Before you read this, open up a new tab and Google yourself. Not your business — you — your first and last name. If your name is John or Nancy Smith, you might need to add a geographical detail like your city or community name.
What are the results? Is there a link to your LinkedIn profile? Your blog? Your Facebook account? Your Rotary/Kiwanis Club profile or your Chamber or BNI listing? Obviously, your website appears right?? (If not, and you’re a principal in your company, m̶a̶y̶b̶e̶ it’s time to do something about that!)
What else do you see? And, of those results, how many of them do you control/can you access? Depending on how long you’ve been navigating the “inter webs” you should see a few pages of results.
When you conduct a business analysis, I hope this is part of it. Because, whether we like it or not, the world we live in is PUBLIC. And, for the most part, our reputations hinge on what that public message says about us.
There’s a troubling attitude about brands, specifically personal brands that I think is resulting in a lot of money being left on the table.
It’s the attitude “I got this. I don’t need any help.”
It happens more often than you probably realize. Businesses get into year 2 or 3 and realize they need help. Everything is a mess. And they don’t value the importance of their brand’s message — because it has never brought them any business.
Any knowledgeable person, with a decent personality can start a business and generate revenue with a face-to-face sales strategy. The question that most people forget when they are first getting started is “How much is your time worth?” How much would it cost for a full time sales person to make outgoing calls, knock on doors, and shake the low-hanging fruit? (How do your customers/clients feel about being considered “low-hanging fruit?!”)
When you start to get weary, when your calendar requires that you pay attention to your newborn child, or your aging parents, how will your business fare? If you’re building a digital business, these transitions will not be detrimental to your bottom line.
Work smarter, not harder?
Is that just something you say, but not something you do?
Your content marketing strategy is not an option for leaders in today’s digital world. And, even if you aren’t in business at this moment, there’s no reason not to consider your personal brand — now. You have a reputation already. Why not do something to manage that? Being authentic is a valued characteristic — but if you don’t take ownership of your online brand as well, no matter how amazing you are in your business community offline, people won’t know you exist if you don’t create a plan for building your online reputation to go along with the one you have been building offline.
Where do I start?
It should absolutely start with a blog for your business, or if you work for a corporation that doesn’t have the ability for managers to have a blog channel, a personal blog will work great!
What do I blog about?
LIFE! This isn’t always about sales and promotion. This is about building relationships. The same things you spend time talking about in social circles would be perfect for you to discuss in your blog. Sports, cigars, wine, wood working, grand children, civic engagement, volunteering, your community, valuable educational information to help your readers with something related, or unrelated to your business. The point is to share and to bring value. To create a brand is to establish that you have something of value to bring to the table. And, when your audience sees who you are, and what you offer, and when your online presence can confirm that you are who you say you are on your “About us” page on your website, you’ll begin to see the results in the search engines, and that traffic — that channel — will become an asset for your sales funnel.
How do I Start?
The quick answer is — START. But if your website isn’t set up for blogging, you might need some help. Ask a trusted business advisor, conduct some Google searches. But, no matter what, commit to starting the process. You won’t be able to come back to this moment. And, if you’re ready, and you want to talk about it with me, I am here — I welcome to the opportunity to help you.
I refuse to make this a sales pitch — it’s not. I write this, and all of my posts to help people, to push them to move forward and overcome their fears about digital. If you’re interested in taking necessary steps to start blogging, I welcome the opportunity. But, if after this message I have you thinking about something “outside the box” I will consider my mission accomplished!