There is something that has been going on for far too long that I want to address today. I've been coming across two HUGE things that bloggers and business owners are overlooking when it comes to their branding, and it causes them to look unprofessional. These two things are so simple and inexpensive to implement (one of them is actually free!), so I just don't understand why people don't take advantage of using them.
SO you want to be seen as more professional? Make sure you are utilizing these two things:
1. A custom favicon for your website.
2. An email address with YOUR URL in it.
When I enter a website, I take a look around, see what they have to offer, see what kind of opt-ins they're promoting, and if they look pretty legit, I look at the browser tab (perhaps it's the graphic designer in me), and what do I see?
What does this immediately tell me?
- The site that I'm viewing was built on the Squarespace platform. There's nothing wrong with that as I LOVE Squarespace, but you want to promote YOUR brand, not theirs (unless they're paying you of course).
- Since I use Squarespace, I know how easy it is to add a favicon...which means that the person that is running the site doesn't know how to make/add one or they don't care about it.
Here's the thing--- I want you all to care! BUT you may be wonder, what is a favicon? A favicon is an icon that is associated to your website and is seen either in the internet browser tab or next to your site name in the Favorites list. If a website isn't using their own favicon, it will likely show a generic icon such as the E for the Internet Explorer, a blue W for Wordpress sites, an orange B for Blogger sites, a black cube for Squarespace sites, etc.
A favicon is a small thing but it's just another extension of your brand that you should be including as a piece of your branding puzzle! Customize as much as you can wherever you can. I created a training in a blog post on how to design a favicon for FREE and instructions on how to load it to your Squarespace or Blogspot/Blogger site, check it out!
***BTW, this is my favicon.
Next up...a few months ago I was watching a webinar of someone that appeared to be doing well for herself in the online world. After the webinar I took a look at her website to see what else she had to offer. Her website looked great, but one thing stuck out like a sore thumb...she was using an @GMAIL.com email address for her business! I was a bit confused because she sells courses about business and branding, yet she wasn't branding her business properly because her email address wasn't custom. This could be resolved quickly and with minimal investment ($5 a month through Google for example). This made me question whether she really knew what she was talking about when it came to branding because she wasn't even branding her business properly.
A custom email containing YOUR URL (i.e. You@YourURL.com) is incredibly important to have because without one your blog/biz will appear amateur. Also, as I mentioned, you want to promote YOUR brand, not Google's, Yahoo's, MSN's or AOL's (unless they are paying you, too, lol!).
If you aren't using a custom favicon for your website and/or a custom email account, let this be your next plan of action (here's the link to the favicon training again)! The little things do make a difference because when they all come together they create your entire brand.