I haven’t posted much recently here because I’ve been busy growing my headphone review site over at http://www.headphonereviewhq.com/ Before I really got rolling with that I was frequenting some of my favorite sites such as smartpassiveincome.com, nichepursuits.com and warriorforum.com. At the time, I was going through and reading posts and trying to really contribute useful information to the conversations on those sites. The problem is, while I was doing that, I wasn’t being smart about it.
Branding should be used EVERYWHERE
I’m sure I’m not the only one in love with gmail as the interface is great, you have access to all your email as long as you have an internet connection, and if your ISP changes, you don’t lose your email address! While it’s great to use gmail for your personal email, it’s not what you want to use when you’re trying to get your business up and running. My first big mistake was using my regular email address when posting to those sites. While this may not seem like a big deal, it’s a missed opportunity to get your brand in front of a large audience. You should be mindful at all times of your brand and how best to make sure it’s out there for others to see. If you’re a member of forums, or if you’re posting on other people’s blogs, or whatever, you need to make sure that you’re using the brand you’re trying to build. In this case, it’s untetheredincome.com.
Without Your Brand, You’re as Good as SPAM
I’m starting to have pretty decent success with my headphone/accessory review site and I realized that I was missing opportunities there as well. I had my WordPress site set up with my gmail account and my contact form was also pointing to the same gmail account! Talk about a wasted opportunity!!! My traffic numbers are steadily climbing, and with that, people are becoming more involved on my site. Comments are being left, the contact form is being filled out, and a little buzz is starting to grow. Well, I received an email from someone who filled out my online contact form..and guess where it went?! You got it – my gmail account. I replied and 5 seconds after it was gone, I did a mental head-slap. Another missed opportunity. Rather than putting headphonereviewhq in the front of their mind, they’re going to receive an email from someone they don’t know, with a gmail.com address and may not even open it! FAIL
Branding and the Appearance of Professionalism
Another important part of this is when you start dealing with businesses. I’m just now getting to the point in my headphone review site to where I can speak to companies and be taken seriously. It takes time to grow a business and an online business is no different. A lot of companies want to know that they’re dealing with a serious entity rather than just some person who’s going to waste their time. In such talks, these companies often times ask for an email with your statistical information, your site, your youtube channel, etc. Believe me, you’ll be taken way more seriously if the company receives an email from an account at the actual website domain rather than some free gmail or hotmail account you have set up. First impressions aren’t only for job interviews or first dates – they are vitally important in business interactions, and while the email@example.com may not jump out at the person you’re dealing with, sending firstname.lastname@example.org will, and not in a good way.
So, if you haven’t already done so, kick your generic emails to the curb. If you’re serious about growing a list, an audience, a following of any kind, you need to make sure people recognize you by your brand. You don’t want someone to receive an email in their inbox and them delete it because they’re not familiar with your personal email address. They’ll remember if they visited your site (as long as you didn’t wait a month in between sending out a newsletter) but they likely won’t recognize your name. It’s about your brand, not you (unless of course your brand is you).
Always be aware of your branding and make sure you’re using it as much as possible – here are some good places to ensure you’re using your brand:
- Email address – it should be email@example.com
- Forum Signatures
- Facebook fan page name – mine should be www.facebook.com/untetheredincome
- Youtube channel – www.youtube.com/user/untetheredincome/
- Twitter – I don’t have one yet, but it should be www.twitter.com/untetheredincome (I think twitter has a username character limit so you may have to compromise)
Please check back often, and in the very near future I’ll have a spot where you can sign up to be on my mailing list.