In a world of digitization and globalization, online branding has developed a new prominence.Mindful of this reach of the Internet, first-time writers today are advised to exploit various online channels to establish connections with their audience and get visibility for their work. Some of them who started small are now well-established brands in their areas of expertise thanks to the judicious use of online branding.
What makes online branding so necessary?
Major reasons are:
But as varied it is, it is not easy. If the online channels open doors, they open them for an exodus of people. With information available at their fingertips, online users are spoilt for choice. Making a well-defined and well-placed brand ‘a must’ to stand out from the crowd.
For individuals looking to carve a niche for themselves as writers, this might seem a daunting challenge at first. But the following simple steps can set you up to meet the challenge of online branding head on.
5 ways you can create your own Online Brand:
1. Start your own Blog: Establish yourself online by creating your own blog. Blogs help you to create and manage your own content on your own site.Making good quality content the cornerstone of your personal brand in itself helps leverage the platform provided by the blog. Many first time writers initially test waters by writing blogs.Apart from giving you a platform to air your views without any constraints, it also allows you to connect with your audience.
What further boosts this connection and takes it to a wider audience is maintaining social media consistency on popular sites like Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Having a strategy for relevant and timely content sharing on the blog and from there on social media platforms helps you to create a solid foundation.
Consider Chiara Ferragni, who is today considered a fashion brand unto herself. She started it all with a blog: The Blonde Salad. Which is today a hotspot internationally for the most trending fashions. Below are the current statistics of her reach by the website Top Fashion Influencers. It also shows how maintaining a social media feed is a constructive exercise for online branding.
The following gives a glimpse of her journey to a successful blogger.
- Customer feedback and testimonial: Actively engaging with customers reading your content has two-way benefits:
- It allows you valuable feedback and a clearer idea of what is expected or needed.
- It helps you to engage with the audience in a more meaningful way.
Customer feedbacks make the customers feel involved in the entire process. In case of valuable feedbacks, if the changes are made it forms a mutual bond of respect between the writer and the reader. A sure way to form a loyal base for your brand.
At the same time, customer testimonials are a sure way to validate your product for a new set of audience. A testimonial proclaims the worth of your product to the customer. Due to the deep infiltration of social media channels, your work will start finding mention and visibility wherever the testimonial will get shared.
For better illustration, let us take Kristi Hines, a freelance writer who has worked with some of the best brands online.
She has built a network through her work that includes influencers in the industry who appreciate and share her work on their network. Following is how glowingly Kristi’s work is referred to and explained by one of them.
Such testimonials go a long way in validating and marketing your brand among the audience.With information so easily available and shared at a touch, building your brand based on customer reviews is an important way to form and influence such networks.
But even before any of the above, it’s important to have your work critiqued by a professional editor. Or you can take the help of critique services such as the 2nd Draft Critique Services. Find valuable feedback and get going.
3.Leveraging unconventional Social Platforms i.e. Quora and Medium:
Another effective way to leverage your brand is through the unconventional social platforms.
Diversification is important for first-time writers to tap into different segments of audience networks. Some of those off-beat but very large networks include Quora and Medium. Submitting to these websites is a way to not only showcase your writing skills but also demonstrating your expertise in a certain field and creating a following.
Consider an example, technology influencer Matt Cutts’ profile on Quora to get a better understanding.
The more the number of people who read your work, the more followers you get to convert.These mediums further help you to market your brand directly through links to your blog or other published work.
Another such example is Gary Vaynerchuk. A writer with specific interests in business has the following profile on Medium.
4.Join online writing Communities: Connecting with other individuals on the same journey as you are a great way to go. Such community bonding helps you as a first time writer to understand the nitty-gritty of the process. With more experienced people to guide you along when you face a problem.
Various writing communities foster mentorship programs too, wherein you can interact with established names in the industry and learn the ropes first hand.
Mentions for your work from any one of such mentors would go a long way in boosting your image in various industry circles.These communities go a long way in helping you sustain an audience base through recommendations and mentions on their individual networks.
For example, Bookrix is a community of independent writers who believe in self-publishing.
As part of their community, you get valuable information and impetus in your writing journey.
Then there is the oldest online writing community Critique Circle. Here you can spend hours interacting with other writers and discussing ideas. You can also utilize their critiquing services to produce a better work.
- Develop Expertise in some specific areas:
One of the best ways to develop a loyal dedicated customer base is to gain expertise in a few specific areas. Ranging from gardening to AI, original and innovative content about certain specific topics help greatly in branding.
Such expertise leads you to multiple mentions on various platforms where your opinion is highly valued. Being considered an expert on selected issues greatly helps in creating for you a brand name.
Having customer especially reach out to you for advice on those specific issues goes a step further in strengthening your network and audience base for your work.
Take as a reference, Adam Hurrey. He is a freelance football writer. Having created an expertise for himself in the world of football, he has found quite a following on Twitter. It is how he has leveraged this platform to promote his brand is what is noteworthy.
Following are his Twitter stats.
A glimpse of his bio, that he has used to promote his other ventures.
His case proves that having an avid interest in writing about any specific field can be catapulted into great success with the right mediums and branding strategies.
In recap, first-time writers have a wonderful opportunity to create a brand for themselves through the various online channels. Since online branding is all about getting your work noticed by the targeted audience through the appropriate online channels. Leveraging the right medium at the right instant goes long way in ensuring that your work is looked up to as a brand in itself.
As first time writers getting started is the first step. So write and publish as much as you can. Leverage the benefits of online channels and get your work noticed.With a dedicated approach, further study into branding and a little perseverance you can cultivate the above 5 steps to your utmost advantage.