Using Blogs, eBooks, Industry Awards and Social Media Tools To Build Your Personal Brand
Online media can give you a new start, almost despite your history and baggage. The trick today is drowning out any previous noise and making your baggage so far down in search rankings that no one will ever find it unless they are really diggin...and who does that?
So how can you improve your b2b brand without hiring a media consultant or spending countless hours analyzing and implementing? It is easier than you think.
How to Start a Blog
Blogs, as trite as they might seem, are an easy way to quickly develop a publishing platform that allows you to define your new persona or amplify your current one. Tools like wordpress.com and blogger.com are incredibly easy to start and give you the real tools you need without any programming skills. Pick a design and start writing.
What do you write? Well, your topic is up to you buy work to establish your expertise in a narrow category or topic. If you write about general it is hard to get noticed. The more niche and controversial, the more likely it is to get picked up, talked about and most importantly linked to.
Links rule the online world. You need other people to link to your content so that you become an authority in Google’s eye.
For what and how to write, I always recommend reading 7 Steps to Writing a Great Blog Post by Lisa Barone. I also recommend having it professionally proofed at least, and edited at best. I have used Scribendi for years and find them affordable, reliable and almost 100% accurate.
Pick a topic a week and make yourself a schedule. No one has time to write but if you make it part of your daily or weekly routine, it is easier than you think. Here is my schedule:
- Sunday night: first draft - 30 mins
- Monday evening: refinements - 10 mins
- Tuesday evening: final proof and send to editor - 5 mins
- Wednesday evening: prepare and post on blog - 10 mins
- Thursday morning: check blog and start social marketing! - 10 mins
Add it all up, 60 minutes a week.
Now comes the fun.
How to Write an Amazon Kindle Book
Now that you are writing regularly you’ll start to gain an audience. It will start small, don’t worry it will grow if you are following the advice above. But how can you increase your brand beyond the blog? Easy!
You now have lots of content...because you have been blogging...right? And it has been professionally edited, right? Now is your chance to become a published author in minutes!
Amazon has made publishing a Kindle eBook as easy as point and click. Simply take you blog posts, organize them into categories of topics, write a forward, and possibly a conclusion, and get publishing. I do recommend reading Guy Kawasaki’s book APE, or at least read all the reviews so you get the jist. one of Guy’s recommendations is to make a compelling cover. We are visual beings! I use Pixlr.com for a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. And Flickr has great images, just be sure you have the legal right to use and modify the image.
How Do I Get My eBook Read?
Social media is the new megaphone so using services like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are important tools in building your brand.
One tool to help you get your message out is to offer a free download of your book if someone tweets your message. Pay With A Tweet is a great service that does just what it says. People tweet your message and in return you give them a something in return, say I don’t know, how about a free copy of your book?
This doesn't have to take all day either. Remember, the goal is to get this done in less than an hour a week! Use free scheduling services like Hootsuite to send your messages throughout the day. Many of these services even let you bulk load scheduled messages so you can rapidly develop and execute your plans.
Another easy way gain a following is to follow others. Many people simply follow back those that follow them. Build lists on Twitter and make sure you tweet often. You can even tweet the same content at different times. Remember, power users (those with lots of clout) cannot read every tweet, at all times, so repeating on a varied schedule is A-OK.
Make sure to tweet about your new book, offer quotes, or links to excerpts (your blog posts) and drive visitors to conversion pages, like “contact us.”
Take Your Place on the Throne
Look at you now...voracious blogger, published Kindle author, and authority figure for a given topic. You have gained the respect of others and now it is time for you to assert your position and rise to your given place upon your throne...by judging others!
Judging awards competitions give you instant authority and credibility. Becoming a judge is often as easy as volunteering. And who could say no with your credentials!
But make sure your judging real award competitions, not just pay for awards competitions. Remember this is YOUR brand now. You have to protect it.
Industry awards like the Big Awards for Business offer lots of judging opportunities for professionals like you. Find the right category: company awards, product or individual and then pick the industry you most resonate with. You can also offer your expertise to other programs like the Stevies and make sure to ask your local chamber of commerce if they have any opportunities for you to “give back.” Try to judge contest where your new found authority is meaningful and respected.
Exert Your Influence in Social Channels
Your social megaphone is now in full swing and you are part of the community, in fact you are an authority. People want to know your opinion. So exert yourself and stay part of the conversation by commenting on others’ work.
Google+ is quickly becoming a community where comments matter and Google gives you simple tools to stay engaged. Looks for opportunities here and on LinkedIn to stay in front of the right audience. Follow and comment on the work of other authors, columnists and experts. Offer your own stories as comments, and posts, so that your message is relevant and valuable.
You have something to say, its just how you say it that really matters.
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A complete 2013 Big Awards entry kit will be emailed to you right away. Included in the kit are all instructions for how to submit your nomination, all deadlines, as well as tips and tricks for winning awards.
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