92% of people trust other people’s recommendation or reviews, even when they don’t know them personally.
With the internet, we have access to any information we want about everything and anyone. Given we spend about 2.5h per day on social platforms, it is a wise decision to get on it and join the conversation.
This way you can show who you are, what you stand for, your approach to solving problems and get exposure to an audience that you may never been able to get in front of.
So let’s get started.
First and foremost – you need to have a clear idea of why you actually want to build an online profile online.
- Do you want to attract potential future employers?
- Do you want to attract investors or co-founders for your start ups?
- Do you want to attract more customers?
- Do you want to get speaking gigs? If so, nationally or internationally?
- Do you want to sell something?
Once you have a clear idea of what the ideal outcome is, do your research and find out who else is playing in this field – competitors, partners, providers.
List 20 or so relevant individuals and/or companies that are similar to your offer and goal and see what they do, how they do it and how well it resonates. Start with a simple google search to see where they are on and how they interact with their audience
You have defined your goal, your competitors in that space and their approach.
Now you need to be clear what makes you different?
What is your approach that makes you stand out and provide value to your ideal audience?
Why pick you over the person next to you?
And this is where the fun and the actual works starts: providing content and showing your value.
Building a strong online footprint is the key to be easily found by your ideal target group.
What key words would they usually think of when it comes to your product/service/solution?
Once you have clarity about your why, your competitors, your unique approach and the areas you want to cover from a content point of view, it is time to get active. I usually follow the 5 P approach:
You need to be in it to win it!
Once you have identified where your audience hangs out and want to be communicated with, you need to establish your profiles.
It doesn’t cut it to just set up a profile but you need to invite people to engage with you.
You need to have a completed profile that makes it easy to recognise:
- who you are
- what you do
- how you can get contacted and of course
- your area of expertise
This is shown by the content you create, may it be via blogs, posts, comments.
To get started, only select a couple of platforms to not get overwhelmed straight away.
Once you are more comfortable with managing these accounts, keep exploring and extending your online footprint by joining further channels but also relevant groups on those.
LinkedIn provides a free social selling index where you can get an idea of your current rank and how you compare to others from your industry.
There are more paid calculators for your other social profiles but given LinkedIn is still predominantly used for career and business purposes, and 95% recruiters use this platform to find best talents, let's start here.
Get your score here: http://bit.ly/2eEh2jZ
The content you publish shows the area of expertise and your approach of solving a problem for your target audience.
To make it easier for you to get out there, think about the way that it the easiest for you to communicate your thought leadership (in line with your personality, the time you can spend creating and managing it, the brand you want to represent and of course that is within your capabilities at this point).
It doesn’t mean you can’t branch out. I can guarantee you that you will eventually but to get started, focusing on one form. May it be writing blogs, recording podcasts, filming videos gets your foot in the door.
Ways of publishing your content can be through:
- Your own blog
- Guest blogging on relevant sites
- Publishing white papers on relevant sites
- Creating or participating in podcasts (where you can re-purpose content for other forms)
- Start a youtube channel for a v-log
Social Media is taking part in a conversation that already happens and shows your audience your take on certain topics (you want to be known for to be an expert in).
So make sure you also contribute to the conversation and not just watch from the distance.
Post relevant and post regularly - make sure you know the best times to get the best engagement - comment or give feedback on others post or write reviews on publications.
Express your opinions on relevant topics and add value through:
- Blog comments on sites your target audience reads
- Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks
- E-lists, online forums, message boards
- Contributing to discussions on LinkedIn Groups.
Don’t just sit on your content, share it with relevant authorities especially when they are newsworthy and value add to the broader community.
Publishers are always interested in getting expert advice on topics they cover or feature local success stories.
Do your research with tools like BuzzSumo and see who are the media influencer in your area, make contact and provide comprehensive media kit.
This should include your thought leadership content or a press release, a short bio, a high resolution profile photo, your logo and style guide (if applicable and relevant) as well as links to your social profile and your preferred way(s) to get in touch with you. Again – it is all about making it easy for others.
A good (and free) platform for this is Sourcebottle.
It connects publishers with content creators and can help you to get exposure to new audiences.
Any form of content can be worth sharing – just keep in mind when you select and write it: what is in it for others?
Some ideas for content to talk about could be:
- Launching your blog or website
- Receiving an award, honor or recognition
- Starting a new business
- Speaking at an event
- Attending an industry event
- Offering a free eBook, newsletter or white paper
- Giving a workshop or seminar
- Attract attention to a project/good cause by talking about volunteering there
Think about potential partners that complement your offer and service but are in no competition to you and what you do.
Tapping into their network means you provide more expertise to your audience but also means broader exposure and increased credibility for you.
- Bring them into your social networks
- Invite them to join your networks
- Follow them on Twitter, retweet them, and tweet their blog posts
- Comment and/or guest blog on their blogs
- Organise events/workshops with them
- Mention them in your blog posts
- Influence them to write about you
If you get stuck building your brand - online or offline, get in touch!
In a 15min free consultation you will find out what we do, how we can help identifying and bringing your brand to life and build your presence so you can make an impaCCCt.