Online Visibility – Is There a Fast Path to Building Your Presence on the Web?

speedometer - slow to insanely fastNot surprisingly, when clients sign on to mentor with me, they’re often looking for a fast path to building online visibility.  I understand the desire to see results fast, yet consistency over time is what leads to success overall.  That means, creating content consistently week in and week out, will build a solid presence over the long run, leading traffic and activity back you day in and day out.

Keep in mind too that content isn’t just restricted to blog posts. Content also includes:

  • Video
  • Audio
  • Images
  • Status updates on social networks
  • Slide shows
  • Live chats
  • Google+ hangouts
  • Teleseminars and webinars
  • Sharing content on social sites

That being said, there are actions you can take to accelerate your visibility, especially if you want to build some buzz for a book, product or webinar, for example.  To go the accelerated route, you’ll have to ignore my previous advice on building visibility and go all in for a little while.

Here are 5 ways to accelerate your visibility on the Web:

1. Post more frequently on your blog. Yep, you read that right. When you have more blog posts, you have more opportunities to share them on your social networks and so do your visitors.  More visibility on social networks can create more traffic. More traffic means more readers. More readers means more amplification of your posts and more subscribers, more visibility, etc.

2. Find and follow influencers and ideal prospects in your niche. This particularly applies to Twitter and Google+. Often those you follow will follow you back  and you increase your exposure to new people. Make sure you’re sharing great content so your new followers notice and get value from you.

3. If you don’t have a Google+ Profile, set one up now (it’s also important for seo). Post your content on Google+, find cool, interesting people to add to your Circles, then start doing Google Hangouts. Hosting a weekly live Q&A session for your fans and friends will raise your profile quickly. If you set it up as a live Hangout on Air, the Hangout is recorded and automatically posted on YouTube, thus building out your video channel at the same time.

hangout

4. If you’re not comfortable with video, then host live teleseminars on a regular basis. When I first started The Blog Squad in 2005, we hosted free weekly teleseminars called Conversations with Experts, interviewing experts in a variety of marketing-related industries.  The first Conversation had about 20 people on the line. One year and 54 shows later, we were getting hundreds of participants every week. Consistency built awareness and awareness built the audience.

5. Are you willing to spend a few dollars? A sure fire way to get more visibility on Facebook is to use Promoted Posts. Be strategic about what you promote. Consider the path you want to lead your new fans. If your goal is to increase engagement, ask a question or create a poll and promote it.

promoted-post

I was very successful using a Promoted Post to give away a product I usually sell (link goes to the promoted post). My goal was to build a highly targeted list of people who were interested in a specific niche. I spent $10 and built a list of more than 350 people interested in digital publishing. I don’t consider giving away the $57 product a loss. It was an investment to uncover a select group who may be interested in attending my digital publishing event.

You may be looking at this list and thinking, “No way, this is not a fast way to build online visibility.”  And, you’re right. These are generally long term strategies, AND, if you apply your time and energy to two or three of the tactics over the course of a couple of weeks, you will see more activity which is a direct result of more visibility.

Pick the tactics you know you can sustain over time and implement them over and over. One hangout or teleseminar or promoted post isn’t going to get you very far. On the other hand, one hangout every week for a month will get you more attention.  A weekly promoted post with a poll question related to your book, product or event, will attract a lot more people to your Facebook page. You get the point, right? [If you need some help putting your plan together, contact me.]

OK, now it’s your turn…

What is one action you would advise an entrepreneur to take in order to boost their online visibility? Please post your tip in the comments!

What Blogging Can Teach You about Yourself

My journey to increase my business’ visibility started three months ago when I signed up for Denise’s “Online Visibility for Introverts” class.  It promised to teach me how to build my email list, get on board with social media, and increase my online visibility.

One of the first habits Denise encouraged was “consistency,” or doing the same thing on a repeatable schedule, to help build your visibility.  And since the blog is the hub of a business’ online efforts, that meant I needed to start blogging consistently.

This was a big challenge for me. Up to that point, I blogged when I found time and posted every few months. At best.

But I vowed to change my ways. Here are some advice and insights from my blogging journey that might help you. I struggled with blogging at first – and at times still do. But I was surprised at how it’s not only helped my business grow, but it’s helped me grow personally, too.

  • The more you blog, the easier it gets. Really. There’s something about forcing your brain to write a 200 or so word article on any topic you want (and, hopefully that your target audience will also find interesting) that gets easier each time you do it. 

As you write more posts, you’ll start to cultivate a flow and rhythm that makes it quicker and easier. You’ll also develop your voice, which can take some time to evolve. Once you have those things in place, you’ll find writing posts is a much smoother process.

  • Trying for perfection eats up a lot of time. One big block I had to writing posts regularly was the expectation each one needed to be 100% perfect. This was a tough nut for me to swallow, because I’m a copywriter. I’m supposed to be picky with my copy.

But it was causing me to take forever to finish a post.  I’d edit over and over, critique from every angle, and decide it still wasn’t ready for prime time. I was stalling based on the fear it wasn’t quite good enough.

I once had a boss who said “It’s better to take something that’s 80% perfect and get it out there, than try for 100% and it never sees the light of day.”

Very true. While you do want compelling content, you don’t want to spend so much time on a post that you never publish anything, or you spend an inordinate amount of time polishing it. That won’t go far in building your online visibility. Try for “pretty decent” or “good enough” and then publish. You can always go back later to edit and add more.

