There is no secret that a domain name plays a critical role in a company's overall brand strategy. But what role does a domain name play when building the most important brand you have control over, your own personal brand? This valuable, but less implemented, brand strategy is arguably one of the best investments that many individuals have yet to take full advantage of in today's wired world.
One of the most effective ways to build personal brand is through a domain name. To show what I mean, let's look at Michael Simmons of SuccessManifesto.com, a successful entrepreneur who is using a domain name to build his personal brand while also helping bring attention to his new book The Student Success Manifesto, The Guide to Creating a life of Passion, Purpose and Prosperity.
At the age of 21, Michael is a student at the Stern School of Business at New York University, an author, and an award-winning entrepreneur. Michael has written popular articles on entrepreneurship that have been published by Entrepreneur.com, College Bound Magazine, and Whizteens in Business. He has a unique perspective on the importance of personal brand and how it plays a role in helping people achieve their goals.
According to Michael's book, knowing how to brand yourself is critical. In the same way that companies have a brand, individuals have one. By becoming aware that you are a brand, you too can leverage it to achieve your goals. In The Student Success Manifesto, personal brand is composed of three parts. I have listed the three parts below, but for the purpose of this article I have changed the meanings to better relate them to domain names:
1: Communication - The overall message a domain name says about you
2: Credentials - The phrasing in the domain name that communicates experience
3: Reputation -The phrasing in the domain name that communicates trust
In order to have a positive image associated with a personal brand it is important to have a domain name that is able to bring all three of these parts together to deliver one meaningful message. Just think of the benefits of having your own personal brand associated with a well known and successful domain name! An individual's association with a highly credible, trusted and meaningful domain name can be leveraged to get jobs, network with people, acquire customers and clients or fulfill any other desirable goal. By having a domain name associated with these three intangible assets, personal brand can be leveraged to achieve any purpose.
Michael knows how to leverage a domain name to improve personal brand recognition. Michael is not only the successful brand strategist behind SuccessManifesto.com but he also co-founded PrincetonWebSolutions.com when he was only sixteen years old. The company later went on to become the #1 youth-run web development company in the nation in the year 2000. Michael credits much of his personal brand building success to his carefully planned domain name strategy.
Michael's latest domain name strategy involves the launch of SuccessManifesto.com, a domain name and web site that prominently displays his personal brand as the main theme. The site features his own image, personal achievements, and an online journal that helps bridge the gap between him and his inspired readers. The domain name and web site also serves the purpose of helping him gain credibility with young people and giving them access to his new book The Student Success Manifesto.
Another interesting brand strategy Michael has implemented with his domain name and web site is his ability to blend his company brand with his own personal brand. After visiting SuccessManifesto.com, visitors come away with the perception that Michael Simmons, the person, displays the same characteristics and values that the Extreme Entrepreneurship Education Corporation, his company, holds.
Whether he is starting a new business or promoting a book, Michael has always demonstrated an ability to use a highly brand-able, trusted and persuasive domain name as part of his strategy. This method has been used to build credibility with his target market. His innovative approach of using a domain name for his personal brand building through SuccessManifesto.com gives Michael a clear and competitive advantage over other individuals who do not have a domain name or are only using conventional means to build their personal brand. To date, using a domain name as the foundation to build one's own brand can still be considered an unconventional route. The good news is that only success and growth have come to individuals who have chosen this less traveled path towards personal brand building.
Shaun Cronrath is the President & CEO of DomainPurpose.com, a domain name registration company offering all the major domain extensions -.com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, . name, . ca, . us, . cn, . eu, .de, . pro and more.