5 Critical Elements of Successfully Managing Your Online Presence

When businesses think of branding and marketing, they often think in terms of the company as a whole. This is certainly important; however, personal branding can also be a big boon to your company. For sole proprietors and professional organizations (doctors, lawyers, accountants, consultants, etc.), showing off the personal expertise of the owners or management team is a great way to promote the company as a whole. Even larger organizations can benefit from showing the personal side of key executives—or touting their credentials to help boost business.

As Molly Reynolds, host of The Unicorn in the Room, writes in an article for Inc.com:

“Over the past three years or so, it has become increasingly clear to most entrepreneurs that developing a personal thought leadership profile is probably a good idea. Showing off your expertise by creating an efficient content engine can help you generate the right leads, connect you with high profile partners, and / or open you up to greater opportunities, such as book deals or paid speaking engagements -not to mention that these days, many investors want to see significant website traction before they sign on the dotted line.”

It’s hard to argue that it would not be important to build a strong personal brand online. But how can you do this most effectively? Here’s a roadmap of how to develop a solid personal online presence:

Know What You’re After

Have a clear strategy that includes how you wish to be perceived (brand), who your target audience is (and what they value) and the specific outcomes you are hoping to achieve (greater awareness, improved perception, sales, etc.).

Think About Your Channels

Consider the various channels available to you—e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, etc., etc. Determine which are most likely to appeal to, and reach, your audience at a point in time when they will be most amenable to your messages. For instance, if you’re targeting a B2B audience, Snapchat is not likely to be a good communication channel — if you’re targeting a B2C audience, LinkedIn is probably not a good choice. Pew Research offers some useful insights about the demographics of people who are engaging with the various social media channels.

Be Consistent and Prolific

Determine your communication platforms and messages and create a content/editorial calendar to help you remain on track and on target relative to your desired brand and outcomes. Post frequently and consistently. This is one of the biggest areas where we see people fail—they start, then stop, their posting efforts or are sporadic in these efforts. It takes repeated—and consistent—messages, over time, to gain traction.

Work Smarter, Not Just Harder

Leverage content multiple ways and multiple times to get the most traction from your messaging. A blog post, for instance, could be repurposed as social media posts, as podcasts, as elements of an e-letter, as the basis for a white paper or e-book, etc.

Keep Track of How You’re Doing

Monitor the metrics, both for you and your competitors. It’s very easy, and often very inexpensive, to monitor how your posts are doing and to monitor how your competition is doing. These insights can help you make improvements to achieve better results.

And a Pitfall to Avoid

One area where many fail is being too self-promotional. Yes, the reason you’re engaging in online communication is to, ultimately, positively impact your bottom line. But, that doesn’t mean you should blatantly promote what you have to offer. That’s the quickest way to turn off an audience. Writing for Entrepreneur, Ben Simkin notes, “No matter how much you try to disguise an advertisement, don’t underestimate the general public’s ability to sniff out promotion from miles away.”

Instead stay focused on presenting valuable information (to your audience) that positions you as a go-to resource. Along these same lines, don’t just post all of your own content. Curate relevant/reliable content from other sources to help establish yourself as someone who is up-to-date on news and trends in your field.

 

Building a solid professional presence online is certainly doable. It requires some planning and consistency and avoiding coming off as being too self-promotional, but it can be done, and the benefits are worth the effort.

Need help building or managing your online presence. We can help!

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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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