Here are 5 steps that will help you boost your online profile in 2020 by creating better and more valuable content so you can get better results.
1. Develop an Ideal Client Profile
This step is about taking the time to really understand the people you wish to influence when you are online. There are often at least two communities my clients serve and I think you’ll find the same relates to you. The first are the potential stakeholders you wish to attract. Some people call this community their target market and develop buyer personas, ideal client profiles or customer avatars. Whatever you’d like to call them, they are people or organisations you’d like to be doing more work with. You need to develop a detailed description of both these ideal clients and the influencers who will refer your services or products to them. The second are your existing connections, colleagues and friends who engage with your content.
2. Consistently Provide Value
While the ultimate goal of spending time online is to achieve your professional goals, we are operating in an environment where your potential client is likely to have a lot of choice, may not want to be sold to and needs to feel like you are for them. Providing value is therefore essential. Also consider your connections and the people who follow you online. They want insights that will help them, not to be sold to. Depending on your industry and service type, it is unlikely a potential client will make the decision to buy your services the first time they encounter you, your team or your organisation. And this is why you need to develop a strategic framework of value adding content that can demonstrate you:
- understand the client’s problems
- can provide solutions for these problems
- are the expert or specialist in your field
- has clients who recommend / endorse you
- can demonstrate values that they are aligned to
You can do this via your website content, value and mission statements, blogs, LinkedIn articles, LinkedIn posts, educational videos, white papers, downloads, case studies and social proof in online ratings and Google reviews or via client testimonials and LinkedIn recommendations.
3. Focus on Your Online Goals
This step helps you focus on what you’re actually trying to achieve. My niece described spending time online like consuming sugar. It’s addictive. The more you can focus on your goals and limit your time online the better! Real relationships rely on an investment in face to face time. Your time online is to enhance and complement this, not replace human connection.
Your two most important online assets are your website and email list because you own them. Social media platforms are renowned for changing algorithms and the rules of engagement. This means as many paths as possible should be leading to your website and email opt-ins and opportunities for people to sign up to value adding newsletters and content that land in their inbox and they look forward to receiving. Email marketing can be an extremely powerful way to drive commercial results if you’ve done the work in step 1 and 2.
Invariably, it’s often not until you’re running or leading an established business that you can afford a digital marketing resource or agency, when you’ve already invested a lot in your website design and are ready to refresh or upgrade your website, that you really appreciate all of the elements required to get results online.
This diagram is how Think Bespoke approaches this journey with our clients. When we provide our Online Assets Assessment Report this encourages our clients to do the necessary work to refresh their website content (and sometimes layout), update their LinkedIn Company page (and sometimes also their team’s LinkedIn profiles) and review their priority social media channels (which often includes analysing their referral traffic via Google analytics). This step ensures they have the foundations that will enable them to maximise their return on investment for their content marketing efforts.
4. Analyse, Test & Measure
This step is about taking a deep dive into your online analytics and understanding the information available to you about your current online performance. Rather than be emotionally invested in your content, I encourage you to be guided by how your community is responding to the information you share online. This is a key step in helping you determine the topics and content types your community wants to hear about in 2020. It may also help you say goodbye to or focus less on some social media platforms if they’re not performing as well as others.
Here are a variety of ways you can analyse your online performance:
- Google Analytics – see where your website traffic is coming from
- LinkedIn – Profile Private Dashboard, Social Selling Index and Company Page Analytics.
- Twitter – Twitter analytics which can be accessed for your account when you are logged in to your Twitter account
- Instagram Profile analytics (business profiles only).
- Facebook – Page Insights.
- Mailchimp – click through rates from newsletter campaigns.
5. Have a Plan & Be Consistent
If you have followed steps 1-4, then you are well on your way to understanding how you can boost your online presence in 2020. Information is power and taking the time to review your analytics, which can tell you so much about the type of content your community is enjoying and responding to, will help you improve your content focus and results. But you now need to refresh your plan and then stick to it!
Whenever I review my analytics and refresh our content, I put aside at least 4-6 hours. I then use our content planners and map the focus and content plan for the next 3 months. There are a variety of social media scheduling tools you can use to help keep you consistent, and they work best when you have a library of value adding content. I use resources such as our LinkedIn tips, branded quotes, client testimonials and this regular blog as the cornerstone of how I show up online. I also sprinkle in the articles I read over the month and post in real time when there is something relevant to share.
Potential Goals to Boost Your Online Profile in 2020
Now is the time to explore the ways you can play a bigger game online and boost your online profile in 2020. As a thought partner for many subject matter experts I’m always keen to stay focussed on the outcomes we’re trying to achieve and the results we expect as a result of spending more time online to attract, acquire and engage the communities you serve or wish to influence. Here are some examples of the types of goals my clients are focusing on for the year ahead:
- Review and improve my website and social media accounts
- Raise my profile as a Thought Leader
- Decide my priority social media platform, delete a social media platform or spend more time on LinkedIn
- Develop a more strategic content plan and be more disciplined with social media and LinkedIn time
- Update website and social media photography
- Outsource social media management and blog writing
- Develop a video strategy and set up a YouTube channel
- Start a blog or publish articles more regularly from my blog
- Start a podcast or be invited to speak on other’s podcast shows
- Start delivering online seminars or events or start #IRL (in real life) events
I encourage you to take some time over the next few weeks to consider these 5 steps to help you develop a stronger plan to boost your online profile in 2020.
As one of Asia Pacific’s Top 10 LinkedIn Experts I share fortnightly news with my global email community and run monthly online Lunch and Learns to teach professionals how to unlock LinkedIn. Sign up to my newsletter to help you learn LinkedIn – the right way!