Could blogging be the key to your branding woes?
I’ll admit it. I used to think the term “personal brand” was reserved exclusively for wankers. You know the ones – coming at you on social media from the beach, cocktail in hand, lecturing you about how you too could be earning seven figures from your laptop, if you only you were as cool as them.
But that was before I tried to build my copywriting business brand as a one-woman show. It felt so awkward – I just couldn’t squeeze myself into a box! Yes, I am a copywriter. But I’m also a health industry tragic. A system reformer. Project manager. Strategist and adviser. Blogger. Data nerd. Raging feminist. What I offer to my clients is very different to other copywriters and anyway, what if I get bored? What if I want to niche, or become a coach? Or an astronaut? Argh, man, I just wanna be me!
Yes, I was getting claustrophobic, and I started to doubt my commitment to the whole thing. How the hell was I supposed to market my services if I couldn’t define my brand?
It eventually clicked that a personal brand would give me the space and flexibility to just be myself – a person with unique stories, who continues to grow and change. Or maybe I’m just a wanker myself, whatevs, I feel freeeeeee!
And the truth is, from here I can meet my clients’ needs with varied service offerings. Or start multiple businesses, if I want to! A personal brand allows me to flex, pivot and change, because no matter what I decide to do for a living I’m always gonna be me, right? A work in progress.
You don’t really “build” personal brands. You uncover them. And clarify them. And communicate them. And the most useful tool that I and a number of my clients have found to do this with, is blogging.
Writing is such a good way to get to the heart of who you are, what you do, and why – both for yourself and your audience! And blogging allows you to bite off chunks. You just start somewhere and see where it takes you.
This is what I have learnt about how blogging helps you to build your personal brand.
Blogging gives you an online presence beyond social media
If you are trying to build your personal brand, you want your name to be popping up when people are looking for the things you want to be known for. It’s great to have followers on Instagram, but that should not be the only way people can find your content. Why? Because:
- Social media platforms are rented space. If they go down, or you lose your account, you lose it all. Remember recently when Facebook and Instagram both stopped working at the same time, for like a day? You would’ve thought it was freaking Armageddon. Get your own real estate, people!
- Not everyone is on Instagram. Even if it’s your ideal client’s favourite place to hang out, that journo looking for an expert opinion isn’t searching on Instagram, she’s searching on Google.
- Even if she was searching Instagram, the most well-thought-out Instagram caption does not compare to a bangin’ blog post full of stories and research
Blogging helps you get seen on Google by improving your SEO. It shows the algorithm that your website is full of fresh content and gives you all the opportunities to answer your audience’s questions – i.e. the stuff they are typing into the search bar.
It helps your people to find you, and show them you know your shit. Which brings me to my next point.
Blogging shows the world you are an expert in your field
Blogging not only makes you more visible online, but it shows your audience that you have the answers they need. Because you are giving them the answers. With your writing. Which is making you more visible online, because Google loves that – it’s a magical upwards spiral!
But the other thing it does is give you an online portfolio. If you’re pitching to the media, or to be interviewed on a podcast, imagine just saying “Please refer to my blog for all the cool shit I know!”
*NB. Probably don’t pitch like that for real but you catch my drift.
And if people are Googling your name and all of these rich, insightful articles are popping up? You’re laughing.
Blogging helps you to become more of an expert
Here’s another magical upwards spiral. While blogging shows you are an expert, it also helps you to become even more of an expert. Woah. How?
As you write, you learn. To articulate ideas in writing, in a unique way, you have to really understand what you’re talking about. You can think you understand a concept, but when you have to explain it to someone else? That’s a-whole-nother level.
So you find out the gaps in your knowledge. You do more research. You find other experts, and you learn from them, maybe even connect! You get more ideas, so you write about them too.
And then you publish your articles, and your readers ask questions! So you go and find out those answers too. All the while learning more about your audience and what information they want from you.
Magical upwards spirals everywhere.
Blogging helps you refine your brand
The cool thing about blogging is that you can start right now. All you need is a website. And as you write, your brand will emerge all on it’s own – no screaming, yanking or eyeball stabbing required.
Writing helps you to find your voice. The more you write, the more confident and comfortable you will become. Trust me, I’m doing it right now! Two years ago this article would have taken eight weeks to write and it probably still would have been shit. But today it is flowing and I’m actually – gasp – enjoying myself! Because I’m just being me, talking about what I know.
And I can do it because I have a few articles under my belt now. And I got some positive feedback. Only from the people who like my stuff though – but they are the only ones I care about because guess what? They are my people. I only want to connect and work with people who I can be myself around and have fun with.
There are others who don’t like my writing. They’ve bitched about me amongst themselves, maybe un-followed, unsubscribed, whatever. It hurts a bit but I know deep down it’s actually a good thing, because it’s impossible to please everyone and when you try to, you please no one. Your content is bland AF.
My point here is that when your audience responds to your work, you find out what resonates with them. You learn what they like, what they don’t like, and how you can connect with the ones YOU like on a deeper level. Then you continue to build that into how you market yourself, but it doesn’t really feel like marketing – it’s more just figuring out how to be more “you.”
Your blog can be the foundation of your content marketing strategy
A well thought out blog is a content goldmine. You have an article? You have podcast episode. A YouTube video. Multiple social media posts. An eBook!
If you write about topics that are well aligned with your business strategy (i.e. your vision, mission, values and goals), that your ideal clients are dying to read about, that will change their lives for the better, then the hard work is done! You will never run out of stuff to share.
Is that the difficult part though? Coming up with topics, and the angles that will draw in the readers you love?
If so, I’ve got just the thing. I do this really fun work-shopping session where – either online or in person – I help you to come up with over a year’s worth of blog topics. The kind of topics that help you achieve your business goals. The kind of topics that make your ideal clients want to be your best friend. And at the same time I’ll give you plenty of tips on how to get your articles written – and read.
Sound good? Check it out here.
Or maybe you just need a community of other bloggers around you for motivation, accountability, tips and resources. I’ve got your back there too! Join my friends and I over in my free Facebook group Strategic Bloggers Inc.