Years ago, most people using the Internet wanted to remain anonymous. But, with the popularity of social media, being anonymous online is a thing of the past. These days, showing your face is a good thing. It helps build relationships. Here’s how to do it using a free service called Gravatar.
If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, showing your face is simple. All you need to do is create a profile, upload your pic and boom! You’re done. But, how do you show your face when commenting on a blog post, for example? That’s when Gravatars come in handy.
A brief history on Gravatar
A Gravatar stands for Globally Recognized Avatar. That explains everything, right? Okay, maybe not. Basically, a Gravatar is a globally recognized graphical representation of a user – you. In most cases your Gravatar is your headshot or some type of photo of you. Or, some people prefer to use a random image. That’s fine, too. But, for personal branding purposes, we recommend an actual photo of you. People like to see other people.
Gravatars are globally recognized because millions of people and websites use them. So, if a website supports Gravatar, your photo will be shown next to your comment automatically as long as you use the same email address you used to register your Gravatar. You don’t need to upload your photo each time or register with each site you comment on. Nice and simple!
Creating your Gravatar
Creating your Gravatar is simple and takes only a few minutes. Here’s how:
1. Go to Gravatar’s website.
2. Sign up using an email address that you use most often to comment on blogs, forums, etc.
3. Wait for your confirmation email with a special link to set your password for your Gravatar account.
4. Create your Gravatar account.
5. Add a photo of yourself.
Tip: Keep it professional. You don’t need to be decked out in suit and tie, but chose a photo that enhances your personal brand. After all, this will be your signature all over the web.
6. Link your photo to your email address.
7. Confirm your selection. That’s it, you’re done!
Once and done
By the way, you only have to set your Gravatar one time. Chances are, you won’t have to change your photo (avatar) frequently, so get it done and forget about it. Also, if you do operate under a few different email addresses, you can set multiple Gravatars under your profile.
Gravatar = personal branding
If you want to build a personal brand on the web, you should use a Gravatar. It makes no difference if you are a blogger, a small business owner, an insurance agent or a college student – a Gravatar makes you stand out and is an essential element in your personal branding efforts online. Think about it. Everywhere you go on the web, your image will follow you. That’s pretty powerful.