Blogging has helped thousands of people establish their professional and personal brand. Whether you are a new business owner, a self-employed expert, or an employee with expertise, blogging can help you grow your brand.
Here are five ways I have seen blogging help people grow their brand.
1. Personal Branding
You and your expertise are your brand. Blogging is a great way to market yourself. John Elder of Egoscue Nashville uses his blog to get found by customers and communicate what he does to help them with pain and posture. In his book Crush It, Gary Vanerchuk tells us that if he were a CPA he would be posting out hints of taxes and IRS rulings to help grow his brand. Identify what you want your customers to know and trust about you. Write down the topics you want to be an expert in. That is good blog material.
2. Establish Yourself as an Authority
Related to personal branding is your authority. Authority is not only about you telling what you do and what you know, but about establishing yourself as an authority on the subject. Cliff Ravenscraft shows the world he is an authority on podcasting through his blog. Think about those questions you are always asked. Either from your clients or co-workers, these questions point to what others want to know and where they think you have authority. Build on it by answering their questions in a blog.
3. Grow your Business
Whether you are starting a new venture or growing an existing company, a blog can be a great way to reach out to new and current customers. Check out Deborah Silver’s blog on landscaping. She is a landscape designer – so her days might be spent in the dirt. Yet she can share with her customers and future customers how she can help them. How can you share with your clients, customers, employers, and co-workers? You will be surprised how people relate to you when you blog.
4. Grow your Employer’s Business
Sometimes even better than growing your own company is when you can grow your employer’s company. While we expect the sales and marketing people to do this, often the depth of expertise in a company is hidden from the public. Every business likes to have people on their staff who are the authorities in their field. That makes your company look like they hire winners. It makes your boss look good. Imagine if I was a database administrator for an insurance company. Then I start blogging about database admin issues in insurance and other areas where data is private. Next thing you know you are asked to speak, teach, and lead others. All the while your employer gets to know they have the best. But be careful. Make sure you check with your company’s guidelines and get the OK on everything that goes out. The last thing you want is to share something they would rather not share.
5. Get Noticed at Work
Blogging can get you noticed at work in a positive way. Fact is, if you succeed in blogging, you will get noticed. Best to make sure you are safe if your blogging has anything to do with your industry. Even if you are doing it right and have the right objectives, you might get grief. Michael Hyatt says he had a war with his board when he started blogging as the CEO of Thomas Nelson. He won that battle, and the blogging helped him launch his new career as an author, blogger, and speaker.
One of the oddest experiences is when one of you (readers of the blog) come up to me and tell me they have read everything I wrote and listened to every podcast. It always shocks me and flatters me. But, you already know me and trust me, even though we may have never met before. A blog can do this for you also.
How to Get Started Now
If you buy my argument that you need a blog, then this week do the following homework:
- Write down the key terms and things you like to talk about and where you are an expert.
- Write down the questions people always ask you. Especially those you love.
- Now, search the web for these terms. Look at what others write about and what they call it. For instance, I might call this one “self marketing” but instead the common term is “personal branding”. That is what you want to find – what do people call what you do and know.
If you want to start a blog, a great way to go is a self-hosted blog. The most recommended place to do this is BlueHost (affiliate link). Next week I will show you how to setup a blog!