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What about .ME?

A colleague of mine emailed me last week with an article on the launch of Domain.me in North America, touted as the "New Destination for Personal Branding."

I was subtly unimpressed.

Now, I'm no stranger to personal branding, and I'm a vocal advocate on the importance of having a personal website if you want to expand your personal brand.

So why don't I care about the launch of .me? Isn't this a perfect opportunity to secure your own domain name?

Well, let me answer some questions, then you decide.


Well, no.

There are a raft of new global Top Level Domains (gTLD), like .business, .consulting, .coffee, and not to forget .horse; but .me is not one of them. It's more special than .com, .net, .gov, .edu or .anything for that matter - it's just the country coded Top Level Domain (ccTLD) for Montenegro which has been around since 2007.

Ok, so I guess it's a tiny bit more special.



With country coded TLDs, Google typically likes to customise searches based on you location, as seen with .com.au or .co.uk, which target Australian and UK searches respectively. This would mean Montenegro residents are going to be plagued with personal branding sites, except for the fact that Google knows this, and considers .me domains as generic for any country, just as it does with other misfortunate ccTLDs such as .tv (Tuvalu), .dj (Djibouti), and now, of course .me (Montenegro).



Well, that's up to you. Remembering .me is no more special than anything else, you're better picking up a domain localised for your country. For me, that's a .com.au.

I wouldn't rate .me above anything - especially if you can get a .com or a ccTLD for your country - especially if that's where you do all your business.

The only reason I'd go as far as getting a .me is because your name is already taken in all of the other conventional gTLDs, and you have no other choice. That, or you simply want to domain squat, if you're that kind of person.



So you've gone and purchased a domain in your name, whether it be a .com, .net, .me or .horse; you've put a nice big picture of your mug on it, and you're waiting to be found.

The work on a personal website does not stop when you register a domain name. It doesn't stop when you add some pretty pictures and links to your Facebook page. In fact, it never stops - another reason why I wouldn't bother with a www.about.me subdomain either.

Content is still king - you need dynamic, interesting content, otherwise Google and the rest of the world just won't be interested.

Yes, that's right, Google likes dynamic content over static content, otherwise it assumes your site is probably just a graveyard.



Yep, content. It sounds hard, but it isn't.

There's one universal truth when it comes to content - if you don't have content, then you don't need a place for it - if you think you're worth finding, then I guarantee you already have content - it's the bits of you that make you interesting.

So if you've decided to go down the path of a personal website, you just need to figure out how to take interesting things about the flesh and bone you and put it into the digital you.

Just remember to be authentic - it's easy to spot someone trying to be someone they're not, and it also takes way too much effort! Photos, videos, stories, thoughts and ideas - they're all content, so get out and start creating!

P.S. If you are building your Personal Brand to attract more customers, listen up! We will be hosting a webinar next week titled ‘How to Skyrocket Business Referrals With A Powerful LinkedIn Profile’. To register and for more information, click here.

Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.