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With all the talk about branding yourself (and business), and getting your name out there (in your industry) it can be hard to figure out where to start. What does it all mean?? I am surrounded by people all day that preach branding, yet every single one of them have failed to give me a good definition of it.

If part of what I do for a living is search engine optimization, does that brand me as an SEO expert?

I think branding can take many forms, for example Andy Hagans has been "branded" as the the master baiter (and he is damn good), but his website has the word "seo" in it (tropicalseo.com) so he must also be an seo, right? I think he is all of the above:

  • SEO Expert
  • Link Baiter
  • Content Builder
  • Internet Marketer
  • Social Media Marketer
  • Search Engine Marketer

He could be dubbed probably a dozen other names too, but my point here is if you focus on branding enough in your industry, your readers (or clients) will figure out everything they need to know about you.  That branding will help them have the confidence in you to get the job done, and get it done right.

I wanted to use this post to talk about SEOMoz as well, and how freaking sick they are! Talk about branding. They have a business model that gives away (free) solid information in the "SEO industry" that some would consider "inside information". They have also (with the launch of their new site) created and easy way for self branding. They have created a blog on their website that is completely ran by users. We can log in, post an SEO tip, or idea for everyone to learn, and then leave it up to the community of readers to let us know if our information sucked or not. I recently posted tips on how to better use Google News in order to find quality links that could bring targeted traffic. The post has been full of positive feedback thus far, and people that I normally do not reach on this website are learning from me thanks to SEOMoz. I think that is awesome branding! I know I consider myself an "SEO", but to have others I have never met thanking me for the solid "SEO advice" I have given is pretty cool. Again, I think this is amazing branding that should be taken advantage of.

Branding is important and everyone in business (online or off) should be thinking about it. You must also realize that branding can take many forms, but as long as you are able to identify all your areas or expertise, and take advantage of them, I think you nailed it. And THAT, in my opinion is branding.

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