYRTLE has a similar experience but I am sure that poor Mary Brown and John Smith aren't so fortunate. Do you consider the person who may be trying to find your pearls of wisdom via a simple search?

I am astounded when I visit blogs while writing welcome posts for the GeneabloggersTRIBE blog that quite a number of bloggers don't have a Profile or About Me statement. If we want to connect with our readers we must give a little. Have you checked your profile lately? Does it give the reader a hint of your personality and background. Readers like to know a little about those whose ramblings they are reading.

Some genealogists have one photo or graphic across all of their social media channels. Do you recognise these? 

This is a slide from a presentation I am giving at #Congress_2018
EXTRA added an hour later. If you are going to use a photo (unless it's one of you as a child) make sure it is recent and an accurate representation of the everyday you. 

The Legal Genealogist has all of this branding stuff sewn up. She has a recognisable AKA, uses the same photo regularly and even wears her pink coat to many geneaevents. I hear that the coat is now threadbare and that Judy has commissioned a replica.

Does your branding need a makeover? Perhaps you should read Ashley's post Social Media Profile and Branding.


10 comments:

ScotSue said...

Jill - I was, as they in Scotland, “ fair chuffed” that you mentioned me in your post regarding my distinctive user name. I thought of it very quickly when setting up my blog, as I wanted to highlight the contribution I could make on Scottish family history resources - and there doesn’t seem to be many amateur FH bloggers from Scotland in the blogging community. I have been interested in the issue of branding, following a major exercise in my then workplace in the tourism industry. The key factors of consistency in messages and design make a lot of sense to me. But I do wonder if I should be following this guideline when it comes to my top banner photograph of my blog, as I use a very different photograph on my blog Facebook page - but somehow I am reluctant, for various reasons to make them the same.

Jill Ball said...

Thanks Sue. Yours is one of the best: short, memorable and tells who you are and your area of focus.

Fran Kitto said...

Totally agree with you on branding. When writing a blog or interacting in social media you also need to have to your own voice and be consistent in its use. It’s an integral part of your brand. It needs to be honest and consistent as your audience quickly picks out a fake. You might be professional and authoritative like Judy, The LegalGenealogist for she writes about serious legal matters or in my case I use a conversation voice - with incomplete sentences joined by dashes, contractions like won’t instead of will not and mostly everyday words as I want my audience to feel as home and not intimidated by technology or genealogical processes, rules and procedures. I would avoid that last set of words. So I know what I want to do. Now to find time to do it

littlebytesoflife@gmail.com said...

Very good advice, Jill. Thank you for bringing this up and sharing! :-)

genealogylizgauffreau said...

This post was good timing for me. As much as I hate to think of myself as a "brand," I understand the need for a recognizable and consistent online identity.

Callie C said...

That's really useful, thank you

Carrie Brown said...

Great advice. Thank you for pointing out that those of us with common names need to work hard to create a brand that set us apart from all the other's who share our common monikers.

Nancy said...

Great advice all round. Once I tried to brand myself (ouch!), it was actually easier to manage/keep track of. But to my great dismay, I realized two days ago I never updated my website link at LinkedIn when I migrated to WordPress. D'oh is me.

Alice Keesey Mecoy said...

Great advise. I spent a few weeks working on my branding board when I restarted JohnBrownKin.com. It does make decisions easier, I know what colors to use, I know what font to use and I designed a new logo. Consistency is crucial for brand recognition. Thanks for sharing

genealogylizgauffreau said...

JohnBrownKin.com looks great! Very nice job on the site, Alice.

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