There are a lot of ways that you can build your brand online and it certainly starts with your own website, blog and social media profiles. In order to take your expertise to the next level, though, it’s important to find ways for third-party sites to reference you – either by name or through linking. Both things will boost your online presence and increase your credibility in your industry.
Take a look at three ways you can look outside your own perimeters to build your personal brand online:
Guest posting. Even if you have a large following on your own blog or site, guest posting can give your credibility a boost. Make a list of the blogs, business pages or publications you read the most and then find out how you can submit a guest post. There is usually a “write for us” page or something similar that will give you the specifications and general turnaround time from submission to publication. Attempting to guest post can backfire, however, if you do not take the time to really read the type of material on a particular site, if you do not follow writing specifications, or if you turn in something laced with grammatical or factual errors. Act like the professional image you are trying to convey.
Cross linking. Usually a guest post will give you a chance to link back to your website or blog, but there are other ways to get your link out there too. Have a great blog post, article or infograph that would appeal to a larger audience? Email some of those sites that you love with a link to it and some potential posts they already have where it could make a great addition. Make sure you give express permission in that email for your information to be used with a link back to your site.
Giveaways. This option isn’t a great fit for everyone, but it is a way to plant your links and often to build up your social media following. The way that most online giveaways work is this: entrants are asked to perform an online action, like following a particular social media account or commenting on a website page, for a chance to win. Sometimes several businesses or brands sponsor these contests which drives more traffic back to you because everyone involved is posting, tweeting and promoting it. There is an argument that the followers you gain through online giveaways aren’t as quality as other acquisition methods, but if even one becomes a paying customer then you can count it as a success.
Remember that being mentioned on sites that you do not manage is its own sort of word-of-mouth marketing. Build your personal brand with the help of other sites – and give them your expertise in exchange.