A gravatar – or a Globally Recognized Avatar – is a great way to get your personal ‘brand’ out there online. Put simply it’s the little image that goes next to your name when you comment on other websites – like these from my post on Why Field of Dreams Isn’t a Business Model:
2 Comments on Why taking the ‘Field of Dreams’ approach won’t work for your business – and what to do about it
OK, got that. Why do I want one though?
If you want to build your brand online – whether you’re a blogger, a small business, a freelancer or a non-profit – having a gravatar will help you to build your online image. Instead of that little grey or blue geometric image generated by the site you’re on, if you have a gravatar account, when you comment on blogs or interact on forums, the image that you’ve selected will show up next to what you’ve written. That can be a picture of you or your logo – whatever you choose. It’s only a small piece of your online branding, but every little helps.
It might not seem like a big deal at first but, particularly if you’re working within a certain niche, the more your image starts to crop up in different places within that niche, the more you’ll be recognized. It’s your online ID – a little bit like an online passport.
If you have a recognizable gravatar image then people are more likely to hop on over to check out your website when you comment.
I’m Convinced. Where do I sign up?
It’s REALLY easy – and free! to get one. Simply hop on over to the Gravatar site and set up an account using the email address that you use most frequently to comment with. Then upload an image and every time you comment using that address, your carefully selected image will show up. You can also set a primary and secondary image and email address, which is perfect if (like me) you have multiple sites.
Where will it show up?
Your Gravatar can also pop up in different places – and if you have a WordPress site, you can even use a nifty little plugin that will bring your Gravatar image and bio across to be used as a sidebar on your site.
So that’s it. The why, what and how of using a Gravatar. Go on over to Gravatar and get yours now. It’ll take all of 5 minutes.
And if you want to test it out, pop back here and comment on this post to let me know how you got on and to show off your new gravatar. Look forward to seeing it!