Posts Tagged ‘personal branding’

I’m an expert, how about you?

When you have a small business, minutes matter.  You have to stay focused, which is very hard to do in this chaotic business world in which many of us operate.  In the past, many companies operated and sold either locally or, at most, regionally.  Now, we are global.  So how can you differentiate your brand, in addition to your products and services?  Become the Expert!

I was reading Ivana Taylor’s article regarding influence (You 14 Step Roadmap to becoming an Influencer ) on openforum.com and it got me thinking…what can small businesses do to make themselves brand experts? 

Here are some ideas that I gleaned from Ivana with my additions (of course).

  • Put in the time—You truly do need to be an expert to claim that status (don’t be a poser!)…Ivana recommends 10,000 hours…that means that you have to be working full time in an industry for at least five years to claim expert status…totally doable!  Remember though, focus is key… I am not just a market research and marketing expert…I am an expert in B2B insurance market research and B2B insurance marketing (as well as other things…wink). 
  • Strategically Embrace Social media—there are a lot of things you can do through social media that will boost your expert status, but you can’t afford to waste time.  Here are my quick hit favorites:
    • LinkedIn—join 50 groups…it’s fast and easy; and, actively post articles and ask questions in the groups from which you think you will get the most “expert status” bump. 
    • Blog—Don’t do what I do…keep your blogs short and sweet…and do what I do…keep them on topic.  When you blog, use key words you want to own/be associated with your name/brand…like marketing, commercial insurance, Net Promoter Score.  If you have more time…I suggest you also place comments on other people’s blogs—it helps with Google juice!  Another idea would be to guest blog, but few of us have enough time to write our own blogs let alone blog for other people.  I would try to get them to repost one of the blogs you have already written.
    • Create a YouTube video—if you have a video camera and an internet connection, you are pretty much set.  Make the video really short (1 to 3 minutes, tops) and very informative and instructional.  Oh, and make it fun.    Post these videos on your website…more Google juice!
    • Publish…Your Data—if you collect and analyze data and can publish it…do so!   Nothing better than providing the world with useful information.  And, after you have published your data…write a press release about it.  It doesn’t cost that much to get your press releases run through the newswires. 
    • In-person Networking—yes, you need to get out there and meet people face to face, not just online.  To do this, I recommend joining associations and attending their conferences (to the extent it makes sense).  Service clubs like Rotary are great as well, but don’t just focus on local things and events.  
    • Speak/Join Panels/Webinars—most of us would rather jump off a bridge than speak publically; but, there are few better ways to build up your expert status than having documented proof that people are willing to pay for your advice.

There are a heck of a lot more ways to get your brand elevated to expert status, but these were my favorites.  And, as you have probably noticed, most of them are absolutely free (except for your time). 

What are you doing to elevate your brand status to expert?

Happy Marketing!

Sharon Markovsky: An Online Personal Branding Journey

I have been on an online personal branding journey since 2009 and I have to say it has been a challenge.  Not just from a time committment perspective, but a content perspective as well.   For those of you who are just starting out on your journey, I thought I would offer a few words of advice and encouragement:

Here’s the advice part:

  • Stay focused–decide who you are today and who you will be in the future and stick with it.  I am a marketer and that’s what I portray in everything I do online.
  • Read–content is king when it comes to social media overall and your brand itself.  I find the best way to provide remarkable content is to read other people’s blogs and books.  It really helps with the writer’s block!
  • Add valuable content–let’s face it, we are all really, really busy.  You need to make sure you are providing content that is going to help/enlighten your readers/viewers. You have to give them a reason to seek you out on a consistent basis.  My most viewed blog was 5 Easy Steps to Failing at Personal Branding.  While the title is a little tongue in cheek, it really does provide a lot of great content. 
  • Be consistent–don’t go dark, and don’t quit.  No one likes a quitter, especially your groupies. 
  • Measure your progress–if you have online branding goals and measure to those goals you will stay focused and most importantly not quit.  My goal metrics are:
    • Productivity:   Number of blogs—1 to2 per week,  tweet daily—at least 5 tweets per day, and move to a 2-to-1 ratio on Twitter (followers to following).
    • Engagement: writing comments on other people’s blog posts once a week and retweeting important/remarkable people’s blogs once a week (both of these without coming across as a stalker). 
    • Reach: increase the number of Twitter followers with 5,000+ followers.
    • Klout: increase my Klout score–my current score is 45, I would like to move it up 50 points.
    • Expert status:  Have my name associated with the term direct marketing/marketing/ market research in Reno, NV

Ok, enough of the advice, here is the encouragement part.  All of us that are building our online brand know that it takes a long time and it is a very thankless job.  Here’s how I look at it.  There are very few things in life that I have “complete” control over–online branding is one of them (save for cyber bullies of course…but even that can be dealt with).  Why not put your time and money resources into something that can have a direct benefit to your life…be it from the personal or professional side (or even both!)?

When are you going to clean up your online brand and how are you going to keep yourself motivated to remain vigilant?

Happy marketing!

Ok, so you have your online personal brand taken care of…now what?

In my prior blog, Why you can’t wait another day to create a personal brand online, I talked about the importance of building and consistently implementing your online brand.

Assuming that you have given your online brand a spring cleaning…now what?

For me, the next step is setting goals for my online brand. At the end of the day, what do I want my online brand to do for me and others?

Here’s a glimpse at my overall goals for social media: 

  1. Mentoring: Help at least one person each week through my social media efforts 
  2. Engagement: Have an in depth conversation with at least one new person through social media each week 
  3. Networking: Increase the number of quality people following/friending/linking to me by 300 each month 
  4. Publishing: write and publish at least two quality blogs per week 
  5. Recognition: increase the association of my name with Marketing and Market Research key words—become the recognized expert.

As with your company brand, you need to set goals for your personal online brand. In my next blog I will talk about the all important next step…. Metrics.

Have you set goals for your online brand yet?  What are you waiting for?

Happy Marketing!

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