Earlier this last month I decided to start expanding how I would building out my personal brand. I wanted to expand past just delivering talks at conferences, and Meetups. My new target was to start expanding my exposure through distributing web content that would be relevant to peers in my field.
I have tried this in the past, but usually gave up as it required quite a bit of ongoing work. I figured that the only way that could something that I actually do in my free time every day. This actually felt a lot more genuine as well when I was delivering my new content.
After going back, and forth I needed to choose a platform to start with. I choose to start distributing via Medium for reasons I will get in below, but what I learned expands beyond this platform. I was actually able to make $250 in my first month of writing which was a good side benefit, and also some validation that what I was writing was valuable to others.
Below are a number of tips so that you can start to grow you personal brand using what I learned. I was doing this on medium, but as I mentioned earlier these tips should work no matter the platform you choose when it comes to producing content that will help you build your brand. I was able to use these tips to also make a little bit of side income by posting my content on Medium, and I hope that they help you do the same.
#1. Entertain or Educate
When distributing content you need to make sure that you are providing your reader value. You audience needs a reason to spend there limited time here on earth watching or reading what you produce out of the countless other options. No one is going to read something that you wrote just to boost your own ego. That is unless you can do it on a way that does one of two things; provide entertainment or educate.
The easiest way to get an audiences attention, and provide them value I have found land in those two buckets. The great content is able to combine both in some fashion.
I am a very poor writer, but have pretty valuable domain knowledge so I chose to do my best to educate. I hope to someday enter the realm of being able to provide this in an entertaining way 🤣
Just make sure before you click publish, that you ask yourself, is this something that could provide value to someone else. Is it entertaining? Could someone learn from this?
#2. Your Domain Knowledge Is Your Unfair Advantage
The first thing I thought about was what can I offer that other writers cannot, and an audience would like to read. This is something that likely will be easy for someone already looking to build a brand, because you are already looking to build authority in an area. This is usually an area that you are well positioned to produce valuable content.
For me this was certain domains of technical topics that I have knowledge about. Though for you this may be cooking or video editing. This really depends on two things really. What do you have domain knowledge on that would give you an unfair advantage when positioned against other writers? And what domain do you want to build your brand’s authority in?
Before you start creating content. Think about what your unfair advantage is. Is there a domain that you are well positioned to write about?
#3. Find An Unique Perspective
There’s about 2 billion websites out there on the web.* This means that’s it’s going to very difficult for your voice to rise above the rest. Because of this you will not only need the domain knowledge we spoke of earlier, but you will also need to find a unique perspective to tell this from. Are you a
For me this was, and will be me explaining my journey as someone who is a bit addicted to working on side projects. This is something that I will continue to develop, but take a look at people you follow. Why do you follow them instead of others who do the same thing? For me this was that the perspective that they delivered their content from was very interesting to me. In the language that most of those reading this it’s almost like finding a niche to serve when building a product.
Offer your reader a unique perspective when delivering your content.
#4. Find A Way To Constantly Deliver
If you are looking to build a brand you are going to want to keep your newly acquired followers interested, and fresh content to attract new ones.
For me I was able to stick with my delivery schedule since I was just writing about things that I learned when working on my side projects that I would be working on anyways. For you this may be finding a ways to make a side income or grow a follower count.
Once you have some inspiration that will keep you delivering content, you then need to find a schedule that you can stick to. Don’t pick something that will burn you out. I choose to post at least once a week, but there are others that post once a month. Find something that works for you.
Find a way to stick to a delivery schedule so that you can give your audience a predictable way to consume your content, and provide more to build your following.
#5. Use Your Existing Network
People aren’t just going to randomly stumble across your work. You are going to need to do some work to get it in front of people, especially when starting out.
The easiest way to do this is to start with the network you have. You may not think that you actually have one, but if you use any social media platform you have one. For me this was LinkedIn and Twitter since this was the network that would find value in my content.
If not there are a number of Facebook groups that connect medium writers, support new bloggers, and groups containing your target audience that you can join. I won’t list them here, but you can do a few searches on Google and Medium to find these.
Leverage your existing networks to get some initial traction.
#6. Find Your Target Audience
Another path to traction after leveraging your existing networks will be to find out where your target audience spends its time. Since my target audience was programmers, specifically people interested in Python I would use the Python subreddit and make sure to publish to a relevant Medium Publication. You will be wanting to check forums, Google Groups, social media hashtags or subreddits discussing your topic.
Each time you publish your new content make sure to have a plan of action when it comes to posting to these locations so that you can continue to meet your audience where they spend their time.
Find where your audience is, and get your content in front of them.
#7. Take Advantage of Platforms And Their Distribution
Your audience will use multiple platforms a day, and you must increase the chances that they will stumble across your content by publishing to these platforms.
Make sure to announce your posts on each social media platform that makes sense. Also, even more importantly if you are posting on Medium please find a Publication to post to that is relevant to what you are writing about. This will significantly improve the chances of success when finding your audience.
If the platform supports hashtags use them. If there are trending hashtags consider them.
When posting make sure to expose your content to as many platforms as possible, and leverage their features to help make your content discoverable.
#8. Strategically Time Your Posts
When posting make sure to choose the time in which your platform reflects that you may may be most successful. Consider your audiences habits, time zones, and work schedules.
Do the platforms that you schedule curate a newsletter that gets distributed? Are your followers expecting your content at a certain time? All of these should be factored into when you time your posts. Track the performance of your content, and see what works best.
When posting consider the variables of success, and plan out the time in which you post.
#10. A Book Is Judged By It’s Cover 😉
You will notice that I skipped a number with my little list of tips. That’s because this last tip is actually the one that gets people clicking into your content. I needed a tidy title with a nice round number of tips. Were you more likely to click into an article talking about “10 Tips To Success” or “9 Tips To Success”. Sorry for under delivering on the number of tips, but I hope that makes this one more memorable for you.
It’s important to find a good thumbnail, and title for your article or YouTube video. This doesn’t mean make it clickbait as people will click off right away, and this will be counter productive to building the brand you want.
The true is same for YouTube videos. Your Thumbnail, and title matter. They Matter a lot. This is how your content will surface above the rest in a crowded world. Keep in mind this will help get eyeballs to your content, but not staying there. It’s important that you give your audience a reason to stay.
After completing your blog post or YouTube video. Make sure to spend some time on your title, and thumbnail. Or your post’s SEO meta information that would show up when linked in Google or social media platforms.
When looking to build a brand for authority in your field or a little side income you can approach this intelligently using the experience of those that have come before you. Hopefully my experience has been valuable to you.
I have been able to use these items above to both expand my authority in an area I know a bit about, and make a little side income. If you think the above advice had either provided some form of entertainment or helped you learn something please give me a follow. If not maybe one of the other posts below can. Thanks for reading this far!
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