I know it’s confusing to jump into the fray and know where to start with building and growing your online presence. It’s not easy to make sure all the right things get done, when you don’t have enough time or background knowledge. I am here to help.
Personal and Professional Online Branding
Building and refining your online presence can be an unpredictable journey. However, there are several established norms that can help you get started. The Number One place to start is with a properly branded website. Number two is establishing a way to contact your audience directly (typically through an e-newsletter).
After that, there are many online platforms to choose from, many of which, if used properly, have the potential to help you reach your objective. The challenge is to pick one or two additional platforms that are right for you, and avoid the temptation of using too many and spreading yourself too thin online—a common mistake.
The following are options I can offer for you. You may choose to tackle one at a time, or build and grow several at once. Any option is viable; the important thing is to start.
What do you want from your online presence? Here are some options:
- You want to differentiate yourself online as the best company in your industry in order to attract an audience, drive sales and generate trust. To professionally, consistently, and clearly market your message online for maximum exposure to all future audiences.
- You want to establish yourself online as a successful author in order to drive sales and reviews. To professionally build your online platform for maximum exposure to all future books and to cultivate a ready audience for your next book release.
- You want to promote yourself online as a highly qualified freelancer in order to drive credibility, exposure, and sales. To strategically build your online presence for maximum discovery of your portfolio.
Where to Build and Grow Your Online Brand
Personalized and Branded Website—No matter what, you need a professional website. This is your unique online home—the best place to create and promote your overall brand, which will serve you well for years to come. Make it a showcase, an online store, or a platform in which to share your extensive knowledge. Make it engaging so people become interested in you and what you have to offer.
Branded e-Newsletter—This is how you can capture contact information of interested parties, reach your audience directly, and stay top-of-mind. It’s the best way to stay connected with a base of followers and keep them informed about what’s coming up. You can also ask for their input and get feedback to keep them engaged in the process, or offer special “subscriber-only” contests or promotions.
Branded Social Media—This is where you pique interest in your products and services. It is an easy and informal way to interact with your audience and find out what they think. Keep it fresh and active or people will lose interest and wander away. Share quick tidbits about your products and services and interests. Link to resources, promote others, re-post relevant and interesting content from your website, other social media, or elsewhere on the web.
Branded Amazon Author Page—As an author, this is your second online home. But you don’t own or control this space; Amazon has the right to do whatever they want with it. However, it’s a place for your readers to learn specifically about you and your books. Keep it up-to-date and interesting so people either buy your books or click to go to your website.
Branded Press Kit—This is what you need to have at-the-ready, to share with any media outlets, professional book bloggers, or bookstores, to best promote your book. Make it easily accessible on your website so it is simple for people to share your message.
Ideal Customer Avatar—This is a profile of your ideal audience. When you know exactly who your reader is, you can better market to him/her.
Full Site SEO Refresh—You want your site to come up on the first page of a Google search for your keywords. Proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes that more likely, and helps drive the right traffic to your website. Update all out-dated information, strategically insert keywords into text, optimize images so they load quickly, add links where appropriate, include “alt tags” in links and images for search engine recognition. Add website analytics for tracking purposes. Make sure you are following all the best practices so you perform well in searches for your keywords.
Homepage Redesign—Spruce up your home page to appeal to your core audience and differentiate yourself from your competition. Add custom graphics, branded to you and your business. Put your products and services front and center so they are easy to understand and buy. Include your best reviews and most up-to-date information. Make it easy for visitors to navigate to other important parts of the website. Make the homepage engaging so people become interested in your company and stay long enough on your site to find out more.
Style Guide and Branding Template—It’s important to have a consistent, clear message and a plan that everyone involved in your marketing can understand and articulate. You need to know what differentiates yourself from the competition. Create an easy-to-follow one pager with information about what to do/not do as relates to the your company. Include information and relevant details about branding and messaging that everyone can follow and adhere to.
Social Media Guide and Posting Plan—What do you need to do next? Once everything is set up, you have to start adding consistent content. Create an easy-to-follow posting plan (with examples) for all your social media accounts. Accompany that with an easy-to-modify graphic template, which will allow anyone to make eye-catching images (that follow the style guide) to use in your social media posts. Make posting and updating a breeze.
SEO Maintenance Instruction Sheet. A customized checklist for how to keep SEO Best Practices going when you add new content to your website. Don’t let everything fall apart.
Comprehensive Maintenance Package—Your biggest hurdle is consistency you can count on. Create weekly or twice-monthly regular blogging strategy, including blogging topics/headlines, and posting schedule, so audience knows when to expect new content. Clarify posting categories. Create similar schedule for e-newsletter system. Make it ridiculously easy to follow a schedule and get everything done efficiently and effectively.
“I had the privilege of working with Evelyn for a three month period of time. I had taken on a position managing a 100-year-old camp that was in serious need of a web page update along with a new marketing plan. I had some knowledge and experience in that area but I knew I could use some professional assistance.
“The primary reason I chose to work with Evelyn is the fact that you can receive just the right amount of assistance your situation requires. If you need ideas and suggestions to assist you in developing a marketing plan or in creating an online presence such as Facebook, web page etc. she is capable of educating and guiding you in just the right direction. If your time is limited or you are looking for a trusted and knowledgeable professional to do the development and creating Evelyn is the person I would recommend with total and complete confidence.
“I know you will find your experience working with Evelyn to be worth your investment.”
~ Annette Roiko