Can you imagine trying to do your business without a cell phone? Even our personal life is in crisis if we happen to lose our cell. Yet, only 10-15 years ago we all managed just fine without them.
Now take the same idea and apply it to the Internet and multiply it times 100. We are not yet at the point where the Internet is essential for everyone, but we are quickly getting there.
Creating an online presence is absolutely an essential element to securing continual opportunity for today as well as the near future. Yet many people only a have partial understanding of what a real online presence is, thinking it only has to do with setting up a few social media profiles and making connections with people.
But creating an online presence is much more than just having a social circle on Facebook or a bunch of Twitter followers; Rather having a reach that stretches beyond your circle- to showing up at the top of a search result for those who are looking for what you have to offer. Furthermore, it means having a presence that stands out and sticks in people’s mind.
Facebook is certainly a good place to start, but there are definitely other areas to invest in as well as having proper tact and effective strategy with certain skills, adequate knowledge and a viable action plan. So here are 7 steps to creating an online presence:
1) REAL BRANDING
The first and formost element to creating an online presence is real branding. I emphasize “real branding” because many people’s idea of branding is merely a logo or design-theme. However genuine branding has to do more with essence and the message that it conveys. A logo is great, but it’s the meaning and purpose behind the logo that carries the real weight.
For this reason, investing serious thought to define and clarify the purpose of your pursuit is of the utmost importance in order to exemplify the meaning behind your image. Also, a theme or tag-line is another key element to real branding; for example, “Hope and Prosperity with a Touch of Beauty”, is my own tag-line. Because, genuine branding has more to do with essence, the logo, design-theme and tag-line are really just tools to support that essence.
Your brand should be defined by and built around the following qualities:
- Your strengths and skills
- Your passion and purpose
- Your style and personality
- Your vision and aspirations
- Your activities and interests
- Your prior and present achievments
- Your unique and differentiating value
2) SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
While developing your brand, a good place to begin establishing your image is in social media venues. This is most effective when being genuine and consistent in engaging and connecting with people. Social media is not a venue to throw a pitch-fest, but primarily a medium to make connections and maintain meaningful relationships. Pitching your product or opportunity in social media is more counterproductive than anything, and is neither tasteful nor tactful. There are, however, a variety of ways to attract and stimulate the interest of people toward the value you offer.
See- Social Media Etiquette and Online Human Relations Defined
– There are many different social media sites to choose from, but below are a few of the major ones:
- Facebook – The largest website online, is, essentially, a global community blog with a wide variety of interactive features, such as group accomidations, specialized pages and pay-per-click campaigns.
- LinkedIn – The largest professional social media site with many features similar to Facebook, though configured more for professional purposes.
- Youtube – The largest social media video site which lends to search engine rankings because it’s owned by and integrated with Google Search.
- Google+ -The social media version of Google search with an abundance of interactive features similar to Facebook and LinkedIn, yet having unique features as well.
- Twitter – A micro-blog which can be very usefull to reaching people and directing them to your site.
-Social media sites can easily consume too much time wasted flittering, so it is quite a good idea to set time limits and use that time wisely.
Using your brand with the image it exudes may intrigue and attract people to come take a closer look at the your messsage and the value you offer…
3) TO YOUR WEBSITE
While social media sites may resemble of the attributes of the community town-square, your website represents your own “home” or “shop”. This is your online real estate which serves to cultivate deeper interaction and exchange of value. Bringing people to your home or shop promotes better relationships with your clientele and friends while setting another platform to brand yourself.
A WordPress website, as opposed to a static website, has better accommodations for visiters and visiter interaction. this kind of site also meshes well with Google search algorithm, which helps with search results. A very key component of a WordPress site is a blog…
Blogging is a very effective way to brand yourself by displaying your expertise with beneficial content that keeps your site fresh with valuable updates, which keep your visiters coming back. Creating quality content does take time and dedication, but each piece of content is an asset which may be repurposed for many other uses. Content creation is the life-force of generating organic traffic to your site through search results if done properly and consistently with effective SEO strategy.
5) SEO – SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Creating an online presence must include some degree of understanding and implementation of SEO strategy. This is how you can get your content to rank on the search engines, so it is imperitive to at least know some fundamentals of SEO – which include:
- Keyword Research– Some adequate research must be done to find specific keyword phrases that relate to your expertise and constructing relevant content around these word phrases is basic keyword strategy. These keywords need to have high enough search volume to be worth while, without being over-saturated with the competition. See- Basic Keyword Research
- Quality Content– Building an archive of quality content and establishing your website as a valuable resource is a fundamental faucet for search engine optimization. It’s important to know that search algorithm is primarily based on what people are looking for, not necessarily what search engines are looking for, but people. So while some knowledge of search engine algorithm is helpful, the primary focus should be on giving real value to real people by providing them with what they want and need.
- WordPress SEO– Having your site dialed-in for search engine spiders to easily sift through and index your content is very important, which is why organizing your content into categories is essential. Furthermore, there are a variety of SEO plugins to utilize such as “All in One SEO Pack”, “Ultimate Tag Warrior” and “BWP Google XML Sitemaps”. A little more advanced, but more effective than the “All in One SEO Pack”, is “Yoast WordPress SEO”. Having a much wider display of settings, Yoast does take a little know-how, but even the default settings go long way.
- Back-links – This is when other websites link-back to your site as a reference, which indicates some degree of authority that search engines recognize for better rankings. “Fabricating” backlinks to expedite this process has been a common practice, but search engines are evolving to recognize and devalue artificial backlinks. Natural backlinks take time to accumulate, but are now the kind of backlinks that search engines will except. An excellent way to acquire natural backlinks is by syndication.
Syndication is another aspect of SEO, yet worth setting in its own category. The most efficient way to share your content is by leveraging the strength of a group or community. Syndication is when a certain group or community of people share each others content, usually done through social media sites. These groups or communities are known as “tribes”.
Basically, there are two types of tribes: Large tribes that produce high-quantity syndication through mass-automation systems such as “TribePro”, -or- small tribes that produce high-quality syndication through a more personal endorsement. Both are quite helpfull but quality is generally better than quantity, so forming or joining a small but tight-knit-tribe where each member attaches the weight of their credibility to the content they share can be much more effective than mass automated sharing.
With high-quality syndication, you can get wider exposure to an audience beyond your own sphere which generates free traffic to your site as well as links which all lends itself to building authority that search engines recognize and reward with better search results to generate more free traffic. A great way to form or find a tight-knit syndication tribe is by networking.
It’s very important to choose friends and partners wisely when you’re putting your credibility on the line by personally endorsing each other’s content, so you want to be sure your tribe is made-up of like-minded people with valuable content.
However, you don’t want everyone on top of each other in the same exact niche; but having a tribe with a fair amount of diversity is healthy as long as it’s tempered with some relativity. To find or form a group like this will require you to reach out and network with people.
One very natural way of reaching out is by simply commenting on websites that you particularly like. So look for sites that have the kind of message you believe in and it will be simple to leave a meaningful comment. But don’t just leave a broad statement like, “Cool post”, but be specific and describe what it is, exactly, that you like about their content.
Giving genuine respect and consideration will more likely coax people to give the same respect back. Don’t expect everyone to reciprocate, just move-on until you find those that do and you will be on course to forming a powerful alliance.
Of course, networking is not limited to syndication tribes, but a basic element to creating an online presence. Branding, blogging, SEO and social media are all things that require you to engage in order to get results. Each of these faucets are all interrelated to form a delicately balanced and uniquely tempered formula of creating your own online presence.
See you online!
Scott Yonker http://scottyonker.com/
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