Brand You: The Top Five Ways To Build Your Brand Online
Copyright 2006 Angela Booth Your brand is you. It's everything that your business is, encapsulated in a name, and sometimes in a slogan. But naming your business and creating a slogan isn't enough. You've got to build your brand, by showing what your brand stands for. Here are the top five ways to build your brand online:
1. Create a Web site Your Web site can be anything from a tiny billboard site to a huge ten-thousand page extravaganza. Either way, your Web site builds your brand. Of course, the more pages your site has, the more you can showcase your products and your expertise. Tip: you're never done building your brand, and you're never done building your Web site either. Aim to add something to your Web site every day, even if it's only one blog post (see below). Building your Web site is the easiest, the cheapest, and the fastest way to build your brand, online or offline.
2. Develop a blog A blog lets you broadcast your branding messages far and wide via the magic of Really Simple Syndication (RSS). Within minutes after you've written a blog post and published it, your post is visible on sites like Technorati, which is both a blog search engine and a blog promotion tool. The general business community is now wide awake to the power of blogs. Your blog can help you to build your brand as nothing else can. Spend a few minutes today checking out the Web sites of others in your industry. You may be surprised, and even shocked, to discover how many of your competitors are blogging.
3. Write articles to showcase your expertise What do you know? What do you do? How do you do it? Why do you do it? When do you do it? Your customers have many questions that they want answered before and after they do business with you. One of the easiest ways you can answer their questions is to write articles, white papers, and reports. If you do enough of this, your Web site will become a trusted portal for news about your industry. This has huge benefits for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) activities. Can you imagine what this could do to build your brand? Once you've written the articles, post them to your Web site, and to article directories, of which there are hundreds online. When you post these documents to article directories, people are made aware of your brand, and your brand's message spreads virally, as other people promote your material on their Web sites.
4. Write news releases Up to 80 per cent of the all news in newspapers and on news sites is taken directly from press releases sent out by companies and organizations. Whenever a story appears about you in the press, whether online or offline, the resulting free publicity is branding that you can't buy, no matter how much money you spend on advertising. You can leverage your brand with just one story in a daily paper. Tip: your local media, newspapers, radio and TV, are always desperate for stories -- send your releases to your local media, as well as posting them online.
5. Teach your expertise to others When you teach others, you learn too. In fact, you may only become fully aware of what your brand actually is when you start to sell franchises, or when you teach others your processes. Branding is a function of marketing, and whether your business is brand new or well-established, branding your business makes your business memorable, so it's essential. These top five activities will create a strong brand for you, much sooner than you think possible.