Let’s imagine that you are looking for a job, or maybe you are concerned about some information published online about you, so you want to improve how your digital image is perceived online. You start to analyze and influence your internet profile. That’s personal online branding.
But working with social media profiles, writing for a blog, trying to get to the top of search engine results page with your content when someone looks you up by your name — it’s also a definition of digital marketing activities! So, is personal online branding actually marketing? Let’s get into it!
So, is personal branding online marketing?
As I recommend for the initial step of working on the personal brand, you try Google yourself (learn more about how to start in this article). Upon doing so, you see a variety of results. There can be:
- social media profiles;
- blog posts or comments you have posted online;
- news about you or mentions of your name published by other people.
How can you make sure that only the pieces of information you want people to see are available there? You start to update your social media pages, you write your own and comment on other people’s blog posts, you get involved in other activities that lead to mentions.
Those are all parts of digital marketing!
Your blogging and writing efforts are Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization: SEO
Content is everything you produce for your website, blog, social media pages, and even email. Count into this category:
- texts, lyrics;
- videos and slideshows;
- images and photos.
You cannot create these in vacuum — you research interests and preferences of the people you want to reach (speaking in marketing language, your target audience).
Research of that kind, and all the processes tied to content creation are something marketers live and breath. When you are out to find some data on how your searches look for information, what kind of queries do they use on search engines, which terms are popular and trendy, you are performing the SEO research — basics of making your information (and your personal brand!) discoverable!
SEO and content best practices you want to use for personal branding
- research your topic before starting to write;
- use tools and technology to uncover the best questions to answer;
- know your audience: what formats and styles they prefer;
- promote everything you write and publish on social media;
- build partnerships with other authorities in your industry in order to be published on their websites and curated on their social media pages.
Your work on your social pages is Social Media Marketing: SMM
The definition of Social Media Marketing is:
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. […] Companies address a range of stakeholders through social media marketing, including current and potential customers, current and potential employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public. On a strategic level, social media marketing includes the management of a marketing campaign, governance, setting the scope (e.g. more active or passive use) and the establishment of a firm’s desired social media “culture” and “tone.” Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms and websites to promote a product or service. […]Social media marketing — Wikipedia
By working on your pages on these platforms, adding relevant competitive information to the bio sections, linking accounts together to create a comprehensive profile you optimize them to represent you online in the best way possible.
Your profile photo works as the brand’s logo, bio — mission statement, links and information that you share — messaging with your networks who in this analogy are the customers of your brand.
Best SMM practices digital marketers use to make their brand stand out that you can steal for your personal branding
- be recognizable across all the social media profiles: use recent professional photo, give the same information about yourself;
- be consistent in your posting: if you choose to share updates once a week, then stick to that schedule;
- remember that social media is a two way communication channel: go into conversations with your followers, answer questions, go out and engage with the content that they post too.
Go and check my advice on how to start using social media platforms for personal branding, it’s fun!
Your work on being featured on other people’s publications is your PR
Third type of results you can see on SERP (search engine results page) when you research yourself by your own name, are other people’s websites that you don’t own or manage.
Usually, you need an established blog or a website where you share your expert advice on the topic of your interest on a regular basis in order to in order to be successful in reaching out and getting featured by other experts. It’s quite a no-brainer: they want to see if you are good enough in what you do.
After you have some significant proof of your expertise you start proactively reaching out to other bloggers, writers, comment on their pieces and offer your expertise as a guest blogger or invited writer.
The outcome you pursue here is ultimately a mention of your name in the context of proven expertise and authority in your field, but also getting links to your website, a blog, or social media profiles.
Best practices of link (mention) building and public relations you can use
- provide value! With your guest blogs, answers to users’ questions, or comments you first of all ultimately should look to provide maximum value to your readers. Links, mentions, and visits to your own pages come next;
- build partnerships only with established authorities and experts in the field;
- use tools and technology to research potential partners — make only data-driven decisions.
TL;DR Online Marketing for Personal Branding: wrap-up
In an essence, personal branding is indeed digital marketing performed for your own online brand.
- Social media marketing,
- content creation and search engine optimization,
- public relations
are main activities from the marketing scope you surely want to implement for your personal brand management. Use best practices for each channel in order to achieve better results.
Now that you are more familiar with personal marketing concept and how it fits into personal branding, I encourage you to join us for daily updates and tips by subscribing below. Stay tuned!
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Photo courtesy: Serhii Simonov