Building your brand online is important, whether you’re an individual or a business but it’s not the only path to building a successful brand. If you want to self-promote properly and brand yourself accordingly then you’ll have to do some offline branding as well – mix it up.

You know for certain that you’re the next best thing since sliced bread, and your super powers as well as your USP deserve a series in the Marvel comic universe – but other people don’t know it. We’re all wrapped up in busy lives and if you’re not actively promoting yourself then we’re not going to notice your branding attempts.

Are you willing to let people go by without knowing who you are? Are you really going to let the most influential character in the room at a networking event walk by without introducing yourself?

You have to take an active role in building your brand – follow these 5 tips to make it happen:

Your Brand Condensed Into a Twinkie
You will have as many in-person opportunities to brand yourself as you will online – sometimes more depending on how you communicate with others and where you travel. You need to provide people with a way to continue the conversation with you once your personal interaction ends. All you need is a simple business card, smaller than the size of a Twinkie, with your contact information.

Logo’s are nice, cards made from alien technology are cool and crap cards tend to get used for taking down someone else’s contact info. It’s great for branding, but don’t forget that it’s about opening up communication – it’s a mini treasure map to find you.

Attending Events
This can be any kind of event, but especially those that are relevant to you and your brand. Conferences and seminars are important for connecting with like-minded people. When you come right down to it, no virtual connection can hold as much weight as a handshake in person. When you hear a speaker talking that makes sense, look around to see who “gets it”; who is nodding furiously and paying close attention – hunt those people down and strike up a conversation. Let other people talk to the speaker – you want to network with the thinkers.

Besides, you’ll have a hard time expressing who you are when you’re stuck in your office at all hours or eating pizza all evening watching reruns of Biggest Loser.

Your blog is one of the best ways to support your branding efforts online. The blog becomes an extension of you. Have you ever wanted to clone yourself to act as a liaison while you’re busy doing…everything else? The blog can do that. It can be many things.

• It communicates your most important ideas
• The blog gives your audience a way to connect with you
• It shows an image of YOU so a face can be placed with the personality
• It helps build credibility and rapport
• Gives you an unending number of potential search result listings for your name or your brand

Your blog lets you easily interact with your audience and provides the perfect medium for your audience to interact with your brand.

Control Your Message
There’s a good chance that if you’re not careful you’ll end up trying to be a number of things to a lot of different people. When it comes down to it, a cigar is just a cigar – it shouldn’t try to be a pen. Imagine any other company that makes hundreds of products. If they joined a conversation and tried to talk about every single product it would be a disaster.

For these situations it pays to know what your primary message is and focus on that. Always have a lead off and stay consistent. This keeps you from trying to be too many things to too many people.
In everything you do, remember that branding is about making people see you and understand you in a certain way.

You want them to know clearly who you are, what you offer and most importantly – how to reach you.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Matthew E. Alleyne, A.K.A The “Toot" Guy founder of I have been a serial entrepreneur my entire life, starting when I was in my nappies – it’s just in my blood!

For the last 20 years I’ve launched one successful business after another and have fallen in with the crowd of best-selling authors and public speakers in the branding circuit.

When I’m not involved in hands-on interaction with my businesses, I’m mentoring others. I’ve led hundreds to personal and professional success and look forward to continuing that trend.