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Figuring out how to stand out when you’re a solopreneur or small business owner can be confusing, intimidating, and daunting.

But setting yourself apart doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When you learn how to distinguish yourself from all the others offering similar services, you can build a stronger business and get better clients. Building a solid personal brand is key to that process. Whether you are a writer, designer, coach, consultant, speaker, or other person building a business around what you know, you’ve got to build a personal brand. We all have personal brands, by virtue of the footprint we leave. But those who manage their personal brands and play up the unique aspects of those brands are the ones who succeed.

It’s no longer good enough just to do a nice job. Today, you’ve got to build a brand around what you do. This can help you connect with your intended audience. Connecting is what takes you from being just another service provider to being the service provider. I share tools, tips, and strategies for connecting and building relationships that help you learn, grow, and succeed in my forthcoming book, Connect and Conquer: Grow Your Business, Organization, and Career Through Online and Offline Relationships. Below is an excerpt:


5
Ways to Establish Your Personal Brand Online

Because an Internet search may be a key factor in someone determining whether they do business with or hire you, let’s work on building your online reputation. There are many ways you can create content to help position you the way you want to be positioned, whether you run a business or organization, or you are an employee looking for new opportunities.

  1. Create a blog. A blog is a great place for building your personal brand and online reputation. It allows you to share your expertise, experiences, etc., in a forum that you control. The best way to build a blog is to get a self-hosted WordPress site where you own the domain name. But if budget is an issue and you can’t afford that cost, then you can use WordPress’s free site, wordpress.com, to build a blog. The point is to create a body of work that speaks well for you. My blog, Writer’s Living, allows me to share my expertise, advice, and information about the business of writing. Because all of my work is related to the business of writing in some way — whether it’s my ghostwriting, editing, and design business, my books, or my other work — the blog speaks well for me.
  2. Write articles for others. Writing articles that show up on article directories such as Ezine Articles or as guest posts on others’ blogs is another wonderful way to build your online reputation. This allows you to share your expertise on different sites and also serves as a credibility-builder because having your work on another site shows the world that others value what you say and have published your work.
  3. Send out press releases. You can submit press releases to press release distribution services so that your press releases show up online. This can be a way to share your good news, as well as regularly update the world on what you have going on.
  4. Join social networks. Your social network profiles have high search engine optimization benefit and can show up on the first page of a search. This is especially true of LinkedIn profiles.
  5. Set up a website for your business. Your business’s website can be a calling card for you. Clearly articulate what you do, recognitions you’ve received, experience you have, etc. If you don’t run a business but are looking for a job, then you can still set up a website — even a one-page site — that shows off your work, awards and recognitions, and experience.

 These are ways to help you establish your personal brand online so you can connect with your ideal client and have a better chance of landing the type of work you want. Your personal brand can help you make a living writing.

I share five other secrets to establishing your personal brand online, as well as lots of other insights, tools, tips, and strategies in Connect and Conquer: Grow Your Business, Organization, and Career Through Online and Offline Relationships. Join the mailing list here to get updates on the book, as well as other helpful information and inspiration from Writer’s Living.