As with all things in life, we all want to be known for what we are best at. This is easy when you are in the public eye or a famous celebrity, but on the internet it’s a lot easier to get lost in the mix and pass over by the competition. This is also true in the world on social media and online branding.
The good news is that there are plenty of tools and resources out there that can help your chances for standing out a little bit better — al of which can be used in collaboration with your ongoing social media efforts. For example, in my last article, I talked about the many different ways you can use social media for engagement. Now it’s time to take those same methods and show you how to establish yourself as an industry expert at the same time. This is something I’ve personally been doing for a while now, and seeing great results in the process! With over 20 years of experience in the world of online marketing and branding, I know what it takes to build a following. Not only have I done exactly that, I’ve also taught thousands of others how to do the same.
With this same concept in mind, I wanted to share some of my favorite tips, tricks, and tools for building a personal following and brand online. Check out each of these recommended solutions below, and make 2017 your best year yet!
1 – Secure Your Name as a Domain Name
There are currently over seven billion people in the world, along with over a billion active websites on the internet. That means two things… there are way too many people and only a limited amount of domain names that are up for grabs. Once someone owns a domain name, it’s unlikely that it will become available again. That is why it’s extremely important to register your name as a domain name as soon as possible. I personally use and recommend NameCheap to register domain names, as they are a low cost and reliable solution. If you don’t already own your personal name as a domain name, check and see if it’s available right now. It’s simply one of the best ways to brand yourself as an expert online — just by having your name as a domain!
2 – Create a Website to Show Off Your Expertise
Once you’ve grabbed your domain name, you are going to need to create a site for it. There are plenty of ways to do this, but a quick, simple and effective way is to use a service called WiseIntro. In short, you can join the service and create a website to profile your photo, name, expertise and also show off some of your best work in the process. When it comes to creating a website, you have a lot of options, but most people just want to create and site and go live with it, versus trying to learn how to code and become a site designer. That is exactly what WiseIntro is offering to their audience — a way to get online and build a personal brand website fast.
3 – Use Custom Email Signatures to Stand Out
Have you ever thought about how many emails you send out on a daily basis? It’s probably a lot! Just 20 emails per day, is over 7,000 emails sent per year. Imagine if you had the opportunity to show off your website, social profiles or even your latest online content and blog post through each of those emails. Actually, there is no need to imagine… thanks to the email signature tool over at WiseStamp it’s easier said than done. I’ve personally been using this application for a while now and it makes my emails look extremely professional and also brings me a lot of new business, just from people seeing my information and latest online content at the bottom of the emails. Check it out, I’m sure you’ll want to set one up for your own email as well.
4 – Contribute Original Content to Other Sites
It’s not enough to simply have a website or blog on the internet. You also need to promote it. One of the best ways to do this and also build a following for yourself is through the use of guest blogging. The way it works is simple. Search out sites within your industry or niche that are looking for premium content, and provide it to them for free for their site. The site owner then gets free content to promote their audience, and you gain exposure back to your site while also getting your name and expertise in front of a whole new audience.
5 – Build a Social Following Across All Platforms
You are likely already on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn… but are you using each of these social networks to their full advantage? At the same time, are you making it easy for people to find your profile pages and do they have consistent branding across each platform? Make sure your name and profile picture are the same across all sites, and that you link to each of your social profiles from your main website or blog. This will help with search rankings and make it easier for an audience to find you as well.
6 – Run Free Webinars for Your Loyal Audience
An excellent way to grow your brand and provide value to your existing audience is through the use of free webinars. Tools like ClickMeeting make this process quite simple, as they provide advanced webinar management and promotion tools you likely won’t find elsewhere. As the host of the webinar, it’s your goal to provide as much value as possible, then also boast yourself as an expert at what you do. Most webinars are free to attend and have some form of call-to-action at the end of them. Try this out with your audience and see what the response is after your first event.
7 – Start a Podcast and Interview Other Experts
Podcasting is growing like crazy right now. It’s one of the best ways to create content and connect with a whole new audience outside of the one you currently have in place. It’s also a great way to connect with your audience like never before, as it will all be audio and not just someone reading text on a site. If you want to grow your personal brand and reach with a podcast, take a look at these top industry podcasts. With a podcast show of your own, you can base each episode off interviews with experts within your own industry. This results in not only great content for your audience but also each expert then sharing the episode with their audience as well. Win-win situation!
8 – Speak at a Marketing Conference
Many of the recommendations above are very simple to implement and very effective, but if you really want to take a jump in the right direction, you will need to start speaking at big events and building a name for yourself. For example, if you were an expert in e-commerce or mailing, attending and speaking at any of these email marketing conferences would be a great idea. However, before making the leap to public speaker, be sure that you have nearly all of the previously mentioned bases covered (site, domain name, content online, social following).
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what industry you are trying to stand out in, the important thing is that you are taking the necessary steps to get there. Having a domain name, personal site and putting yourself out there are three of the first things you should do right away. Once these are in place, other things will fall into play.
Skim through the list above and make sure 2017 is the year you made your personal branding and social media a high priority.