Starting a blog to promote your business is a common practice and there are many benefits. I’ve seen many people start their blogs with enthusiasm only to let them fizzle out in 6 months or less. Here are some of the less glamorous realities of blogging that sometimes trip people up. If you’re prepared to deal with these, you can feel confident about getting good results from your blog.
One of the main reasons that people get discouraged is simply that they expect results (readers, comments etc) without any effort on their part. The results you’ll gain from your blog are directly proportionate to the amount of effort you put in. Actually in the beginning I’d even say they were disproportionate – you’ll feel like you are spending a lot of time setting up your blog, adding bells & whistles, writing content, and not really sure if it’s having any effect. The great thing about blogging is that your fate is in your own hands. If you create good content on a regular basis and are diligent about marketing your blog, and becoming visible in the relevant online communities, you will see results. The good news is that if your blog is on a topic close to your heart, you will actually have fun doing the work
A major reason why people ‘fail’ at blogging is because they give up too soon. It takes time to develop an audience and a strong, compelling blog. In the beginning it might be true that very few people are reading your posts but you must always write as if your ideal audience is reading. Invest time in building up your library of posts – consistent posting & promoting will lead to readers. If you look at blogging as a long-term strategy you’ll be in a better frame of mind to persevere. It takes a while to reach a tipping point where the amount of attention you reap from your blog is greater than the labor that goes into it.
For most of us the act of blogging can feel a bit vulnerable. What do I write about? Why would anyone want to read it? What if no-one reads it? Are my posts fit to publish? You’ll come up against all your inner saboteurs – procrastination, self-doubt and other charming goblins! This is all part of the process but it actually ends up being really rewarding if you stick with it. You’ll develop a blogging ‘voice’, have more confidence in your writing skills and find that you have lots to contribute and share with the world. Not to mention the satisfaction you’ll feel when you start getting good feedback from readers on your posts.
Blogging is a lesson in non-attachment. To be a productive blogger you have to learn to work on a post enough to make it worthy of publishing, but not so much that you never get around to publishing anything. Learn to make compromises with your inner perfectionist. Then release your digital baby into the world and move on to the next one. The more you can make friends with this process, the more productive you will become.
Give yourself time to deal with the learning curve. Don’t set unrealistic expectations such as posting something new every day. Unless you are already a prolific writer, that probably won’t happen and you may become discouraged when you don’t meet your own standards. Forming the blogging habit is the best way to succeed so commit to writing on a regular basis -30 minutes every day is perhaps a good start, and aim for 1 or 2 posts per week.
Mentors have been an invaluable part of my success and are a critical asset for building a strong personal brand. The best mentors are those who are successful in your industry, brutally honest, and can teach you some powerful lessons. Thanks to web 2.0 platforms like twitter, connecting with mentors is easier than ever before.
If you are using twitter properly and engaging in conversations rather than just using it for self promotion you can make a good impression on experts in your field by retweeting and replying to their tweets. That is not to say self promotion is bad –it is certainly not. You just have to keep it balanced.
Try this: Find five successful people who you admire and can learn from in your industry. Follow them on twitter. Take time to respond to their tweets and engage in conversations so you show up on their radar. Think of a few questions that you would like to ask an expert about your business or industry. Pick the person who you think could best answer your question and direct the question at them. Chances are you will get a response and learn something new. I have met so many fabulous people by engaging in conversations on twitter.
Connect with new people on twitter by leaving your twitter url in a comment below. Follow me @tyna_price
Whether you run a business, are a freelancer, or just building a reputable name for yourself, you have to carefully and consistently manage your personal brand. This list of don’ts was inspired by a series of situations I have encountered recently:
Everything you do reflects positively or negatively on your brand. Consider how you are currently representing your brand and examine areas that you could make improvements.
How are you building your brand? What tools are you using? Do you have any branding dos and don’ts to share?
The other day I was among the attendees at a national conference. Like everyone else I wanted to hear an informative presentation by an exciting and charismatic professional. We were quickly disappointed. We were no longer listening to her message.
The speaker – a successful writer – sat behind a podium and microphone so we couldn’t see her face very well. She promptly told us this was the first slide show she had ever created, then was unable to use the projector’s remote control and couldn’t remember the order of her content. The presenter in the next session also had some technical difficulties, but she managed it well. She walked away from the computer and talked to us while tech support solved the problem. Her engaging presentation style kept us interested in her topic.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to warn your audience that you’re not a professional speaker, you should be aware that everyone still expects you to be good at it.
It’s not easy to keep people’s attention. Effective presentation skills improve the chances of people absorbing your message. Make sure people remember you for the right reason. In future articles I’ll talk in more detail about communication strategies and how to create powerful content, but in the meantime use these tips to make yourself a better presenter:
In time you’ll develop your own presentation style and preparation will be shorter. Take advantage of speaking opportunities. But make sure your message stays in the spotlight.
My goal is to teach you how create an online personal brand that maximizes your personal and business success.
If you want to develop a personal brand that presents “you” to the world in the most effective way possible I recommend following a proven, structured process.
If you take the time to do things right the first time, you will save yourself from wasting a lot of time in the future.
This proven process starts with me asking you a series of questions -and it will require some deep thinking and soul searching on your part.
One of the habits of highly effective people is that they “begin with the end in mind.” That means they set goals. They think before they act. They get clear on where they want their ship to go, before they set sail and leave the harbor.
