Whether you work for yourself or someone else, you need a personal brand separate from your work.
Analogy: In the inbound marketing world, establishing a following on various channels (email, rss, twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and more) makes you less dependent on the algorithm whims of Google.
Here are 10 simple steps to get started.
- Get a domain name. I use godaddy.com to manage my domain names.
- Set up a simple blog. If you’re new to blogging, start with WordPress.com. You can always upgrade to the addictive self-hosted WordPress.org later.
- Set up Google Analytics (for reporting) and askimet (to catch spammers) on your blog. You can get fancy with plugins later on, but for now, these are the minimal requirements.
- Set up accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn and link to from your blog. You may have more social media channels, which is fine. But at minimum, Twitter and LinkedIn are a good place to start.
- Get a Feedburner RSS Feed for your site. Allow readers to sign up via email to receive your posts. You’ll want to start an email list soon, but this will get you in the game quickly.
- Brainstorm three focused topics you’d like to write about. Keep it professional, but personal.
- Write a compelling “About Me” section. No, not your resume. Tell your story. Include a photo reflecting a mix of professionalism and personality.
- Plan out a simple editorial calendar. I suggest you write one post per week per topic. Keep your posts short.
- Start writing. Don’t be afraid of mistakes, you can always fix them on the fly – this isn’t a print medium.
- Review your Google Analytics account monthly. Find ways to improve each month. Repeat!
Don’t worry about blog design. That will naturally evolve over time as you get more familiar with blogging. Start with a focused vision and great content.
A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today. ~Karen Lamb