The internet has caused a massive shift in the way that we do things, in many ways. Social media has long surpassed being a passing fad, and has now developed into an evolving ecosystem of web technologies which allow any individual to publish, promote, and engage with a global audience. The real power of this is that it has put the tools in your hands so that you can decide how you want your brand to be perceived. You no longer need to pay the mass media gatekeepers in order to be published or to garner attention. There are many passionate and creative individuals who understand how the online branding game is played can go from zero to hero. One fantastic example of successful online branding is the Youtube influencer Bethany Mota who started a fashion oriented YouTube channel just for the heck of it in2009 when she was only a 14 year old girl! By 2014 her videos had gotten more than 209 million views and it is estimated that she is earning more than $40,000 per month, or nearly half a million dollars a year just from YouTube. Bethany Mota is only one example of many people who have utilized the social web in order to create and sell a personal brand. Read on to learn more about building your personal brand online from MyCity Social, a top SEO and digital marketing firm in the Orlando area. Call MyCity Social today for more information about digital marketing Orlando businesses trust.
Why You Need An Online Presence
Have you ever looked extensively for a company’s website or social media page so that you can engage with their products or services, but then find out that they have neither of these things? If you have done this, then the odds are you got the impression they are either not legitimate or way behind the times. This same rule applies to the professional world. When you meet a potential business partner or apply for a job, then the other person is going to look you up- and when they do, you want them to find your personal brand conveyed through a well-curated and thought-out online presence. There are certain tips that you should implement in order to build a strong personal brand online, as recommended by MyCity Social, who provides digital marketing Orlando businesses rely on.
Tips on Building Your Personal Brand Online
- Have Your Own Domain and Website- One of the most basic and effective ways of building a personal brand on the internet is to have your own domain and website. This puts you in the creative driver;s seat and can give you leverage as you are able to directly communicate what you are offering beyond the restrictions of social media sites that come with layout and character limitations. Moreover, running your own website really highlights that you have actively taken ownership of your career.
- Connect With Your Audience Both On- and Offline- You need to keep in mind that the image of a brand goes beyond the color scheme and presentation of the message. People have to be able to connect with you in all of the aspects and that all comes from consistency in your engagement. You aren’t able to present an online brand that is not congruent with their in-person view of you. This means that your level of engagement offline needs to be able to support your online presence so that you are able to yield a solid and sustainable brand.
- Stay Consistent Across Platforms- Even though every digital platform will vary in the demographics and purpose they target, your combined online presence needs to be coherent. This also applies to your work experience for personal branding, which means that the experience in your LinkedIn profile should match your resume, and also to your personality. Showing up on all of your platforms consistently and authentically will help to generate trust and support for your work and help to make your impact bigger.
- Google Yourself To Stay Aware- Joyel Crawford from Crawford Leadership Strategies, LLC notes in an interview with Forbes that “One good way to build a solid personal brand online is to check out what’s already out there. Google yourself. Find out what pops up. Are there any concerning photos or news that you’re connected to? This is a great way to create a baseline for what you’re putting out there. Then you can start to course-correct. Always think before you post. You never know who is looking you up.”
- Be Intentional About Your Content Strategy- It’s never enough to only post things, and it’s not enough to just be funny or cool. It’s essential to have a strategy and to know what you’re after, who you’re looking for, and what you want them to do. Once you’re able to specifically answer all these questions, you should create a strategy that is sustainable for you. More may be better, but consistency is the key to a strong online presence. That’s why it’s crucial for you to be realistic. If you are only able to blog once a month, make sure that you put it out every month.
- Get Feedback From Your Peers- You should always road test your personal branding information with trusted peers or colleagues whose profiles you find professional and authentic. Friends can make a great resource as they can help you edit out anything that could be seen as extreme to employers and clients (such as photos not meant for recruiters to see) or assist you in adding key points to better position your strengths if perhaps you were too humble at first.
- Become an Authentic Storyteller- You need to build a strong personal brand through telling stories that are able to connect with your ideal clients; pains and dreams. These stories serve the goal of subtly marketing to your target audience through displaying for them a journey that they are able to resonate with. Authentic stories can build trust and allow prospective target audiences to discover and connect with what your brand stands for. When you become a good storyteller, marketing becomes less cheesy and difficult and more truthful and authentic.
- Focus On Others Until They Give Back- Jim Vaselopulos, from Rafti Advisors, Inc. notes in an interview with Forbes magazine that business owners looking to build a brand should “Give, give, give until it hurts. That advice doesn’t sound practical, but it works practically every time. If you build your brand around helping others in some facet of life that can be focused on, others may place their focus on you. Once you have their focus, put the attention back on them and provide help, advice and guidance. If it’s good, people will come back for more.”
- Understand Who You Are And What You Provide- Many personal brands can feel phony since they only pick at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to authenticity. Strong personal branding is all about provoking an emotional response. You need to sit down and think about your connection with your target clients, what problem you are there to help them solve, and let your personal brand come out of a conversation with your audience. What are they hungry for and what can you provide them with? Make sure that you are addressing this hunger so that you can be genuine and vulnerable.
- Know What You’re The Best Ib- Building a strong brand requires a well-thought-out plan, consistency, and a commitment to interacting online and through social media. For example, you can commit to daily interaction on others’ posts whose content is relevant to your area of expertise. You need to know your lane, establish your expertise and credibility, and be confident in the content that you put out. All of these when done consistently will produce the end result of a strong brand and a continually growing social media following.
- Make Your Values Clear- It’s crucial that you define clearly what the values of your brand are. Your values are the essence of everything that you do, and are part of the identify of your brand. If you are not sure of what these values are, then you need to figure them out. A good exercise to try is to ask yourself: What do I stand for? What are some of my non-negotiables (i.e. your standards)? What are five words that you want people to think of when your brand comes to mind?
- Attend And Participate In Offline Events- Building an online presence isn’t just about sitting at your computer. By going to and even leading in-person workshops and networking opportunities, your level of confidence, expertise, and credibility will continue to expand online. Sharing images, videos, and experiences from real life events will assist you in building a unique and viable brand online. For example, you can host a workshop at your local library, go to a meetup in your lane of expertise, or get interviewed on local television. This can all help you rise above the online noise and bring your dreams and brand to life!
- Provide Insights, Not Information- The majority of people attempt to contribute to their team or their organization through providing information that other people are able to utilize. However, what can really help to add value is conveying the reasons why the information that you share is important, and how other people are able to use it. Make sure to always take the extra step and help interpret the data for your stakeholders, so that they come away with an “ah-ha” to help them do their job better.
- Invest Time and Energy In The Real World- Unfortunately, there is too often a marked disconnect between an individual’s online presence and who they are in “real” life. Make sure to invest in real relationships offline as well so that no matter what your brand is, it is only reinforced online. Make sure to be the kind of person and kind of “brand” that provides genuine interest in others, and you will see reciprocity.
Contact Us Today
There are many things to keep in mind when it comes to building your personal brand. As the internet continues to evolve, marketing and branding does with it and continues to grow in importance. Your personal brand and online presence not only communicates your products and services, but also addresses what needs you fulfill for your prospective clients and connects with your target audience so that you can address those needs. It’s important to not only engage, but to engage consistently, engage well, and find out what you’re targeting. MyCity Social is a top provider of digital marketing Orlando businesses and residents rely on. Call MyCity Social to find out more about our SEO and digital marketing services today!