The Best Way to Build Your Brand Online
If and when you are trying to find someone online, the first thing that you do is turn to the search engines. It is a natural move in this day and age and it give you a way to learn about the person and his or her business without committing to that person and without getting personally involved yet.
The approach that works best for your business
Most people (it would not be easy to find some who don’t do this) check out the person and/or business of the other person before actually buying something from that business (or even before developing a relationship with that person and/or business). The research is essential and it often provides valuable information that you may not obtain if you were to speak with the person directly. At least, that may be the case in the beginning of the relationship. You can look at it as the beginning before the beginning. What you learn from your research will give you a good understanding (or acquaintanceship) with the person’s brand. When it comes to a professional relationship, that is critical to the success of the relationship from the beginning to the end.
The result of your search efforts have a lot to do with how the other person is managing his or her personal brand. If that person is careful about maintaining control over the information that appears online, he or she will be presented in a positive light and other people will see the person in that way as well. That is tremendously important when it comes to cultivating a professional relationship together. There are various things that you can do to effectively build your professional brand and if you succeed at accomplishing at least a portion of them, you will also succeed at building your brand successfully.
- Test the search engine: If a person is looking for you and your business, the first thing that the person is going to do online is to type your name or the name of your business into the search engine. The person may get some interesting and surprising results. There are many different pieces of information that may pop up, including various social media profiles, your website, etc. The big question here is if the information that the person finds compels him or her to drill further to obtain additional information.
- Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete: Considering that your LinkedIn profile is one of the first things that will appear in the search result list and also considering how powerful LinkedIn is for professional purposes, it is critical to your professional success that you have a complete, effective LinkedIn profile. Other people will absolutely pay attention to your profile and you have a responsibility to make sure that the information is in place. In addition to the standard information, your LinkedIn profile should also have recommendations and endorsements.
- Have an effective, compelling Facebook profile and biography: Your biography is very important as is the rest of your Facebook profile. As a matter of fact, the very first part of your bio is the most essential part. You have exactly three seconds to grab the attention of the reader. You better make it really exciting and really valuable. Otherwise, that person will move on to the next person and you will lose them forever.
- Gain credibility through authorship: If you can show that you are a published author, you will have proven to your readers that you are credible. It is all part of building your brand (professionally and personally). You need to make sure that you incorporate that information into your biography on all of your social media profiles.
- Demonstrate your specialty and expertise: If you communicate where your expertise lies, other people will respond positively to that. It is all part of building your brand and building your credibility. A specialist is generally accepted more readily than a generalist. Of course, both are necessary functions but they are received differently.
- Get exposure through other websites as a guest blogger: You gain instant credibility if you write for someone else’s website. Of course, everyone understands that you can’t blow your own horn but other people can do it for you as much as they wish. It will definitely be taken seriously and there is a good likelihood that the other person will take the information into serious consideration if and when they are ready to buy a product and/or service from you.
- Follow the basic principles of social media behavior: There are certain established social media principles that should be followed by everyone:
- WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)
- Prove your value
- Prove that you care about your target audience
- Be consistent
- Touch the other person on a human/emotional level
- Always be accessible
- Never spam anyone
- Always listen to the other person
- Recognize the value of blogging for your business
- Prove your worth as a subject matter expert
If you follow the principles that have been outlined here, you will build a strong, enduring brand online and you will be able to become more and more successful. People will be very interested in interacting with you and they will also eventually want to buy from you and to become loyal customers. Remember to share valuable and informative information with them and share it in the most effective, least-intrusive manner possible. If you have done your job effectively, the other people will have no doubt about the value that you bring to the relationship. Your business will make their business perform more effectively.