Branding Yourself Online

If you wish to emerge as a thought leader or the go-to person in your niche you need a consistently branded visual image across the web.

times square

More people will trust you if you use the same profile image, colors, logo and branding whenever they see you on the internet. It shows you care enough to spend time on this – or that you can afford a great designer to do it for you.

But the crazy thing is you don’t have to spend time or money doing this. You just have to read this article.

Face

Let’s start with the easiest and most effective off-site branding you’ll ever do – your Gravatar. Here’s mine:

rob cubbon gravatar

This is the profile image that will follow you around all the blogs that you comment on. Upload it once at Gravatar.com, confirm the email address you use when commenting and that’s it.

Images of faces are really important because, as humans, we are conditioned to recognise faces and make associations with them.

So, make sure you have the same profile image on blog comments you make. And, you should use the same or similar profile image for all the various forums and platforms you use as well.

branding across the web

Logo

Of course, everyone needs a logo designed. People judge a book by a cover and your logo is your book cover. Try to display your logo clearly on your website, your business cards, your videos, products, everywhere.

Make sure the positioning and relative size of the logo is by and large consistent. Although sometimes you’ll find this impossible as all these different outlets have different formats so don’t sweat it too much.

Colors

Allied to the logo are your colors. Like a football team your colors will bond your fans together. You could have one color, but I find it easier to design a website with two: a primary and secondary color.

One of these colors should be the “action” color of your website – the color of the links and buttons on your website. You can use lighter and darker tints for backgrounds and headings.

You can get the hexadecimal values of these colors to be able to communicate them to a graphic designer. And, wherever’s possible, for example when you’re designing your Twitter profile in the video below, you can use your action color on social media profiles around the web.

Social media

Oh noes! We’ve opened the hornets’ nest, the black hole of time suck! OK, it’s not that bad, I’ll calm down.

However, most of the main social media platforms require some sort of profile pic and some sort of header image (and, in the case of Twitter, a background image as well).

The profile image is usually a square size – the same size height as width. I would usually prefer to use a human face here.

But, you guessed it, all the header image sizes are different. Facebook is wide and short, Google+ is landscape and huge, YouTube has three different sizes(!) So, you’ll have to get creative with social media. But, isn’t that half the fun?

Twitter

The following video is taken from my course Blogging, SEO, Social & Relationships: Total Web Marketing on Udemy where you can learn how to market yourself, your business and your website with a blog, onsite optimization, social media and relationships.

The above video shows you how to set up a Twitter profile with a background, header and profile image. It also shows you how to transfer the background and action colors from your site over to your Twitter profile.

rob-cubbon-twitter

Twitter allow you a background image. The best thing to do is to put your website details no wider than 150-200 pixels on the top left of this background image. This way most people will see this essential information – although people on smaller devices won’t. Choose a hexadecimal color for the background in keeping with the background image. If you choose to tile the background image the background color will be irrelevant.

The Twitter header image size is 520 x 260 pixels.

Facebook

rob cubbon facebook

Facebook’s wide and short header image was introduced along with their new “timeline” layout to much furore over a year ago. It’s the same size for your personal Facebook “wall” as it is for any Facebook Page you create.

The Facebook Page header image size is 851 x 315 pixels.

Google+

rob cubbon google plus

Google+ introduced a massive header image on their profile pages (and individual Google+ Pages) not long ago. The crop changes with the device so choose an image that looks good big and small.

Google+ Cover photo size is 2120 x 1192 pixels.

YouTube

rob cubbon youtube

Recently YouTube redesigned their channel pages and introduced One Channel which responds to the device it is being viewed on.

The YouTube One Channel header image size is 2560 x 1440 pixels. But it has three different crops so you better have a look at this video below:

Judging by the desperate comments to the above video from stressed out YouTubers, it is obvious that some people have got themselves into a bit of a pickle incorporating the channel art into their channel design. So read my channel art tutorial carefully and proceed with caution. :)

LinkedIn

rob cubbon linkedin

Lastly, and probably leastly, you should have a company page on LinkedIn. Just to be difficult they insist on two logo sizes: 100 x 60 pixels and a square 50 x 50 pixels.

The LinkedIn company page header image size is 646 x 220 pixels.

However, this is for your company page rather than your personal LinkedIn profile and, as such, is not that important so don’t sweat if you haven’t done this.

General social media

Once the profiles are set up properly the real “branding” starts. Consistently sharing great content and engaging on the social networks is key. Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Do Share make this easier, but the more work you put in, the more you’ll get out. At least you’ll have your image, logo and colors consistent if you follow the above steps.

Thanks to my friend, Louise Myers, for her social media cheat sheet which saved me from the bother of looking up some of these header image sizes. :)

You can do it

Look after your brand as it is an asset that will serve you for years to come. Build a visually recognisable “face” to you and your business around the web.

People are more likely to remember you with a great visual brand in place.

Comments

  1. says

    How many years have you been using that Gravatar Rob? ;) Thanks for the dimensions. What are your thoughts on a fun/arty Gravatar versus a well photographed portrait?

    • says

      You’ve got a point about my Gravatar, Martin. The sad truth is it’s about 6 years old and I’m as vain as hell! Would you believe, there hasn’t been a better photo of me taken since then. I’ve seriously got to update it soon.

      I really think a human face is really important – so not a fun/arty gravatar for me! :)

      Hope you’re well.

    • says

      Thank you, Michael. Yes, Gravatar makes things easy. I don’t think brandyourself.com would be useful to most people as long as they follow the above steps.

  2. says

    Rob,

    I’m curious as to whether or not you think _individuals_ need to maintain a logo for their digital presence. Apart from my Gravatar, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn personal presence, I have a name for my consulting services: McDermott Media. Should I use the logo interchangeably or only when posting as McDermott Media?

    • says

      Good question, Peter. I actually think as far as profile images (so any sort of small square image) are concerned, your real face is good. Even though I’m a designer and although I think logos are important, I really think that humans’ ability to recognise and associate with a face is so fundamental. I would only use a logo as a profile pic on the company page on LinkedIn and maybe the Google+ Page (not the Google+ profile). So, let’s not complicate things too much: it’s really up to you but, for me, a face is best. :)

  3. says

    The above values allow you to blend in to the Facebook template. You could start your image background with a gradient starting from Lightblue #EFF0F5 to let your image emerge from the Facebook template.

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