Back from a long break in Japan and Korea, I’m ready to get back into sharing more online self promotion ideas with all of you!
Today’s article clarifies using MySpace as one base from which to effectively promote your services and products, and to eventually create and build large networks of relevant people, which is described in detail in my new ebook on self promotion.
Many people associate MySpace with established and emerging musicians and bands. Many musicians use MySpace for greatly boosting their online presence. However, the hugely popular site actually presents a massive opportunity for businesses and professionals of all other backgrounds and industries to promote themselves and create contacts.
The audience you have access to through MySpace can be a lot different to other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, which creates all kinds of additional benefits to just using something like Facebook.
Not only do a lot of people on MySpace tend to be media and trend-savvy, communicative and young, but there are also large numbers of people engaging with MySpace who are searching for talent, expertise and new ideas.
This includes more and more potential clients for professional creatives.
As well as this, there are many other reasons to make use of MySpace as a self promotional platform, including the flexibility behind the design and customization of your profile, which allows for truly original layouts, additional elements like video, driving traffic to your blog and portfolio, and the ability to connect with and communicate to relevant people to expand your business.
Here is how to get set up on MySpace so that you make the most of it for establishing an online presence within a powerful online network:
Create Your MySpace Profile
Even if you have your own personal MySpace profile at the moment, it’s best to set up a new one that centers on your business or work.
Go to www.myspace.com and select a profile type. You’ll find a few options, including a music or comedian profile, which will offer slightly different features according to your vocation. If you don’t match any of the extra profile types on offer, it is best to go for the personal page profile, which is the standard option.
Go through the sign up process, which you will need a valid email address for. You will be asked to verify your email and add pictures to your profile. If you have some pictures that showcase your work on hand, upload those to the site. You can change your main profile picture at any time, but now would be a chance to upload a logo or picture of you in keeping with your consistent brand.
Set your MySpace custom URL to include relevant keywords, or your name by clicking the pick your MySpace URL link in the top left of the MySpace dashboard area. Think about this carefully, as this cannot be changed in future, unless you open a new page from scratch.
The next thing is to fill in your profile details by clicking Profile > Edit Profile.
Put some thought into filling in all your details including your interests as this will all add to your personality and brand and will appeal to those prospects and users who could potentially add you as a friend, contact you, and so on.
Putting in these details will also bring people to you, as the keywords you put within fields such as ‘interests’ are searchable by people on MySpace.
Think about which keywords relating to your work you could incorporate into these details pages.
As with Facebook, you might want to hold back on your year of birth for security. Don’t forget to include a link to your website. Also consider incorporating your web link into the design (discussed in the next section), like you might have done through your Twitter background.
Designing your Profile
Next, you need to set about designing your profile so that it looks professional, is appealing and reflects your brand and your style. You want your profile to be an extension of your base site, and reflect the style that runs through your portfolio and brand.
MySpace is one of few social media sites that enables you to use code, including CSS to customize your profile. This means designing the various sections you want to put into your profile, through Dreamweaver for example, and pasting the code into the available profile boxes.
This allows you to make some very special and dynamic MySpace profiles with slide shows, Flash and more.
I would recommend taking advantage of the flexibility this provides, and either designing your own profile or getting someone to help you with it, although bear in mind that legibility and simplicity will benefit your profile.
If you don’t have to ability to input your own code into your profile, you can use any of the various third-party profile editors on the web, such as Mashcodes or you can use the very good MySpace Profile Editor within MySpace itself.
The Customize Profile link, which is located on the top right of your screen once you have clicked Edit Profile from your homepage, will take you to the MySpace editor.
The editor is very intuitive, and you shouldn’t find it too difficult to work your way through designing your profile.
When you get to customizing your modules, which are the individual blocks within your profile, make sure the Add to Friends link stands out, as this is something you want people to easily find as you build out your MySpace network.
Consider taking advantage of images, text and video to drive visitors to your mailing list landing page or blog, and/or base site. Effectively you are incorporating a call to action into your profile, which you can do in several places, which will attract people to your blog or base.
You’ll see many professional MySpace pages using this.
If you are a musician, you need to have prepared mp3music files to upload through the music player available with the musician’s profile.
There are also several other music widgets available for your profile, (have a look at the mp3section at Widgetbox) that you can get online.
Widgets come in the form of code that you incorporate into your profile by dropping the code in your About Me section.
If you have video to showcase, or have videos that you might be sharing as part of your marketing campaign through sites like YouTube, you need to follow these steps in adding it to your profile:
1. Click Video from the top navigation menu.
2. Click Upload.
3. Browse for the file and click Upload Video.
4. Under your newly uploaded video, click the Add to Profile link to bring the video to your profile.
The methods on building up a substantial network and promoting your products and services through MySpace effectively, are covered in Step 6 of the new ebook: ’10 Steps to Powerful Online Self Promotion for Creatives’.
Does everyone think these are the best ways to optimize your presence on MySpace for effective online self promotion?