So, you’ve decided to go freelance. Or maybe you’re finally trying that side hustle you’ve always dreamt about. Or you’re forging your way forward in a full-time gig with hopes of rising to the top of the ladder.
No matter what your career goals look like, building a strong personal brand is one of the most powerful ways to succeed in business. And with technology at our fingertips, it’s never been easier to build a website or create a social media presence.
But, what are the most effective ways to set yourself apart from others in your field?
With so many entrepreneurs and business owners flooding the market, it’s never been more competitive to stand out online.
So, we’ve developed five simple strategies to help you build your personal brand online. The best bit? You can do it all for free. Ready to get started? Keep reading to find out how.
1. Optimise your LinkedIn profile
Heralded as the ultimate social network for business, LinkedIn is a powerful resource that all professionals should take advantage of.
Not only does the site connect you with colleagues past and present, but it also allows you to forge new connections with mentors and leaders in your industry. But beyond expanding your network, your LinkedIn profile can improve career prospects and provides a range of tools perfect for brand building.
Start by adding in as much detail as possible to your personal profile page. Upload a professional profile image, craft a short headline and bio that speak to your key skills and experience and ensure all your relevant work experience, education, and training information is up to date.
Another great strategy is to share updates to your network on a regular basis. Keep your connections in the loop with any exciting projects, new job opportunities or events you’ve recently taken part in and don’t be afraid to redirect traffic back to your own website or blog.
2. Create an Instagram business account
Most of us are already using Instagram, but have you ever considered starting a business account?
Unlike a personal profile, Instagram for business allows you to leverage insightful audience and post data that can help you to build your personal brand online.
Once you’ve created a new profile for your business, head over to the ‘Settings’ tab and click on ‘Account’ to select ‘Switch to Business Profile’. This simple change will give you access to a range of helpful tools designed to ensure entrepreneurs and businesses succeed on the platform.
Start by editing your profile to add in contact information and a call-to-action button that allows users to phone or email you in one tap. Once you’ve started posting to the feed and Instagram Stories, you’ll see the performance of your content via the ‘Insights’ tab.
Keep track of what images and copy are resonating best with your followers and take a look at the demographics of your audience to understand who you are speaking to. The more data you have, the better placed you’ll be to craft content to capture their attention.
3. Join and contribute to Facebook Groups
As the Facebook platform continues to shift in the hopes of prioritising meaningful conversations, Facebook Groups have risen in number and prominence.
Across all industries, highly engaged groups of like-minded people are using the platform to connect and communicate.
Do your research and investigate which Facebook Groups are most relevant to your career goals. Take the time to introduce yourself to other members to build your profile and professional network.
Plus, many of these Groups share job listings on a regular basis so it’s worth keeping a close eye on new posts in case any relevant opportunities arise.
4. Start a blog
If you’ve stepped away from your day job to set up your own business, one of the most effective strategies for building a personal brand online is to launch your own website. This allows you to share your latest projects and services to the world, while also giving you a place to house a digital portfolio of your work.
But once you’ve hit ‘publish’, how can you keep your site relevant and up-to-date? That’s where blogging comes in.
Writing and sharing regular articles related to your industry or key audience concerns allows you to drive traffic to your website and boost your chances of ranking on the first pages of Google search results.
Start by brainstorming a range of topics that could be turned into blog posts and create a simple calendar of when to post them. Make sure to set aside a few hours each week to write and edit these posts to ensure you’re sharing content consistently.
This will keep customers and potential clients engaged with your brand, meaning they’ll be more likely to come to you when they’re ready to purchase your goods or services.
5. Build an email newsletter
This one is great to pair with consistent blog content. Email marketing is a useful way to build a database of contacts and share news about your latest projects, work, and services.
Email marketing software such as Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor is free to sign up to and will help you get your first newsletter off the ground. Use their pre-made templates (or even creat your own) to create campaigns that speak to whatever topics are most relevant to your brand. Plus, the software allows you to track analytics to gauge what is and isn’t working, such as the best times to send out an email newsletter and which web links are gaining the most clicks.
Start by creating one newsletter a month to share your latest client wins, industry news updates or blog content. The trick is to be consistent so audiences will anticipate your newsletter and become more likely to engage with the content you’re sharing.
This article was written by Lucinda Starr and originally published on A Girl In Progress.