No matter where you are in your career, chances are you already know the crucial role your personal brand plays in helping you achieve your goals. The image you convey and content you produce — whether as a speaker, writer, thought leader or CEO — all build your personal brand. When clients or colleagues seek your professional advice, your services or the products you’ve created, what they’re really investing in is you.
Are you currently using all the available tools to optimize and communicate your personal brand?
Thinking like a content marketing professional can help you shape and boost your personal brand, making it possible to reach a wider network and audience than ever before.
Take time to assess how you’re currently using the tools at your disposal to ensure you stand out from the crowd. A good starting point is to consider these three points.
1. Your website represents you
Are you making the most of your website? The best sites out there don’t just create ways for people to reach you. Your website acts as a salesperson, promoting you and your brand.
Stay on top of your website and keep the pages current and fresh. Creating frequent, short and readable blogs is much more effective than irregularly publishing long blogs.
Former VP of Yahoo, member of the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and Guerrilla Marketing Hall of Fame Seth Godin writes a short, entertaining and easily digestible blog every day — and he has generated over 7,000 posts with over a million readers.
Your best website will produce meaningful, dynamic content to keep people interested in you and what you do. A website with well-written, interesting content creates not just followers, but buzz — and says a lot about who you are and what you have to offer.
Most people research before making a purchase or hiring a speaker
Whether you’re a professional speaker, author, inventor, consultant or influencer, your potential clients will do their research before reaching out to you. They’ll want to explore your background, expertise and accomplishments fully before hitting the “contact us” button.
The most effective websites contain not just testimonials from happy customers, but also short samples of what they’ll get if they hire you — including written samples and videos.
Blog and website content conveys important information for potential customers
Go beyond the basic information about your brand and what you do. Pique their interest by creating a regular blog with your thought process, advice and resources. This will help generate regular readership and build trust with your audience.
Make sure to post well-written, concise, clean copy. Readers will only stay interested if your content is short and to the point — and will lose interest quickly if your copy is long-winded or sloppy.
Write your blog specifically for your intended audience or customer. What do they care about? What questions do they want answered? Writing with an ideal reader in mind is the best way to focus your style and your chosen topics.
Best-selling author and digital marketing pioneer Ann Handley offers readers concrete writing tips in her blog to create better copy, no matter what kind of writing they do.
Handley, Seth Godin and many other successful bloggers, writers and speakers invite interested readers to sign up for blog posts and/or regular e-newsletters — which is a great way to generate leads and keep readers engaged.
Noted keynote speaker and author of “Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling” Sam Richter takes this approach a step further. To view video samples of his keynote speeches, interested parties need to fill out a contact form to obtain a password. Because of this, the website acts as both a conduit of information and a powerful generator of business leads.
Providing a variety of messaging approaches creates a more compelling website to appeal to a range of potential clients. A balance of images, written text and video content will appeal to different types of people viewing your content.
Marketing and communications consultant Arik Hanson adds to his cache as a blogger and lecturer by also providing The Talking Points Podcast, a monthly discussion about social media marketing trends, along with his blog.
2. Paid distribution and sponsored content help target the right audience
With all the content out there, it’s not enough to post copy on your website and hope people find you. Instead, make use of tools like paid distribution and sponsored content to reach your exact audience.
Using a paid media campaign allows you to target your demographics, so that your content reaches the right audience.
Sponsored content, which is one aspect of a paid media campaign, includes articles or videos that blur the line between advertising and entertainment. Effective sponsored content types include listicles, which offer helpful tips and tricks along with compelling images, and MAT releases — consumer-facing articles designed to educate and help the reader. These articles are distributed to various online and/or print media publications to gain a wider readership.
Sponsored content is very lightly branded, avoiding a hard sell and instead focusing on entertainment value and readability. It’s a great tool for building brand awareness about your products or services.
Targeting by geography, demographics, interest
Today’s sophisticated distribution tools allow you to target your audience in terms of specific criteria, from geographical region and demographics to tastes and interests.
Thought leadership promotion
Tap into tools to promote your ideas on specific topics to speak to the right audiences. For example, Brandpoint’s Expert Series allows you to create written and/or video content for a specific audience within your field. You can include both a high-quality video featuring you or other experts within your organization, along with an editorial bylined article.
3. Publishing on social media helps you network
Any content you create can also be posted on social media platforms, allowing even more opportunities for engagement with colleagues and potential clients — and for them to share your content, further widening your reach. All these opportunities help you raise your brand’s visibility, forge new connections with others in your industry, and reach additional customers.
Writing articles for professional platforms such as LinkedIn showcases your expertise on industry-specific topics, helping you and your brand become a trusted resource in your field.
Keynote speaker Sam Richter posted his Expert Series article created via Brandpoint to his LinkedIn page, attracting interest and gaining more traction with his followers. That’s a great way to maximize your paid media efforts.
Expanding on posts promotes community and conversation
When others engage with your content by commenting or asking questions, keep the conversation going! Keep all interactions positive by thanking readers and openly dealing with any challenges to your ideas. Provide further resources in response, or links to other content you’ve created to answer readers’ questions.
Asking for more responses and ideas also helps generate a feeling of community, making it more likely that your future posts will attract attention and interest.
Create learning opportunities
Developing lectures, online classes or workshops to share industry tips and tricks is another way to engage others and increase your brand’s profile. Creativity and marketing guru Seth Godin has developed an entire career around educating and encouraging others, whether through his numerous seminars, best-selling books, TED talks, online lectures and courses — and some of his content is available for free, increasing his value to the casual reader or viewer.
Whether you offer short workshops on LinkedIn Learning or fully fledged courses that become a staple of your brand, educating others also helps to establish you as a trusted expert and resource.
Explore the tools used by others in your field to see what opportunities you may be missing out on. Consult with content marketing experts such as Brandpoint for advice on improving your brand’s online profile. Using every possible resource to boost your online presence and promote your personal brand is a smart strategy to invest in yourself and your growing business.
Yes, all of these efforts can be a lot of work for one person! What could be better than to have a whole team working for you? Brandpoint can help by creating the content you need to take your personal brand to the next level. Visit Brandpoint.com to tap into the expertise of our in-house writers, designers and strategists.