Where’s the starting point to create a memorable and referable online presence?
If you think that it can be done with a couple hours of work over a long weekend, think again.
It takes purposeful intent and a constantly evolving strategy over the course of time.
Although it's a long game - and an involved one at that - it's certainly one worth playing…
...ask those who need your help the most and they’ll tell you, :)
In my experience as a branded lifestyle portrait photographer and storytelling strategist for speakers, authors and other expert-based businesses, I’ve learned that while everyone has their own path to forge with respect to how they market their services to their audiences, their journeys begin from the same starting point.
You need to identify your why, what and how behind creating an online presence that attracts those they serve.
Answers to these questions help shape the relationship between all of the pieces of their online presence:
A website that lays out how they solve their client’s points of friction in their businesses
Social media content and blog articles that inform, entertain and inspire
An image content portfolio that visually punctuates the sentiment of every story they share with those they serve
Engaging their audiences online through social media platforms and other outlets
Yup, there’s a lot of moving parts at play, and those parts evolve and change over time as you become more in tune with the specific needs of your clients and adjust your services and marketing accordingly.
To say that building a memorable and referable online presence is a pain in the ass is quite an understatement.
Fortunately, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
By conceptualizing and sticking to a comprehensive and cohesive plan that works to dramatically increase your online visibility, that offers those you serve a chance to discover and invest in your specialized services, products and attention.
Cool - so, where do we begin?
MENTALLY PREPARE FOR THE JOURNEY
As with anything you want to accomplish in your life, it all begins with adopting a positive, growth mindset in order to keep you focused and on track to achieve your goals.
But sometimes, that’s easier said than done, especially during times when the world doesn’t look so peachy to you.
That’s when your primitive, lizard brain likes to play games with you.
And no, these games aren’t exactly a magical way to pass the time.
They’re the type that inspires you to stop writing, close your laptop, break out in an uncontrollable sweat and freak out for the rest of the day…
...or week, depending on the flavor of anxiety you’re experiencing.
You begin to doubt whether or not you’re coming from a place of service, or you’re a fraud playing the role of expert.
What have I done in my business to present myself as an expert?
Who really cares what I have to say?
What will I do when they realize I have no idea what I’m talking about?
That’s why it’s essential to introduce practices and interventions to swat away these negative thoughts when they present themselves and seek to throw a monkey wrench in your creative process.
SELF-AWARENESS LEADS TO SELF-COMPASSION LEADS TO SELF-CARE
This cycle of positivity fosters resilience and empowerment within yourself, so that future roadblocks and challenges that hinder your creativity are easier to get past.
This is how you keep the train on the tracks so that you’re able to shake off the random naysayers that inevitably pop up when you least expect it.
This positivity mindset also helps you to get past the preparing-to-prepare, perfectionist loop that often plagues speakers, authors and other expert-based businesses.
This procrastination prevents them from getting their magical work out into the world in order to help those they serve.
How about when you’re in front of a camera?
Despite the hesitation and anxiety you feel about investing in a branded lifestyle portrait session, your image content portfolio is an irreplaceable, foundational element of your online presence.
That’s why it’s essential that you get your mind right before you do so, otherwise, that hesitation, anxiety and fear will be written all over your face in every photo that you take.
No bueno, my friends.
What I’ve found with many of my clients who’ve expressed their dislike for having their pictures taken before the session is that once they go through the process, they see the value of the experience as valuable beyond the marketing materials created.
The session represented an opportunity for them to reinforce their overall positive mental outlook towards their business…
That’s a pretty magical takeaway, if you ask me, :)
STRATEGY TO BUILD A MEMORABLE AND REFERABLE ONLINE PRESENCE
Laying the emotional groundwork to develop resilience and empower yourself to offer your expertise to a community who needs your specialized attention is Step 1.
Step 2 involves identifying the key aspects of developing and establishing your memorable and referable online presence so those you serve can find you online.
Leverage your social content, blog articles, website and engagement tactics to present yourself as the authority in your space
Assume your audience knows nothing - avoid the curse of knowledge at all costs
Everything you write is in your own, unique voice
Be consistent and purposeful with creating content and engaging your audience
Identify recurring themes to explore that solves your client’s points of friction
Minimize overwhelm by keeping track of all your ideas in a content calendar
Invest in lifestyle portraits that breaks down the fourth wall between you and those you serve
Find out where your clients hang out on social and go make some new friends
When you approach building a memorable and referable online presence in this fashion, you’re not simply drawing eyeballs to your work, you’re laying the groundwork for establishing long-lasting relationships with those you serve.
You’re building trust with every post, article, comment and direct message.
This is a much more personalized approach to creating sustainability in your business than merely relying exclusively on Google to generate all your inbound inquiries.
DEVELOP PRODUCTIVITY HABITS THAT HELP YOU BUILD YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
Now, all of this brainstorming, writing and engagement work doesn’t get done by magic.
A lot of sweat equity goes into the process.
Great ideas are valuable currency, which is why it’s essential you write down all of your insights, thoughts, conversations and interesting moments before you forget them!
But, if you commit to identifying how to optimize your various workflows, that will go a long way to helping you streamline your processes and maximize the value of your time.
Because time is the most precious asset of all and it’s important not to waste it.
BEFORE YOU INVEST IN A PRODUCTIVITY COACH...
There is no one way to build productive habits, practices and systems, especially when we’re talking high-level, creative work such as creating your social media and blog writing.
It’s about experimenting, implementing and optimizing these processes based on your own sensibilities and preferences.
I have spent years refining, optimizing and updating my process for content creation. I went from posting once in a blue moon to every single day.
I didn’t wish on a star one evening and I was able to create content in that way.
I broke down every step of the process - from generating the idea nuggets to drafting, editing and optimizing each post - and created repeatable steps that have increased my content output dramatically.
By being clear and focused from the very beginning of your journey to building a memorable and referable online presence, it sets a great tone for you to follow.
Now, there’s quite a few more pieces to the puzzle, but it all starts with a solid beginning.