Want more attention for your work, brand, message, idea or product online?
While we don’t all have thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours to launch a major online digital campaign, there are some simple(ish) things you can do to raise your profile online right now.
Here’s three things you can do right now to greatly increase your visibility online to the audiences most important to you:
1. Start a Twitter Account and Build a Targeted Following:
If you haven’t started a Twitter account, go ahead and click here to start one right now. Try and use a username that is related to what you are trying to promote. So if you’re trying to promote your own name, then try and get a Twitter handle that is as close to your name as possible. Mine for instance, is @kgrandia and I consistently use “kgrandia” across as many social platforms as I can.
Build Out Your Twitter Profile
Once you’ve started a Twitter account (or if you already have one and want to make it more effective), be sure to go in and fill out the profile.
Click “edit profile” and fill in the bio section where you tell everyone about yourself. A lot of Twitter users find new people to follow by searching for keywords in other user’s profile descriptions, so try to create a very literal description, using descriptive keywords that relate to what you are all about. So if you work on climate change issues, make sure to include the phrase “climate change” in your bio.
Also include your profession if that is part of what you want to promote. So if you’re a teacher, make sure to include that in your profile bio.
Be sure to include a profile photo. Try and use an image of you if you are selling you or a related image if you’re selling a product or an idea.
Be sure to also include a link to your website (if you don’t have a website, read on below because that is the next suggestion I make!).
Start to Build a Following
Now that you have an account you want to try and build a group of followers that represent your target audience. This target Twitter audience could be potential clients, news outlets, people interested in similar topics or ideas as you and so on. One of the easiest ways to start building a following is by seeking out and following people that you hope will reciprocate and follow you back.
You can use a tool like FollowerWonk (I use a premium version of this software and love it) to search Twitter bios for keywords, sort the list by authority and then follow those you find most related to your goals.
Here’s what a FollowerWonk bio search looks like, using the term “climate change”:
Another way I like to find good people to follow on Twitter is to look at the Twitter accounts of people interested in the same things as you and follow the people they are following on Twitter.
Finally, if you want to build a good following on Twitter with a focused target audience, be sure you Tweet a lot about the topics related to your interests. So for instance, if you want to help promote yourself as a public speaker on environment issues, then tweet and retweet news articles and other information related to environmental issues. Get the Twitter app on your smartphone and tablet, and get in the habit of tweeting articles you are reading — almost every blog and news outlet has clearly posted Twitter share buttons on their articles, so it is usually as easy as a single click.
2. Create a Blog
This might seem both an old school suggestion and something too complicated for someone not familiar with things like web programming, but let me walk you through this.
Blogs are Content Creation Machines
First off, blogs might seem like old technology given the speed at which new and fancy tools are coming online these days. But a blog is nothing more than a really simple way to add content to the internet. The internet is essentially a content indexing and sharing system that only gets better if more and more unique content is added. And the best content you can share for your own goals, is content that leads back to you, your product, idea or whatever it is you are trying to get out there.
Blogs are at the core of what people call “content marketing” because they offer the cheapest and easiest solution to creating and marketing content.
You don’t have to a be a pro writer either, just stick to things you feel comfortable sharing. It could be a simple as posting articles you have read and find interesting. Of course, you have to be careful about copyright issues here, but there is nothing wrong with posting a snippet of a news article, with a sentence or two about what you think about the article and link to “read more” over at the website of the news outlet where the article originated.
For instance, it could look something like this:
GREAT ARTICLE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND POLAR ICE
Just read a great article over on CarbonBrief where writer Robert McSweeney has produced five charts on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. A little disturbing when you see the extent of the melting, but a great set of visual tools to really drive home the impact climate change is having on our polar regions.
As McSweeney describes it:
“September saw the Arctic hit its fourth lowest summer minimum on record, while over in Antarctica, the winter maximum finished just above average, ending a streak of record highs in the last three years.”
You can click here to read the whole article: Five charts that show how Arctic and Antarctic sea ice is faring in 2015.
Simple right? You can now go ahead and tweet this blog post on your new powerhouse Twitter account!
Building Your Own Blog is Easy Now
Regardless of your level of web knowledge, a blog is ridiculously easy to build these days.
While there are lots of options out there, I would suggest spending a measly $100 to get a premium WordPress site that will also allow you to use a custom domain name. WordPress is as close to a plug and play blog as you can get. WordPress was originally built as a simple blogging tool, and while the program has been built out over the years, it is still at its core a simple, approachable blogging platform. The best part is you do not have to know how to write a single line of code.
About that Custom Domain Name
Take a while to research and find the best web address you can. I prefer to go with very literal web addresses because they have great advantages when it comes to Google and search engines. So for instance, if you’re trying to promote your digital marketing skills, I would look for a domain name that has “digital marketing” in it. That is of course easier said than done, given that even the most ridiculous web addresses have already been taken, so you will have to be a little creative here. If you are working solely in a certain region it is usually easier to find a regional web address like “.ca” or “.au.”
For instance, on the topic of digital marketing I found the following two that are available for purchase and would serve someone well: DigitalMarketingGuy.ca and DigitalMarketingMaster.com.
3. Google and Search Engine Optimization
On any digital campaign or program I have worked on, traffic from the search giant Google is by far the most valuable. People who search something on Google and find your content in the search results stay on your site longer and click on more pages than any other source of traffic.
Now that said, when it comes to marketing yourself online, the topic of search engine optimization (SEO) is a pretty long and twisty rabbit hole. But there are some SEO basics that will serve you well if you keep them in mind while you start to build your profile online. And I apologize ahead of time, but this next bit here is going to refer you to about an hours worth of tutorials that are best left explained by others than rewritten here by me. But I guarantee that if you take the time now, you will be well on your way to Jedi-level SEO.
This 3 min. video is a little dated, but it is probably the best starting point to understanding how Google actually works:
So now that you know how Google works, you can learn what it takes to write articles that are created in a way that gives them a better chance of appearing high up in the results for search terms related to your work.
For that, there is no better resource on the internet than Moz and this group of search engine experts just so happens to have an amazing and totally FREE beginner’s guide to SEO. Just to clarify that in no way am I being paid to promote this Moz guide, I am just one of their biggest fans because their software, forums, podcasts and blog posts are what I have used over the years to become a well-known expert in SEO. They are also a great group of people who don’t take themselves to seriously.
So go here and read a chapter a day for the next 8 days. They are short and written in plain language. Go ahead click here and read chapter one right now… I’ll wait here.
How did you like it? Great stuff right?
I hope what I have shared here will help get you started on building your online profile and helps your message stand out above the noise of the internet! If you have any questions you can email here: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or leave a comment below.