Learn how to market your company better by marketing yourself more.
Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.
I'm a firm believer in building your personal brand to help boost your company's marketing efforts. So if you are the founder or spokesperson of a company, leveraging online tools to increase your own profile is a great way to increase credibility and exposure for your business.
Before You Build Your Brand
Before you start marketing yourself to benefit your company, you need to consider the following:
Are you the company founder or spokesperson? If not, building your personal brand may not be in line with the company's overall marketing goals. Speak with the folks in charge before drawing attention to yourself.
Are you comfortable in the spotlight? With attention comes scrutiny, so you need to have a tough skin if you decide to put yourself out there in the public eye.
Are you willing to be a role model? Attention and public exposure also brings a great deal of responsibility. If you're building your personal brand on behalf of your company, you have to be more diligent about all of your online activities and conversations to make sure they're appropriate for the image your company wants to project.
Do you have expertise that you can leverage online to help build your brand? Beforegetting started with building your brand, identify your niche area of expertise to set yourself apart from the rest of the folks in your industry.
If you still think you're ready to put yourself out there on behalf of your company, let's get down to business.
Online Brand Building Tools
Though it’s true that any online publishing or broadcasting tool can be a brand builder, none of us have enough time in the day to keep up with the tools we're already using, so pick and choose the tools that will work best for you instead of trying to use as many as possible.
That said, here are three must-have online tools for building the brand called you.
1. Leverage LinkedIn - If you don't have a LinkedIn profile yet, get one today. And remember to immediately save your direct URL so instead of being an automatically assigned number, your LinkedIn account goes to a version of your name. Mine is linkedin.com/in/alizasherman.
But just having a LinkedIn account is not enough. First, make sure your profile is 100% complete. Then, enhance it by adding some of LinkedIn's new applications, such:
Slideshare to show off some of your slide presentations,
Tripit to show where you're traveling on business, and
Reading List by Amazon to link to books you've written and are reading.
Also be sure to include a feed from your blog.
Then get out there and network! Search for people you've done business with in the past and those you've recently met at industry events and invite them to connect with you. The more genuine connections you have, the more valuable LinkedIn becomes for professional brand building and can even positively impact sales.
2. Publish A Blog - I'm a firm believer in the blog as a great personal branding tool. You can demonstrate your expertise, publish your opinions on current events and trend topics, and highlight your recent works, which in turn can increase your search engine exposure.
While there are many blog publishing solutions out there, don't be afraid to use a free blogging tool like Blogger.com or Wordpress.com; just make sure to pay attention to search engine optimization and take advantage of any of their built in marketing and distribution tools.
You also want to make sure you feed your blog content into not only your LinkedIn profile, but your Facebook page, your Twitter stream, and other social network profiles that allow you to bring in RSS feeds.
There is nothing wrong with syndicating your own content.
There may be some redundancy here, but keep in mind that even though there's some crossover between audiences, most people who interact with you on LinkedIn may not necessarily be following you on Twitter or Facebook.
Make sure to blog at least weekly to build and maintain your following.
3. Get a Twitter Account - If you can be consistent and use Twitter in a highly focused manner at least a few times a day, you can potentially build a following as well as drive traffic and attention to your blog as well as other activities and projects. The key to Twittering well is to find the right blend of useful tweets, links, conversation and self-promotion.
I did an informal poll of about 30 of my Twitter followers asking what types of tweets get them to click on a link, and the top results were
- 37% for interesting or useful articles,
- 17% for links to relevant resources,
- 14% for links to humor,
- 14% for links to cause-related issues, and
- 11% for personal, revealing or intimate tweets.
If you want an idea of how to achieve balance when tweeting, try identifying your niche and tweet some links to interesting articles you've read related to your industry, a link to something you've published online that is a relevant resource, a few retweets of others who have tweeted something particularly helpful, some responses to recent tweets from people you are following, and--if it fits your personality--maybe something more personal or even humorous.
I don't mean to suggest being formulaic about tweeting because the best tweets are always in-the-moment, but if you are pressed for time, creating a loose editorial calendar for tweets can help you stay on message. Keep in mind that we're talking about branding yourself to help market your company; so though you shouldn't be overtly commercial, make sure to mention your company now and then in a meaningful way.
Bottom Line: Anything you do online with your name attached to it can affect your personal brand. Taking charge of your own brand by using a bit of strategy and thoughtful publishing can help boost your profile, which can translate to positive attention for your company.
That's all we have time for today. Visit the show’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show.
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Personal Branding image courtesy of Shutterstock