  • It’s far easier (and quicker) to blog if you plan in advance. I’m a copywriter, so I often write in my head. If I know what my next blog topic will be, then my brain starts percolating away. And then when I starting writing, the words just flow.

The most difficult posts were ones I didn’t plan in advance. They forced me to stare at the computer screen, think of a topic, and THEN write.  That’s too many steps to do in one sitting. Do yourself a favor – make a list of your next 10 post topics and assign a date to each (also known as an editorial calendar).

  • Schedule the time on your calendar. And stick to it. If I don’t schedule blogging time, then client work creeps in or other business activities. Before I know it, it’s 5 pm on Friday and I have no post for the week. So I grudgingly get up early on Saturday morning to get the job done.

Here’s my fix: I schedule two hours first thing Tuesday morning to write the post, edit, and publish. If I do it early in the week (and early in the day), then I can spend the rest of the week promoting it.  Pick a day that works best for you, schedule a recurring appointment in your calendar, and stick to it.

  • Blogging consistently is strangely gratifying. Around week six, I had a startling revelation: writing my weekly post was surprisingly cathartic.  Business blog posts normally don’t share intimate, personal revelations like a diary (or at least mine don’t) but, still, committing your opinions and thoughts to electrons that can be read by anyone, anywhere makes them more real and concrete.

There’s also something gratifying about taking the risk of publicly sharing your opinions. You’re putting yourself out there. And that’s the first step to being seen as an expert by others and, even more importantly, by yourself.

What are your stumbling blocks to blogging regularly?  Has blogging taught you anything about yourself that surprised you?

About the Author
Kim Gusta is a copywriter and content marketer who creates powerful content for high-tech companies. Visit her blog at www.kimgusta.com/blog .

Business Blogging – Build Visibility, Authority and Sales

Nearly every day I have a conversation either online or in person with a business owner who questions the value of business blogging. Either they are not blogging (yet) or don't intend to because they don't see the value or don't want to spend the time. 

If this describes how you feel about blogging for your business, I want you to read this post by Brian Clark of Copyblogger fame, written originally in 2007 and updated in 2012: Are You Someone's User Generated Content?

 

I've pinned it on Pinterest, shared it on Twitter and probably share it with my followers on Facebook and Google + as well. Why would I do that? I can talk about blogging being one of the most important online visibility and marketing tactics for your business, but you've heard it so much from me (I've written hundreds of posts about business blogging), that you may be tuning me out. I want to share what others think too.

To that end, I posed a couple of questions on my Facebook page about the value of blogging to find out how it had benefited others in my community.

I asked: What's the best thing that's happened to your business since you started blogging?

(Click here to see all the responses.)

I also asked: What's your #1 piece of advice for new bloggers?

(Click here to see all responses.)

While I usually think I'm preaching to the converted, I realize I'm not really because every day someone new enters the online world and has to muddle through the vast amount of information, much of it conflicting, to figure out how to get started and where they can get the most return on their investment of time, resources and attention. My opinion has not changed much since 2004 and while much has evolved in the online marketing space, I still feel a blog for your business is one of the most powerful tools you can add to your kit for building deeper relationships, spreading your message and getting found by your ideal client.

What say you? Where do you fall on the "to blog or not to blog" for your business spectrum?

If you're confused or overwhelmed trying to figure out how to establish your blog as the centralized visibility hub for your business, check out my Kindle ebook, How to Make Your Blog The Centerpiece of Your Business... only $2.99.  Or, get 5 free videos on how to get the best our of your blog, and, you're welcome to post your questions here in the comments or on my Facebook page. 

Blog on!

Boosting Your Online Visibility – Open Mic Throw Down [video]

What would you say about your business if you had 60 seconds on stage and it was being filmed?

That was the challenge at Andrea J. Lee's Wealthy Thought Leader Conference…an opportunity to get a one minute video to use however we wished. This was a huge benefit to attendees especially getting a video of one speaking on a stage in front of an audience. I found it fascinating to watch what people did with their precious opportunity. 

Many people got cut off (the mic was cut at 60 seconds) as their talk meandered and went well beyond their time. Many speakers were brilliant and demonstrated their expertise through song, dance and performance. Others stumbled and I couldn't figure out what they did or what their business was. No judgment here, simply found it enlightening.

I was on the fence about whether to do it or not and then realized I really shouldn't let the opportunity pass. I did not prepare well (not what I would advise), but I did want to make sure I got my name in the video as well as a URL where people could get more information and opt in to my list. Here's my edited video:

You can see I stumbled a little bit. It's rather nerve wracking to have a timer counting down and 60 seconds goes so fast.

Are you up for a challenge? 

What would you say about your business if you had only 60 seconds? Here's your invitation…

  • Create a 60 second video
  • Post it on YouTube
  • Share the link here in  the comments 

This is a great way to get some visibility for your business with my audience as well as to practice a concise message you can deliver to your community. 

Think about it before you turn on your webcam. What do you want the viewer to take away or do after watching your video?

Now…go! Can't wait to see your videos!

The Fast and Easy Way to Create Online Video

Two billion video views per day. And that's just on YouTube.

Despite the stunning numbers and the data proving online video is not only here to stay but is one of the most powerful tools you can use to create awareness and connect with your audience, there are still holdouts. 

I understand. Though I've been creating videos since 2006, I was reluctant too, at first. Getting started with video can seem overwhelming and confusing. And many find it complicated or quite simply, don't want appear on camera.

If you're a solopreneur, consultant, coach, speaker, author or trainer and you've been reluctant to use video to create content as way to reach your clients and blog audience, there is an easy way! 

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