Online marketing is key to success in modern business. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur, a full-time freelancer, or a business veteran overseeing a large organization, there is no excuse for ignoring the power of the internet to build your business. Billions of people log into their favorite social network every day to check in on friends and family, browse news from their network, and even look for jobs. With so many people using social networks every day, you can leverage them to build your online brand.
Use Consistent Branding Across Platforms
If you don’t already have branding, think about how you want to look online. I had my wife take a handful of photos of me on the beach using a high quality dSLR camera and picked my favorite to use on every social network. I created several sizes of the same image so I could use the same photo on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and every other social network. In fact, I even used the photo on my business cards!
Using the same image on every network makes me more easily recognizable and memorable. Wherever possible, I use my own name as my user name, but when that is already taken I use a different consistent name so I am easy to find. Following this strategy helps you build your following across every network, giving you a bigger overall following and better recognition.
Be Everywhere if You Can
Online entrepreneurship superstar Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income suggests a “be everywhere” strategy for online content and brand marketing. This strategy has paid off well for him, as he brings in six figures every month from his online business.
Having accounts on every popular social network is a great idea. The most popular today include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. However, only join and participate in networks where you can commit to consistently posting.
If you have an account that is a virtual ghost town, you may lose credibility and followers. So take the “be everywhere” strategy with a grain of salt and just focus on being everywhere you can do a great job of creating and connecting.
Be a Consistent Contributor
Each account you use should be at least semi-active. You don’t have to post on each account multiple times per day, but try to stick to a schedule of posting something at least once a week if you can.
If you don’t think you have enough content to be original on each network every week, don’t fret. You can recycle content or push one article, blog post, or idea across each network all at once. Repurposing content is completely acceptable. Even Fortune 500 companies post the same things multiple times on networks like Twitter and may try to promote something multiple times on Facebook and other popular networks to ensure the best exposure.
I use a tool called MeetEdgar to help me be more consistent on social media. For $50 per month, I can pre-create content that posts on a schedule on various connected networks even if I’m on a plane, napping, or I’m across the world not thinking about Facebook and Twitter.
Make Yourself Accessible
My favorite DJ in the world, Tiesto, is on the way to 5 million followers on Twitter. Despite his massive fan base, he still took the time to respond to me once when I sent him a note. I have received responses from many other bloggers, journalists, and celebrities as well.
Making yourself accessible to your followers is an important aspect of social media. You are a real human person, and if you want other humans to follow you, it is best to take the time to respond, reply, and help whenever asked.
Present Yourself the Way You Want People to Think About You
I recently wrote about how my typical workday as a freelancer is not very exciting or glamorous. However, my Instagram and Facebook profiles tell a different story. I work hard to only add fun, exciting, helpful, and inspirational posts to my accounts and project myself in a positive light.
Unlike high school, you can be anything you want on the internet. Take advantage of social networks to put your best self forward.
It’s Free to Start, What Are You Waiting For?
While maximizing your reach requires advertising dollars, signing up and participating in social networks is free. With literally billions of potential fans waiting for you, there is no reason to delay.
Branding myself as an expert in personal finance, travel, and technology online has led to many real-world benefits. It led to a six-figure freelance income. It has given me opportunities for free travel to fun and interesting events. It has put me in front of thousands of people in live audiences at conferences and speaking events. Most importantly, it allowed me to quit my job and follow my dreams of an online, self-employed lifestyle. You can do it too, but you can’t do any of it without your online brand. So get started, you have little to lose and an unlimited potential for success.