Now that you’ve taken a few days to rethink your brand, you are now ready to take the next step: getting your name out there. In part I of the Next Level Branding series I mentioned that this process does not happen overnight and rightly so. Essentially what you will be doing is making connections and building relationships that will carry your name and your brand out into the world, but with that comes the responsibility and courtesy of honouring that relationship by knowing what the needs and interests of your connections are and doing what you can to satisfy their needs and feed those interests.
This is a long-term and sometimes lifetime process of getting to know people, sharing information, exchanging ideas and opening up enough to allow them to get to know, share and exchange with you. Most people get a stroke of fear down their spine at the thought of sharing a link online, let alone their picture or any messages. But if you’re going to get your name out there, it’s time to leave that fear behind and jump in with both feet.
“A ship in port is safe but that’s not what ships are built for” ~Gracy Murray Hopper
Fortunately, with the advent of technology, the lines of communication for relationship building are not only open but also very dynamic and there’s a communication to suit every personality-type whether they prefer audio, video, text or images.
Social Media is probably the most efficient and cost-effective way to get your name out there, but only if you use it properly. Engagement is the key that unlocks the true power of Social Media. When managed strategically, people and organizations have the ability to reach from hundreds to thousands to millions of people and more, just by posting, ‘Liking’, sharing, tagging, tweeting/retweeting, following and friending on a regular and consistent basis. With Social Media, there are no gatekeepers to block or edit your messages and you are free to communicate using any medium (photo, video, etc.) that fits your audience.
SEO through PR: Not all your news will be newsworthy, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share it with the world. There are probably hundreds of press release distribution websites (both paid and free) where you can post your company news with links, video and your contact information. The beauty of using some of these distribution sites is that they rank high with search engines like Google and Yahoo and it increases your chances of being found when new customers or online followers come looking. Some of the higher-ranking distribution sites are www.prlog.com and www.prweb.com
Blogger Relations: Touting your own horn doesn’t offer the same credibility as if someone more influential were to do it. Think of bloggers as your online brand ambassadors and the more bloggers you can build genuine, mutually beneficial relationships with, the better. Most of the top online bloggers might be willing to feature you as a guest on their blog if you send them an article that is relevant to their readers or they will include a link to your website in their blogroll as a credible and trusted source. The key is to assure that your messages line up with their own messages, topics and interests. If you want to find bloggers in your industry, check out www.alltop.com or www.technorati.com.
This is just a handful of ways that you can use online tools to get your name out there and build your brand. Up next, I’ll share the last part of this series where I talk about some of the things you can do offline to build your brand exposure and awareness.