The first question i ask myself when ever a stranger sends me a friend request on Facebook is, who is he/she?

Have we met before or do we have friends in common?

If i can’t find a convincing answer, i check out their profile. And there i will be like, what does he represent?

If he reflects the kind of person I’d like to connect with in real life, i can accept the request. If he doesn’t i might just leave or delete that request.

I keep doing this over and over again before really connecting with people. And when i finally add them up, their personality is what will determine if i should initate a conversation or not.

If i happen to initiate the conversation, it’s the same personality that will decide the flow… The way we’d communicate.

Does that resonate?

You see, everyday, we rate and un-rate people, based on what we think of them. And most of the time, our opinion of these our wannabe friends is formed based on their personality.

And especially in the virtual world, where we hardly know these people, their personality denotes a lot to us. And this comprises of their mannerisms, dressing, the kind of post the person updates and even their friends.

I’m sure you must have added people who appeared to be really sophisticated only to realize it was all packaging.

And you might have also missed out on great minds and potential clients before you later realized they were actually the ones you were supposed to have added in the first place.

It happens all over the place. But this can be stopped. You can influence other people’s opinion about you, especially on the virtual world.

You can coordinate your virtual personality to represent the kind of person you really want it to represent with much ease.

And this is exactly what you’re going to learn in this guide.

After reading this guide, you will be able to build a compelling online brand and a social platform that will completely reflect your personality on the internet.

Right here are 17 critical steps that will help you re-strategize, boost your online personality and build a compelling online brand. Enjoy!

Part one. How to define your online brand.

Brand identity. You can’t take any step forward with re-positioning your brand without first of all finding out what your brand is all about.

So supposing you don’t know what you should represent, the first thing to do is ask yourself the following questions and then take out time to answer each of them in details:

What am i selling? What product/services am i trying to convince people out there to buy from me online?

If you’re not an entrepreneur, you can ask yourself, what am i doing here. What kind of a person do i want people to think of me? Jovial and friendly? Bold, Fabulous? What kind of impression should i be creating here.

Be specific and clear about what you’re doing so you can customize your message to fit in with it.

Define your niche clearly. Your niche should be an area you want to focus in your digital life. What you want to be known for. It helps a lot when you define your niche audience clearly.

For instance if you’re an author trying to project a powerful author brand, you might still want to break it further to choose a sub niche that really represents the kind of stuff you write about as an author.

So you can choose to settle for sub niches like fiction and non-fiction, author.

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Going further under fiction we have Poetry, Prose, Drama. And on and on, it keeps grouping and re-grouping itself. You can further niche down to find what resonates exactly with what you do.

Purpose. Purpose here is like the reason for starting what you’re doing, creating your blog or business in the first place.

So you ask yourself, why exactly am i doing this. why did i start out? Figure that out then think of your brand objectives as reflecting this ultimate purpose.

Audience. Your target audience make up your first clients. They are your customers and your product/services is for them to buy.

Did you find that out already? Your brand objectives will be targeted towards them. And if you’re a hobby blogger, you will also have some kind of audience you’d want to connect with. Find that.

Tip: Here is a good place to answer the next question, who is my audience? Where do they hang out?

Part two. How to set your brand objectives

After the above steps, the next thing to do is set your brand objectives.

Your brand objective is the sum of what you intend to achieve with your online brand.

So you start here with identifying the objectives of the brand you’re projecting.

Tip: Ask yourself, what am i trying to attain with this brand? : Is it to increase sales?
To become the most widely known in my niche?
To increase brand loyalty?
To build more value for my customers?

What do i really want to gain with my online brand?

Get this set out clearly from onset. This is the essence of your brand. To get result is to achieve these objectives.

When you’re done identifying your brand objectives, its time to formulate your brand message. For you to do this, you’ll have to find out this four things; Vision, Mission, Culture and the Core values of your brand.

Let me break it down.

Vision. A vision is the desired future you see about your online business. It’s more like the ultimate destination you wish to attend in the long run.

Your vision should be written in a clear statement that will inspire you just as you work towards achieving it.

Mission. Your mission defines the purpose of what you do. With your mission statement, you should be able to answer the questions about What you do, How you do it. And Why you’re doing it.

Core values. Your core values should be able to define what you stand for. What matters most to you in relationship with your clients.

Take for instance, as a content writer, one of my core values is to create simplicity and engagement with my content.

I love simplicity. I want my audience to understand and be able to relate with what I write without much effort. That’s why I write almost all my content in simple, direct and engaging styles.

The next thing is Culture. Your Mission, Vision together with your Core Values should be able to define your brand culture.

Are you innovative and upwardly mobile? Trendy and unconventional? Warm and empathetic? Calm and resourceful or plainly formal and diplomatic.

Your brand culture should be reflected in and around your services.

