The internet is an amazing place. It catapults everything and everyone onto a global stage. The key is to make yourself seen and heard.
Whether you acknowledge it or not, online you are a global player. Your very presence online has the potential to connect you directly with a larger audience than you can imagine.
It’s not just the quality of your work and real-world reputation that can set you apart. Relying on your physical local reach, relationships and the word of mouth of those who personally know you is no longer enough.
The internet and its evolving social platforms are a global stage to differentiate and stand out from your peers.
Many professionals (and your active competitors) are leveraging their online presence and strategically using social media to increase their standing in the industry beyond their own borders.
It allows you to connect and build relationships and trust with people who otherwise would never know you.
Investing time into building your online presence and reputation takes time, but it really does pay off, and you can take that to the bank.
How quickly and easily these connections are made and grow your business and income depends on you.
Define and establish your personal point of differentiation. It’s not just about what you do. Sure, there are hundreds of thousands of other directors, DP’s, editors, colorists all competing for the spotlight, but take some time to carefully consider your professional journey and experience. That’s virtually guaranteed to be different to anyone else. Build on that. It’s as much about who you are as what you do.
- What are your best skills? Where is your passion taking you? What do you love doing and talking about the most? What do you have to share with others?
- Identify your audience. Does your audience comprise other industry professionals? Is your audience primarily made of your potential client base. Know who you will be engaging.
- You’ll be giving more than receiving, but it will pay off in the end. People need a reason to know and care who you are and what you do, and that reason must benefit them in some way. You have to provide something your audience needs, preferably something that is unique and not easy to find elsewhere. Know what you can offer others. What you can offer them for free should be linked in some way to your service offering.
- Content is King! You will have to generate original content regularly. Good content, great content. The better your content, the wider your reach will be, and the quicker it will grow organically. Assuming you already have a website, add a blog, or build a separate blog. Your blog will become the primary platform to publish your content… articles, videos, whatever works best.
- Learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it’s changing all the time but it’s absolutely critical! A healthy and growing flow of genuine organic traffic to your blog is your most important lifeline. It’s your main artery that will feed everything else. The major search engines will provide you with a free and constant audience if you learn how to optimise your content to be indexed properly.
- Take your social media seriously. You can’t and shouldn’t mix business and pleasure. You need to present a professional, sober, friendly and approachable front across Facebook, Twitter and whatever other social media platforms you use. Set up a separate Facebook page for your blog, perhaps a separate twitter account also depending on if you want to brand it separately from your personal account. Your voice needs to be coherent across platforms, and it helps not only to share your content, but also third party generated content that enhances and backs up your own.
- Have a strategy and stick to it. Search engines, and the content you share across all platforms should be funnelling traffic to your blog. All roads lead there. Your blog should be sufficiently integrated or connected to your business website that anyone who wants to can easily find out more about you and your services.
- Analyse your traffic every day. Facebook page insights and Google Analytics are free and will show you exactly where your traffic is coming from and what content is most popular. Focus more on writing content that is in high demand.
- Engage your audience. Answer questions and comments quickly and professionally on your blog and social media, be engaging in other forums and pages. Be involved in building community, not only on your own platforms, but in others also.
Quality Over Quantity
If you build it, they will come.
More accurately, if you build it right, Google will index it, they will come, stay and share with friends. This is true as long as your content is well produced and useful.
Don’t get too caught up chasing numbers. Numbers of page likes and followers can be very misleading.
Your goal is to build a quality audience that comes back for more. These are interested and engaged individuals with a high likelihood of becoming a paying client in future.
Connecting with 100 high quality leads is far better than 10,000 page likes that mean next to nothing for your business.
As much as it may seem like it, it’s not a high school popularity contest and the cool kids don’t always win.
Be yourself, be honest, humble, positive and consistent and most of all be patient.