When you are an influencer on social media, you are your own brand. And because of this, it is easy to assume that your brand is protected. After all, you are you and nobody else can be. It’s your face and name that makes you the influencer that you are.
However, just because you are not Sony or Disney doesn’t mean that your brand can’t be co-opted by somebody looking to profit off of your hard work. You may not realize how at risk your brand is if you are inexperienced on how branding works.
In fact, many influencers are vulnerable to this fact alone. A competitor can take you out with some savvy negative influencing against you if they want to have the field to themselves. And if you aren’t prepared, you could lose it all overnight.
Which is why you need to make moves to protect your brand, so you have some recourse in case of something happening. In this article, I will go over how you can protect your brand, so you don’t lose everything you’ve achieved.
1. Trademark your name
If you don’t already have a website with your name as the domain, imagine if you tried to register it and found somebody else is already using it. And then profiting off of your fame.
There is nothing you can do to stop them from doing it. Unless you have registered a trademark on your name and the derivatives of it. In this case, your name is your intellectual property and have a trademark on it makes it easier to go after people infringing on it.
Even some catchphrases you use, or any particularity to your online presence can be trademarked and are types of IP protection. When you have these types of protections, if somebody were to use your name, which is now your intellectual property, then you would have a way to go after them.
You would be able to issue cease and desist orders and then ask for financial compensation.
2. Monitor your content
It is going to be costly, but when there are violations of your trademark or somebody is using your intellectual property, then you need to attack. Hiring a company to keep tabs on your name online will be money well spent as they can find people cybersquatting or posting photos of you without your consent.
These are negative mentions and can damage your brand. Which is the intent of some of your competitors as they try to corner the market you are both in for themselves.
Then there are people who may be stealing your content and passing it off as their own. They can be making money with ads generated from the traffic they are getting as a result of their hard work or are trying to sell branded merch with your name or IP.
These scenarios all mean dollars lost. The ad money, or the merch being bought should be going to you so when you fight it, you keep that money from being siphoned off. Monitoring your presence online is a good way to protect that income lost and also any future income.
3. Hire a PR agent
Public relations agents are trained to have a very focused campaign that keeps your brand on point. They have a program to stick to that puts your name out in the right places and in the right light.
Many people think using is meant to give you opportunities to work with a brand or arrange sponsorships for you. And they do these things very effectively. But they also are able to curate your brand for you so that you have a consistent image. If you do things on your own, you may be damaging your brand without even realizing it.
They may tell you not to do a certain event that won’t help your image or even have a negative effect.
4. Keep your channels secure
As somebody in the public eye, your website, YouTube channel and social media profiles are a perfect target. There are people out there that will gladly hack your channels. They do this either to try to siphon off some of your money, steal your identity, or simply for fun.
You need to take measures to protect them by doing this like changing your passwords often and using a password generator that will be difficult for a hacker to guess. Many times a hacker doesn’t do anything technical, they simply guess your password.
Also, make sure to have some security on your website to block malicious attempts to hack into your dashboard.
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