This is an old post. Please visit my niche marketing posts for updated, better quality info on this topic!
When you're just starting out building your brand, website, or just trying to get noticed on the internet, one of the toughest challenges you will face is going to be getting a ‘broad framework' built in your mind with all the potential streams of traffic in order.
When I first started out, it all seemed like a big mush or people grabbing for visits, hits, and sales, so I just jumped right in.
Though I eventually found my own way, it took quite a while to filter out a lot of junk I had gotten wrapped up in, and I eventually condensed it down to 6 things you'll need to get your brand noticed across the internets.
This is by all means, not a 100% formula for success, and at the same time, people have succeeded with less. But if you take a look at this list, and develop a simple plan to dive into each of these methods to some degree, you'll be on your way to getting some decent attention to your product, service, or brand.
1. A Blog
This is the #1 essential thing you're going to need to get setup. Gone are the days when you had to code your way up from ground zero. You can build a simple, effective blog with CMS (a fancy word for website building stuff) like WordPress or Joomla. It's a very, very small step to building something impressive from there.
Basically, you need a space on the internet that you own, where you can direct people to see what you're all about. EVERYONE uses the internet, EVERYONE can read, and EVERYONE knows what a website is. It's the simplest way to get eyes on you, and you simply can't build a brand without it.
Having a static website is a good place to start, but having a regular blog schedule is going to be important to keeping an audiences attention and staying up with (or ahead of) trends in your niche.
2. Social Media
You simply can't count on Google to find your stuff and put it in a position to be found. That takes, time, skill, and authority in your industry. The easiest way to get fast traffic to your site (oh, and targeted traffic at that) is to connect with people in your industry.
Hook up with the major players, and find some newbies struggling like yourself. Exchange ideas, ask questions, give advice, and just hang out. It may seem like you're just ‘wasting time', but if you focus on the task at hand (which is to get some attention), simply talking to people who care about the same things you do is a great way to start.
You might be surprised at how effective this is.
More and more people are watching video. YouTube is the #1 way to go because it's free, and gets tons of exposure in the media and in Google search.
As far as branding goes, YouTube is awesome, and some people use it as their ONLY traffic platform.
Other places include Vine and Vimeo, as well as a few more, but they tend to be a bit more “niche” oriented. For example, unless you have a very artsy vibe, Vimeo will charge you $200 per year, and as far as I know, Vine is only for short video clips.
Get a YouTube account and start making videos NOW. No matter how bad you think they are, it will take some practice to develop your video voice and brand presence, so waiting isn't going to do you any good.
You don't have to be a graphic designer to master this part of your branding, in fact, it's cheap and easy to hire freelancers through places like oDesk, Elance, and even Fiverr. Get a few designs done for background images, logos, social media account customization, video intros, buttons, and whatever else you can think of.
Branding yourself visually through graphics and slogans that people will recognize will help not only with brand recognition, but also with trust. Visitors will see professionalism, not just some guy with a half-finished YouTube account (and 2 videos), plus a default Twitter background with a couple nonsensical tweets.
For me, similar graphics and design across your website, videos, and social media accounts is a great way to tie everything in and show your comprehensive brand presence online.
Ok, so I'm kind of on a Podcast kick recently, so I will admit that I haven't thought this one through all the way, but I think a Pocast could be an awesome addition to any brand.
Podcasts are extremely popular, and audio is a great way to reach people who aren't sitting in front of a screen: commuters, exercisers, travelers, and audiophiles.
It's a great way to show your authority in an industry, or at least your commitment to it. And again, some people use Podcasts as their ONLY method of driving traffic to their website, and make a good living off of just these two things.
6. Personal Style
No formula is going to give you the answer to this one, but one thing that was hard for me to learn is that you need to find your voice. Copying other people's writing style, video style, or speaking style is not going to get you anywhere. You'll always be behind someone else by a step or two.
If you want to create a strong presence, you need to find YOUR audience. No matter how weird you think you are, there are people just like you out there. They are looking for a leader, and you can provide them with this leader by being YOURSELF.
Write and say the things you care about. Talk the way you want to talk. Be humorous when you want to, and don't just do things because ‘that's what everyone else does'. The strongest brands out there are lead by people who ‘just don't give a f*ck' and say it like is (to them). You'll find that there are a lot of trolls and haters out there, but hey, you can't please everyone, right?
Depending on how far along you are in your online career, you may have been a bit overwhelmed with all that information. If you're struggling to find a foothold in the online markets, please join my 5 Day Email Course, and I'll show you how I got started.
If you were able to keep up but think I was missing something, let me know in the comment box below. I'd love to hear how you successfully built (or plan to build) your brand.