Online Presence 101: The Basics of Building Your Brand

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*Updated November 29th2023 with most current information

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Following a year in which much of our lives had to become digital, it is critical to maintain an online presence in 2021. The advantages of a good internet reputation are apparent, whether for your professional or personal brand or for a company. Consumers, hiring managers or employees, investors, and everyone else you’re attempting to reach will not only be looking for you or your business online but will demand it. In addition, because so many of us work from home, your internet presence will almost certainly be your company’s initial impression on potential clients.

A mismanaged digital presence may not only prevent you from taking advantage of certain chances, but it may also lead to misunderstanding or confusion. Because the Internet exists, it presents amazing opportunities for exposure, expanding your reach and allowing you to engage with communities and audiences who might otherwise go untapped or unnoticed. It’s a technique to improve your personal or professional reputation as the digital and “real” worlds become increasingly intertwined.

It may feel like trying to sail the sea in a canoe if you’re starting from the ground up. So, where do you begin if you don’t have much of an online presence? While the Internet’s vastness and rapid turnover can be overwhelming, learning the fundamentals will help you develop a successful online presence. So, here are our suggestions for where to start when it comes to expanding your internet presence.

Choosing Your Brand and Determining Your Intention

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Consider your internet brand to be your initial impression. You’ll have a chance to interact with new individuals, whether it’s a possible employer or a consumer studying your company, and they’ll determine whether or not they want to keep looking based on what they see and read. You may make a plan for how you want to display yourself online by deciding what you want to show people – and who you ideally want to show them.

First and foremost, why are you interested in establishing an online presence?

Knowing the “why” behind your brand will assist you in determining where to begin. Setting defined goals will help you find your message and decide your audience, whether you want to build a personal or professional brand, give visibility to your work, establish a company presence online, or connect with a bigger audience.

What do you want your viewers to see?

Once you’ve figured out your “why,” you can focus on how you want to convey your brand. Having a well-defined, consistent personal or professional online brand can help you better communicate your message to your target audience and develop an online presence.

But who are they, exactly?

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They are your target market! Considering your audience is critical when promoting yourself online, whether they be possible employers, lovers of your art, or future consumers and clients. By defining your target audience, you’ll be able to see what is and isn’t relevant, acceptable, or advantageous to the overall impression you want to make online.

What should you be concentrating on?

When it comes to messaging and content messaging, it’s crucial to choose two or three topics that you’re passionate about and adhere to them across all online channels. These subjects should be focused on providing the most value to your audience – choose topics that you are most knowledgeable about and beneficial to those who want to learn or keep current in your area. Again, it all depends on the brand you’re trying to establish – whether it’s industry thought leadership, hobbies, or advice, the essential thing is to figure out what you want to convey.

Developing Profiles and Keeping Them Active

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It’s time to create social media profiles once you’ve decided on your focus, audience, and the message/image you want to portray online. Creating social media profiles may assist you in locating and connecting with communities in your areas of interest, as well as reaching out to target audiences with your own brand, messaging, and content.

Your social media presence should reflect you and your brand accurately yet succinctly. They should be easy to recognize as you or your company, and any critical information should be prominently displayed.

It’s worth noting that having various professional headshots or branded photographs might boost your social media presence.

Checklist for Profiles

Start by creating profiles on all of the major social media platforms: By creating profiles on the most popular social media networks, you will reach the most people. Furthermore, these are the platforms that many online consumers expect and are familiar with. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, and others fall within this category.

Claim vanity URLs when you can: a vanity URL is a branded URL that includes your username or keyword in the URL. This aids Google and online consumers in recognizing your targeted brand – whether it’s your name or your company’s name. Some services, like YouTube, may need you to have a particular quantity of content or followers before you can claim a vanity URL. In contrast, others, like Medium, will make them available right away.

Fill out the profiles as completely as possible: make use of the possibilities while building a new profile! For example, include a unique description or biography, as well as your area, news mentions, business or personal website, and any other relevant information. Completely filling out profiles will strengthen the profile and provide as much information as possible to other users.

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Link profiles together: In addition to thoroughly filling out profiles, it’s critical to link your social media profiles together and keep them consistent. Use the same username on all platforms if at all possible. If your preferred username is already taken on one or more sites, strive to keep usernames as similar as possible, ensuring that they all include your name or company name.

Participate: Once you’ve joined a community, it’s critical to stay active in it, especially in discussions about your sector and brand. Following individuals in your field, participating in social media conversations, and sharing regularly will help you expand your network and promote interaction with your profile.

Keep going: When it comes to social media participation, consistency is crucial. If you build profiles but don’t use them, you’re not reaching the audiences you want to reach. So make sure to keep your profiles active and that your activity emphasizes the areas of focus that you designate as crucial to your business.

Remember: If you’re building a new social profile, make sure your profile security settings are set to public so that Google can find it. To retain your online brand, leave your private profiles hidden and separated from your public-facing accounts.

Create a blog and write content for it

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After establishing your social media presence, you’ll need something to share with others to keep them interested. Continue to strengthen your brand identity and voice by starting a blog, such as a WordPress website or a Medium profile, where you can write about your chosen areas of concentration. This will not only allow you to start educating your audience and demonstrate more of your own knowledge and experience, but it will also open up new channels for people to find you and assist you in developing and presenting your brand’s voice.

Worth noting: Posting blog content on social networking sites can strengthen relationships and exposure, but make absolutely sure each post is tailored to the network’s particular structure and tone!

In general, high-quality content can help a website or profile stand out in search results and possibly enhance its ranking. In addition, content can help you stand out to the audiences you’re attempting to target, especially if the themes you cover are relevant.

There are some basic principles to consider when it comes to the subject matter:

It’s all about the quality!

Not only is the quality of your content important for SEO, but it also affects how your audience perceives your business. Furthermore, poor content can have a negative impact on your SEO objectives. So avoid junk or filler words in your content and make it useful, active, and pertinent to your target audience and their interests. And don’t forget to keep the word count up!

Remember: For researching and to see what’s already out there, go to page one for the subject you’re blogging about.

Keep Your Focus

Maintaining a consistent and distinct online presence requires sticking to your focus subjects. This isn’t to say that content should be monotonous; on the contrary, it should be varied. Make sure your content focus subjects are specified but not too limited so you can produce content on them regularly.

Make Yourself Stand Out

While some themes may make this more straightforward than others, it is critical to maintaining content distinctiveness. Repetitive material, similar to the issue about quality, can have a negative impact on SEO results and often leads to less interaction from online users.

It’s worth noting that having featured photos and relevant hyperlinks in your article can help it stand out.

Content may play an essential part in helping you develop a distinctive online presence and reinforce your brand as you discover your topics and find your voice. In addition, content can assist your audience gain a better grasp of what you’re about and boost your online presence overall, even if it takes a little longer than social networking.

The Advantages of Having a Solid Presence Online

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It’s challenging to do something new, especially when everyone else seems to be doing it. It’s more difficult to establish an internet presence than it is to maintain one. Maintaining your online presence will simply need constant interaction and output once you’ve decided your why, your audience, and your message (and your profiles have been created, built out, and connected together – phew!). On the other hand, building out your internet presence may be straightforward and crucial to pursuing your personal and professional objectives and identifying your brand if you use these tools and step-by-step instructions.

Are you looking for professional help in building your online presence or brand? We’d love to talk about how we can get you more exposure online to reach new audiences, make more sales and protect your image. Contact us today to discuss how we can help!

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