Branding With Your Signature Line

I was in my local library recently and ran into a friendly neighbor who was thumbing through a book I never would have picked up. It was The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Branding Yourself. I normally stray from this series of books (as well as the “Dummy” series everyone is familiar with), presuming the information is so watered down that it can’t possibly be of much value to someone like me who craves detail.  I flipped through and fell upon a few pages that I was surprised to find had some information regarding the usage of signature lines in our digital correspondence and thought, “Now this is worth sharing!”

When’s the last time you considered how effective your signature line is? A few tweaks can make a big difference. This excerpt is short and to the point.

If you are just starting out in your personal branding effort, your signature line may look something like this:

Robert Smith
Outdoor Wildlife Photographer
www.wildrob.com
(919) 323-6666

Generally, it is not necessary to include your email address in your signature line as your target will already have that accessible since you are sending it via email.

A signature line is an oft-overlooked way of marketing yourself with every email you send out. We know many experienced authors, for example, who tag the name of their newest book in their signature line. They may also add a niche-specific blog address and other pertinent information.  Here’s a good current example:

Sandra Gurvis
(614) 555-5555
www.sgurvis.com
www.booksaboutthe60s.com
Author of: THE PIPE DREAMERS and
WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWER CHILDREN GONE?

If you haven’t yet created a signature line for your personal brand, think about doing it as soon as possible. It’s an easy and free way of letting your target audience know about you.

That’s easy enough to follow, but I’ll add a couple more things to consider.

  • If you don’t have a book or item to promote (or even if you do) consider adding your tagline to your signature. To date few knew the tagline for Nixon Virtual Strategies is The Power of Delegation.  It’s in my newsletter but wasn’t in my email communications. It is now.
  • You want to refrain from heavy usage of graphics in your signature line. While they are attractive and we see them more frequently, they may come through as attachments even in popular email clients like Outlook. You also don’t want to bog down your mobile readers with waiting for unnecessary graphics to load just to read what you have to say.
  • If you have a new promotion, product, service, video or blog post on your website, why not add a link directly to it? Even those familiar with you likely won’t just click the standard link to your website. But if you have something new highlighted that they’re not aware of, that link just might get clicked.

A recent article in Fast Company further reinforces this thinking and goes into the ills of using MSN, Gmail and other non-branded email accounts for business correspondence. A couple of my favorite examples are taxplaya at hotmail.com and bigbadbobby at gmail.com.

Jonathan Rick ends the article very nicely with this.

“Indeed, digital branding starts in your inbox. After all, more people likely view your emails than view your social media posts. That makes your e-bookends — your email address and your signature block — prime real estate on which to build your brand.

You can do a number of things to own this brand, or you can sit back and let casual decisions define it for you. You can brand yourself, or you can be branded. The choice, as always, is yours.”

Have a question? Ask me.


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