Even without a Personal Branding Strategy developed yet, what is the first thing we should make sure is properly going around?
Our first name and last name of course!
Or that wonderful nickname, alias or pseudonym we have chosen to represent our super secret online second identity.
Every small interaction with our public can be an opportunity to solidify our brand name in its mind and sharing links is one of the smallest and most frequent tiny actions we can think of in these digital days: facebook posts, tweets, documents, notes on whitepaper, books and ebooks, leaflets, ads, texts, IM, etc…
Links are not always easy to share and this is why somebody created those useful URL shorteners as tinyurl.com or goo.gl.
I personally love them because with all their useful, quick and sneaky features they provide: custom analytics, previews, info pages and bookmarklets.
The best one is the custom domain name, our own personal brand specific URL shortener!
For example I configured the bit.ly custom domain service in order to have my own branded shortener as cent.lu (indeed abusing of the Luxemburg domain name, sorry about that).
Have a look at: cent.lu/google-cv showcasing my (huge) ego-search on Google!
The greatest advantage in doing this is that, using the right Brand indicators in the custom domain name, you generate a sense of familiarity and trust in the readers, a very important mindset you want to trigger in order to have your links clicked (or liked)!
A recent report from Buddy Media underlined that using general URL shortener versus branded ones in Facebook posts could reduce the engagement rate up to 3 times.
How to choose the perfect branded domain?
Here comes the dilemma: should we choose a short name or fill it with as many brand indicators as possible?
- The main benefit of a short name is that no characters are wasted: it is much easier to read, share or browse.
- On the other hand however the more it resembles our name the better it is.
I prefer shortening in a creative way. In the end it is simpler, more efficient and looks much better.
Looking for some good branded domain names?
Try domai.nr: it should help you with some nice ideas…
But if you are a John Smith or worse a Paolo Rossi, you could always opt formirroring your name as follows:
- To learn more about the life of any given bit.ly URL, simply add a “+” sign to the end of that link and you will be directed to a page with that link’s statistics. For example this article is cent.lu/BrandedSharingExp+
- Services such as bit.ly (free and premium), awe.sm (only premium) are really cool but may also disappear from the market sooner or later. If you really want to feel safe you might want to install a software such as Yourls.org on your own server.