Until domaining I had branded for other parties and other products but my own branding was limited. The Internet gave me a chance to brand my own name. And I do have a brand. A couple of things may come to mind when you mention my name. He's an ass. In some circles they decided to brand me in their way. That's life. And that is being branded.
But aside from that I have branded myself as somebody that does not sell domains cheap. Actually somebody that only sells domains for bigger dollars. The chances of me selling domains for less than 6 figures diminishes every day. I think it may be over 5 years since I sold a domain under 6 figures. Working on another 6 figure sale now. Should be able to announce that next month. But sales like that are now common place throughout the Internet. A daily or weekly event. So hardly worth mentioning other than for the record.
I have also branded myself as one not to mess with when it comes to messing with my domains. Try and Reverse Hijack one of my domains and your life may never be the same. Sorry, call me crazy, I don't like thieves. Thieves in any way shape or form or I have a "Reaction" and I never forget.
I think I have branded myself as somebody that goes out of their way to help others. To leave bread crumbs along the trail so that others might find what they are looking for. As one that wears bright Hawaiian shirts. Although I have only been wearing polo type shirts for the last 4 years. :-)
What is your brand? How are you branded? They are not the same.
Brand is something you do proactively and branded is something others say about you or your product that you can't control.
The Internet is vast but it is also a pond. If I were to listen to the noise in the 1990's and even into 2000 and 2001, many would lead you to believe that the Internet was a fad. So who were those folks? Where are those folks? Shouldn't they be branded too? Branded for missing the biggest almost everything in history. Biggest shift of wealth for starters. The biggest equalizer ever invented for another. A gold mine for millions to mention one more. I could go on all day all night and never repeat myself. That is how big what they missed is. I wonder what companies these men and women of vision work for now?
Sorry, but I am beginning to think that the #1 Gross National Product of the world and especially the USA is incompetence. Incompetence at every level. Almost to the point where the blind are truly leading the blind.
So whether you like it or not the first and most important thing you will ever brand is yourself. A brand that you only have a certain amount of control of. But some of it will not be in your control and that is the key part of your brand.
Mention a name in the industry and a certain way you look at them is their brand. Just like any marketplace there are good brands and bad brands. Brands that are consistent and brands that are not. Branding may be the most popular word many use on the net and I think what many miss is that branding takes time. It usually does not happen overnight but most spend their energy trying to do it overnight. Very crowded there. They are all so busy trying to go "Viral". But that may just be a shortcut because others pulled it off. About 500 a year out of 7 billion. Not very good odds. You have a better chance of winning a lottery than going viral.
So when you mess up branding and you are focused on the shortcut of going "Viral", the chances of success diminish exponentially.
It Does a person good to step back and realize that your brand is now a life brand. A brand that will last a lifetime and takes years to build and seconds to destroy. Some folks brand themselves right out of business. I am sure you can think of a company or a product that did that. BP oil almost did that a few years back.
There has been a learning curve for all of us on the Internet. But that curve is about done. There is a straight road and clarity ahead. There are protocols in place. Net etiquette is more widely known. The wild west called the Internet is no longer quite so wild. It is now being policed. There is an order being brought forward and I think you will see some folks dialing it back a bit because there are long-term ramifications for bad behavior. For saying something you should not say.
Most of us have learned to think twice before we say or post something online. We know it is in ink. We know the power that words and thoughts have and it is more powerful than the most dangerous of weapons. Most folks are just starting to realize that. Most are entitled to a mulligan or two. Those that don't learn will destroy their brands. Just look at Hollywood. Some of those folks are damaging their brands with the stupid and outrageous things they say. They can alienate 50% of their audience with one dumb tweet! And they do! And their incomes go down 50% with it.
The Internet is the most powerful medium ever invented and with things of power, we must be careful or it can explode in your face. So brand wisely my friends. There will be less and less second chances as we move forward.