Kimberly N. Alleyne
In Part 1 of this series, I wrote about utilizing Twitter, LinkedIn, Shocase and Facebook to define and augment your brand as a thought leader. I added that you can also put your pen to paper in a major way by securing a Huffington Post column (or some other platform that you align with and that has readers who will appreciate your expertise). In Part 2 of this series, I’ll focus on ways to take your brand to new levels with the mighty pen — or keyboard.
1. Blog It
Clearly, I am proponent of blogging. One of the chief reasons I launched kimberlynalleyne.com was to #buildmybrand!. However, branding is not blogging’s only benefit. Blogging is invaluable not only for increasing a brand’s reach and showcasing thought leadership, it is also a great way to increase your knowledge and skill set. I have had to step out of my comfy zone many times since launching my blog. The great thing is I’ve learned more about SEO, html, coding and digital tools like Canva.
Blogging builds discipline, too. It takes discipline to research and read up on topics, and publish consistently.
My blog has opened the door for networking opportunities (an area I need to work on). I have met other communications and PR professionals via my blog. It is always nice to connect with other professionals with whom you can trade ideas, learn from, and support.
No doubt, a blog is a major undertaking, because it takes time to keep it fresh and relevant. Take it seriously but learn and have fun. Choose a platform that works for you (WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger); and make it what you want and produce content that is informative, engaging and helpful. You never know, your dedication may lead to speaking engagements and presentations which I’ll write about in Part 3.
And remember to seek out guest posting opportunities. Guest posting is a smart way to expose yourself to new audiences.
2. Book It
Write a book. Why not? There is no better way to amp your brand as a thought leader than by adding “author” to your credentials. The virtual environment has removed previous barriers that prevented would-be authors from book publishing. The digital economy not only brings access and equity to the publishing world, it provides more avenues such as self-publishing and e-books. I have colleagues who have published five or more e-books. Writing a book can sometimes lead to other opportunities such as media, speaking and even other writing opportunities. You can write a book. Go for it!
3. Write a white paper
Put your deep knowledge in a white paper and then promote it. You can use it as an offer for subscribing to your blog or website. What topic, trend or research can you expound on and add value to your community of peers? Where is there a dearth of data in your field of expertise that you can add value to? Decide what you want to write about it, develop a content plan and a publishing schedule and then stick to it.
4. Build a Website
A blog is one thing, but a website is another. You should have a website to showcase the catalog of your professional experience. Your personality should shine through so customize so that it’s a digital hub that reflects your interests, strengths and talents. If you decided to blog, make it part of your site. You can build your website on the same platforms as you would build a separate blog such as WordPress.com or WordPress.org, or you can have one professionally designed. Buy a domain, and find a hosting service such as Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy or InMotion. You do not need a site with an uber number of pages, but you do need a site to serve as the home of your digital presence, so get going.
If you decided to launch a blog as a feature of your website, you might consider using your site to publish certain type of content such as white papers, commentaries, or analysis, while using your blog for lighter, more engagement-driven content.
Here are two examples of nicely done websites:
*Tip: add testimonials and references from colleagues and clients to your site.
Writing is a wonderful way to promote your knowledge. What would you add to this list? Are you a writer? What platforms are you using to #buildthatbrand!, and position yourself as a thought leader? I enjoy hearing from you, drop me a line!