It’s time to grab your cup of coffee and spend 30 minutes on some solid – but easy – action items that will make a difference to your personal online brand.  As you add your cream and sugar, reflect on the general purpose of building a brand: to establish credibility and visibility in order to signal quality and reduce perceived risk from buyers.

Okay- let’s get started.  Today, we’re going to talk about one word: Relevancy.

The Google empire

Google built an empire on that word.  We use the word “Google” as an adjective a thousand times a day because of the company’s utilization and manipulation of targeted, relevant information.   In order to build an online foundation from which your brand will grow, you’ll need to do a little research and capture what’s most relevant to you and your brand. With a strong foundation, you can create and/or define your specific niche.  With over a billion people online, you don’t need your niche to be as big as a sea—you just need it to be a good sized pond.

Once you know exactly where your pond is – and who else swims in it – you can then provide good, relevant information to the others in the pond.  This is what will eventually make you the biggest fish in that pond.

Define your words

So, today’s before-you-finish-your-cup-of-coffee lesson is to define 10 of your most relevant key words and phrases and incorporate them into your online profiles and into the content you delineate hereto-forth.  If finding those key words and phrases sounds like a difficult task, ask yourself these questions to help get you started:

  • What are people going to rely on me for?
  • What is my unique selling point?
  • What does success look like to me?  (This will be different from person to person, whether their definition of success lies in number of fans, amount of traffic to their site, number of conversions, their page rank, or a plethora of other online metrics.)
  • Who do want to find you?  (Potential customers? Partners? Influential people you want to join your network?   People you want to buy your book?)

So, for example, if you have a small, local exotic fish business, you might answers these questions with the following:

  • People will rely on me for the highest quality and most exotic fish that they cannot find anywhere else.
  • My unique selling point is that I am the only exotic fish expert who sells product in this town.
  • To me, success looks like 50 more visitors to my store per week.
  • I want restaurants, hotels, healthcare offices and, of course, exotic fish lovers to find me online.

Now you’ve got some usable information.

7 things you can do right now:

  1. Grab a sheet of paper and complete the exercise above.
  2. From this exercise, write down 10 key words and phrases that are relevant to you and with which your target market will search in order to find you.
  3. Take those 10 words and incorporate them into your LinkedIn profile – add them to your  Professional Headline, Summary, Specialties and Past Experience sections.  Also incorporate them into your LinkedIn answers, status updates, and postings to groups.
  4. Use these key words and phrases to search for relevant LinkedIn groups. Join 5 right now.
  5. Tweet something useful with some of these key words. (And continue doing this with every tweet.)
  6. Use these key words and phrases to search for relevant Twitter accounts.  Follow 10 now.
  7. Use these key words and phrases to find relevant blogs.  Leave useful comments on 5 blogs.  Ask 2 if they would be open to a guest post from you.

Great job today—coffee mug in the sink and go enjoy your day!