Editor’s Note: Relationships are vital to any of your personal and professional success. Good communication, relationship building skills and basic networking are often lacking. When you can possess those three skill sets, your brand stands out from everyone else and is memorable. How well do you engage your brand?
This past week we covered:
- 5 Ways to Anticipate and Benefit from Change by Deborah Shane
- The Promote Yourself Podcast by Dan Schawbel
- How to Build and Inspire A Team by Jun Loayza
- Are You Branding Yourself As A Job Stalker by Phil Rosenberg
- Personal Brands: Setting Goals Destroys Your Career by Nance Rosen
- Working Your Way to Invaluable Employee Status by Heather Huhman
- Sales Techniques Develop Career Opportunity by Elinor Stutz
- Guide to Personal Brand Building Using Kindle Publishing by Roger Parker
- How to Manage When You Have No Clue by Aaron McDaniel
- Job Hunters: Think You’re Not in ‘Sales’? Think Again! by Skip Freeman
- Let Your Brand Tell A Story by Kristen Fischer
- How Not to Stick Out Like A Sore Thumb by Jeff Shuey
- Personal Brands are Like a Sweet ‘Onion’ by Peter Sterlacci
- Want to Really Boost Your Brand? Publish in Print by Erik Deckers
- Choose Your Own Path! Take Charge of Your Career! by Beth Kuhel
- The Right Question to Ask by Rebecca Rapple
- A Secret For Dressing Like A C.E.O. by Pete Leibman
This next week we’ll cover how to avoid being average, how to get your call returned and some timely insight from the Young Entrepreneur’s Council.
Exposure in the online world is the true aim of any online marketing strategy. But how is this achieved? Is it using keywords? Is it providing good content or is it being present on as many social sites as possible? While these will help improve your ability to be found, they don’t necessarily guarantee success.
What it really comes down to is relationships. The way you engage your audience ultimately decides how your brand is viewed in the eyes of your connections. Can they rely on you? Do they feel secure with your brand? Do they trust you? Relationship is not something that happens overnight. It is something that you must seek out and work for if you really want to make the most of your online presence.
How Do You Engage the Audience?
There’s more to social sites, blogs, and other content than simply promoting your brand. It is the opportunity you have now to engage the audience. The most basic way to do this is simply to get to know them.
Listen to them and pay attention to what they have to say. Among the biggest problems that brands, even personal brands, run into is that they promote materials but neglect to interact with the person/people afterwards. The first step to getting your connections to interact with you is to give them a reason to. You have to ask questions and drive them with a call-to-action. Then, you need to keep the conversation going. This requires you to maintain a consistent online presence. You must not post once and expect your audience to mediate their own conversations.
You also need to focus on the concept of building trust. Developing your expertise and then demonstrating that expertise are essential to gain the trust of your contacts. To do this, you need to be honest with your content. You should avoid any misleading statements and be upfront about your brand and what is uniquely your promise of value. You must not ignore or try to hide any negative content. You have to be open with your brand and your audience will be open with you and about you.
Get people to share your content. It is what improves your overall online visibility. The more your brand is shared, the more visible you will become to both the audience you’re targeting and those who would have been interested in your brand (had they known you existed). Relationships have just as much potential as key words and trending content – if not more.
It is actually relationships that give you the most visibility online. Your efforts to optimize your brand exposure by appealing to SEO friendly key words, subject content, or just being present all boost your visual appeal to the online world. However, it is actually the relationships and networks you build in the online world that create your ultimate success.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.