I'm often asked how a small business can get the most out of branding on the web. After all, there's only so many hours in a day. With your website, social media, email marketing, etc. the walls between the personal you and the business you are practically invisible.
People want to see who you are and what makes you tick. By taking advantage of various opportunities, you can use this to your advantage to create a strong online brand that represents both you and your business in the best light possible.
1. Sponsor or speak at an online event
Being an event sponsor or guest speaker for someone else's online event gets your name out in front of an audience you might not have known before. It broadens your personal brand and can strengthen your influence and relationships with the people that already follow you.
Last fall, I spoke at the IVAA online summit on how Virtual Assistants can set themselves apart on the web. It was a wonderful opportunity to share and it directly resulted in several new clients.
2. Blog to share your story
Nothing strengthens your brand and relationships more than blogging and sharing your stories and experiences ... the good and the bad (as long as you can frame the negatives as learning experiences). The web today is not like the web of 10 years ago. Stuffy and sterile content is out. Being real, approachable and transparent is where it's at.
3. Create your own product
Your brand will get a huge boost from creating a full product launch regardless of the industry you're in. On the web, that can be a digital ebook or perhaps a membership site where you educate your followers with your expertise. Use social media and email marketing to pre-sell and you'll strengthen your brand prior to product launch.
4. Build credibility
Whether you choose to write a book, guest blog, or maintain a steady stream of focused content on your own website, write about what you know! Getting your name out there with a specific focus will help you build credibility in your field, which will really boost your brand as well as help to raise your value and influence in the marketplace.
5. Be true to who you are
You were designed for great things! Whether you're just starting out in business or looking for ways to grow an existing one, your brand is a reflection of who you are. Most people can smell a 'fake' a mile away. Being true to your brand will make it more attractive in the long run.
Patty Gale is the founder of Inspired WebWorks, a fun, dynamic web agency serving women-owned businesses and start-ups. She is absolutely passionate about helping women use the internet to empower their lives as she believes that your business should fit into your life rather than your life fitting into your business.