Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Personal Branding Week: Niches and Domains

Choosing a domain name for your personal brandToday we right in the middle of personal branding week here on the Orlando JobSpot. Today we are going to take a look at choosing a niche for your personal brand and how to find domain names based on that niche and your name.

Finding your niche, or specialization, may be the most important step in creating a strong personal brand. The industry you choose to write about, talk about, network with and research will be a determining factor in how future employees see you, how you set yourself up for freelance work, personal business or internal promotions. We have broken down choosing your niche into 3 easy steps.

  1. What is your dream job?
  2. What about the career that you want excites you?
  3. What skills, education, specialization in that career sets you apart from every other worker in that field?
Here are my answers:
  1. Utilizing and teaching social media to people all over the world and getting young people excited about using technology and connecting with brands
  2. I love the fact that talking about Gen-Y, youth marketing and social media excites other people and gets them motivated to use these tools in their career / business.
  3. I have been blogging for over 2 years, have been featured in newspapers and books, interviewed all over the web, consult and talk to all types of companies in all different industries and I am in the demographic that I am trying to get businesses to target.

Based on these 3 questions it would make sense to brand myself as a youth social media marketer. In fact if you type in youth social media marketing on Google you will find my site sitting at #1. Pretty sweet right?

So what about you?
Is your dream job to open your own company, to work for a Fortune 500 or to be able to work remotely to have more time with your family?

What gets you fired up in your career? Is it the paycheck, the face of a satisfied customer, helping someone in need or closing a new huge account? This will help you determine the passion in your career and will spark many topics for you to explore.

What sets you apart in your industry? Have you won awards, spoken or taught a subject, or maybe you are the go-to person for a very specialized part of your job. Whatever the case is, this is your identifying trait that can help your personal brand excel among all the chatter online and off.

Domains
At this point I hope that you have thought about your niche and your industry. The next part can be both fun and challenging. Grabbing domains can be a scary task but also can be a great stepping stone to securing your personal brand.

Domain options
Most social media networks allow you to customize domains on their site for free. For example, on Myspace you get to choose a customer URL like myspace.com/myname. Free blog hosting sites like Blogger also give you a customized domain, much like the one you are on now, http://orlandojobspot.blogspot.com. The OrlandoJobSpot part is the name of this blog and helps in our branding and overall strategy. Hopefully from the title you gather that you will find information on Orlando Jobs.

If you want to take it a step further, you can buy a custom domain to host your own website, blog or portfolio. One of the more popular places to do this is with GoDaddy.com. For less than $10/yr you can have a domain that is your own and helps establish credibility for your brand.

Which ever option you choose you need to come up with a smart domain name. The best available option is yourname.com. This is much easier said than done with common names like Jim Smith. If you have a common name you will need to get clever with your domain name choice.

If this is you, you may want to look into adding some keywords into your domain name. For example, if you are Jim Smith, and work as a carpenter you may want to see if orlandocarpenter.com is available or jimsmithcarpentry.com. Both give the impression that you are going to a carpenter's site and both carry a professional brand tag with them.

For more information on choosing a niche or domain for your personal brand, check out these resources below:
Young HR Guy - domain name options
Buy your name as a domain
Personal Brand Attributes by Dan Schawbel

In the comments, please leave your nich and domain name ideas and we will chime in with any advice and tips that we have. See you tomorrow Orlando!

-Greg Rollett

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