So to begin, I suggest you take the time to describe in detail your answers to the following questions:
The more vivid and compelling you can paint this vision of your ideal future – the greater your chances of achieving it.
Over the last few years more of the general population have become increasingly aware of the importance of personal branding and creating a strong personal brand. Reality TV shows have become popular on mainstream Television and we have seen people seemingly rise from being virtually unknown to household names. Personal branding isn’t a new concept; some examples of successful personal brands that have stood the test of time are:
They have all used their personal brands to build phenomenal business empires. Newer celebrities such as Bethenny Frankel; have shown us how to build a strong personal brand by being our amazing authentic selves. This is actually a major key in successful Attraction Marketing. Celebrities naturally build a personal brand by default – whilst we tend to think of celebrities when considering personal branding – we all have our own personal brand! Social Media has leveled the playing field and has made it far more common for every day people to become household names in their own right. From Wine TV’s (Gary Vanyerchuk author of Crush It!) to Carrie Wilkerson (The Barefoot Executive) every day people are becoming Global Names using Personal Branding techniques on the Internet. It makes sense that you will be able to sell more of what you’ve got if more people know like and love you right?
Your personal profile and brand also play a major role with increasing a potential customers trust, relationship and likeliness to buy from you. Branding is a critical component to a customer’s purchasing decision -it is all about how they perceive you. Building a Powerful Personal Brand will also increase the opportunities that will arise when people recognize you for what you do. From getting paid to speak on stage, publicity opportunities and potential book deals to TV appearances; so many other options become open to you when you build a strong personal brand.
Thing’s to consider when developing a personal brand are:
Usually a personal brand will develop through what you do. You will find people referring to you as the “go to” person for something in particular – when you can couple this with a smart marketing strategy you can literally overnight become the “go to” expert in your niche or area of expertise. We are living in such an exciting time with an abundance of opportunities – you can quite literally now become famous for just being yourself and doing what you love – how cool is that!
The importance of branding should not be overlooked as an integral part of your business strategy; regardless of your industry. When you develop a powerful personal brand and pair it in a powerful partnership with Social Media and building a database of clients, customers and people who are interested in you and what you do you can literally take your list and business with you wherever you go and continue to grow your business and monetize from many different opportunities.
Are you where you want to be in your life professionally? Are you making what you thought you would be making? Have you accomplished everything you wanted to accomplish to date?
We all have dreams and goals of obtaining something, whether it is finding true love, starting our dream business or finding our dream job, or attaining financial freedom. When times get difficult, we may feel overwhelmed and weighed down with details. We have a tendency to lose focus on what those dreams and goals are because they become somewhat elusive. The goal setting and goal achievement process may become mundane, and in turn, we may feel hopeless; however, when we plan with flexibility, the goal attainment process becomes easier and much more realistic.
Continue reading for 5 tips on how to stay on track and meet goals effectively.
Remember that flexibility is the key when planning goals. Review progress at least two times a week. If objectives are not met, ask for help. Stay focused and be sure not to give up.
There are many factors beyond our control, making it difficult for anyone to make solid and consistent plans for a year such as this one. With proper planning, however, small businesses can weather the storm and even thrive. Let’s look at how to get the most out of your marketing dollars:
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising still seems to be a decent marketing strategy, however, the expense is slightly higher than other internet marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO). For better results, less cost and an overall better return on investment, SEO is usually the best option despite being more time consuming. If you decide to hire a firm for SEO, make sure you check the references of the firm because many claim they can deliver results when, in fact, they can’t.
With the rise of smart phones, mobile sites and developing a mobile strategy is necessary. It doesn’t matter what type of business you have. For instance, if you own a restaurant, accept reservations through a platform like Open Table. Make sure the business is listed under local listings such as Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, and Yahoo Local and Google Local searches because you want your business to come up as a top local listing when someone searches for the type of cuisine you serve in your local market.
Viral marketing is a great way to enhance search engine rankings. YouTube has become an important platform for viral marketing and popular videos can greatly increase traffic to your site. For example, the Free Hugs Campaign generated over 50 million views on YouTube with this video:
The success of the video landed the Free Hugs Campaign founder, Juan Mann, on the Oprah Winfrey show as well.
Press release distribution centers and article content directories help with generating more traffic for your website. Both portals allow publishers to publish a signature file containing your name, contact information, and link to website (which also helps with search engine rankings).
Using social media websites and networking sites have changed the way that business is conducted online. It has revolutionized the way that businesses communicate with their audiences and the way that businesses brand themselves. Twitter and Facebook seem to be the two hottest websites out there right now and there are many other social media platforms that can help build brand awareness.
While putting together your marketing plan, investigate the various strategies that can take your business to the next level -even during a recession.
Every day around the world millions of people think of new business ideas yet only a small fraction of these ideas will ever become businesses.
What prevents these ideas from becoming businesses? Perhaps the idea is not feasible. After all, not every idea can become a profitable business. There may be life circumstances standing in the way of taking action on the idea. Or maybe it is simply because people have no idea how to turn an idea into a business.
If you are someone who has thought and dreamed of starting a business but you don’t quite know the start-up process, you are not alone. The Ready, Set, Go Business Start-Up Guide will take you through the steps of turning your idea into a business:
Be prepared to learn a lot on your entrepreneurial journey. Successful companies are built one day at a time with blood, sweat and tears. Remember these words by Arthur Ashe: “Success is a journey, not a destination.” Now go out there and take on the world.