Here in Victor Winners, our brand culture is focused on helping clients achieve their business dreams on the internet without stress. And this is reflected in the way we transact business.

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These four elements should lead you towards the next step which is creating a brand message.

Part three. How to evolve your brand message

Brand messaging. Now, Your brand message refers to the underlying value proposition you’re conveying and the language you use to convey it in your content.

It’s a string of message that represents your brand. It does not necessarily need to be written all over the place but should clearly be visible all around your product, services and contents.

Again, Let’s break it down.

Your brand message should be such that your audience are well able to relate to. It should be able to inspire, persuade, and then motivate them to buy your brand.

It could come in the following form as some catchy tagline. Let’s see a good example of brand messaging below:

MTN : Everywhere you go.
Nokia : Connecting people.
APC : Change! You remember that catchy tagline used by the winning party in Nigeria’s last general elections and the overwhelming response from the masses? That’s the effect of effective brand messaging.

Most people go for something emotional that reflects the yearning of the target audience. You can as well use this strategy.

Get the message out. Now, It is not enough that you have a brand message. You will have to take this message right to your audience where they hangout.

This is what I’m talking about…

As an online entrepreneur, you are in the business of selling. Even when your market is online and perhaps multi dimensional, there is a specific group that needs you and your product or services.

If your brand is that of a children’s tutor (that tutors, take care of children after school, while they wait for their busy parents) for instance, your niche audience could be that of working class mothers.

Instead of marketing for mothers as a whole, get your message optimized for this sub group. Get it directly to them. At their forums and hangouts. They are your audience.

Part four. Attaining your brand goals.
Now, after fixing your brand message, the next thing is to identify how you will attain your brand objectives.

Assuming what we did in the steps above was finding your brand objectives, now you’ll go to work creating the blueprint you will need to achieve the objectives you listed out.

See this blueprint first, as a simple but practical steps you can take to achieve the objectives you stated earlier. Break it down to target the various milestone you wish to attend as you progress.

How do i initiate my brand strategies?
Go to your audience. Meet them in their hangouts. It could be a social media forum, a blog with already established authority in your subject area, virtual or live conferences and seminars, get yourself out there.

Be helpful. Position yourself as an authority in your field through your helpful comments, posts and contributions etc, Spread the word about your brand. Take it one step at a time.

Part 5. How to create a niche community for your brand.

So what’s your selling point?

Every online brand has a niche community. By this, i mean people who can relate to your brand. To find out this guys, you’ll first of all decide what should differentiate you from the competition.

So go pick up your mission, vision and culture statement you wrote earlier and find out, is there anything that is unique to you in that industry?

What is the extra value provided by your brand that no one else does? Go ahead see how you can project it throughout your communication and interactions with your audience.

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Despite the similarity across brands in an industry, there will always be a point of difference between one and the other provided you’re not copying others.

That’s why we have a Facebook and a Twitter both as social media platforms yet they operate differently.

So you’ll have to focus on the strong points that differentiates you from your competition. Let your audience see it.

Do you have a peculiar or odd story, incidence, breakthrough event? Share it. Yes. For example, I started writing this part from the toilet.

It’s a real odd place to write but that’s where I was really comfortable. So much inspiration flows around here these days when one is seated calmly, minding his business. Lol.

Now, the story i shared up there doesn’t look like a brand strategy does it?

But does it sounds odd, unusual or make you feel like ‘oh yeah, i’ve once had some good idea pop up in the toilet as well? That’s it.

We share the same familiarity with people who have had the same experience we had at one time or the other.

Be cool. If you’re promoting a personal brand, people show much solidarity if you’re able to show your weaknesses, your fears and breakthroughs.

It makes you look just like a work-in-progress who didn’t drop from the sky. And that’s really inspiring.

It doesn’t only make you more trustworthy, it makes your audience believe if you could make it, they too can do same.

And the final tip is this; Get ready to outgrow your brand if necessary.

Life is a journey. Change is growth. Don’t stick with a single brand cos so many people know you for that.

Integrate more dimensions as you learn. Growing from one to more is an achievement. All you need do is tweak your brand, to reflect the improvements.

And the very final thing I’d want to add right here is this, if you don’t own a domain name or website for your brand, it will be really difficult to manage your brand.

This is because most of the social media sites don’t give you much power to choose the kind of information that should be featured on the search engines.

Facebook for instance doesn’t even feature personal profiles on search engines results page so that means people won’t easily find your brand if they search for it on Google.

On the other hand, with your domain name and website you can change that and manage your reputation instantly. Because your website allows you to manage your online brand information and place it the way you want.

So why not place an order, get a website and start managing your brand right away?

I hope you learned a lot?

Remember nothing happens until you make it happen. You can get started right now. You can begin to build an exceptional online brand for your business right now.

Do you have any special ideas on how to build a successful and outstanding brand online? Let’s hear you.

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