Everyone in the world has story to tell and need people to listen to that story. Let’s consider a topic that you love, be it a study subject, sports, music, art or a project you wish to do. How many blogs on this topic do you read on a daily or weekly basis? Do you comment, like and share them in your social circles? You probably also have a favourite platform where you share your story on a regular basis. Do you know how to make it effective and promote yourself and your story to the world?
Gone are the days when people used to meet in person or talk regularly to interact. It is the digital age of online web searches and social networking where the perception of your character or personal brand is based on your online presence. Even in the job market many of the jobs now require digital skills. So make sure you future proof your position with the right digital qualifications.
To expand your knowledge base, it is imperative that you constantly learn. A simple Google search will give you knowledge shared by likeminded people and experts across the globe. There are articles, blogs, forums, podcasts, and online courses – to name just a few resources available to you . Searching for answers to your questions on the internet is easy but finding the right answers takes real knack that can be achieved only through regular practice. This is about the only time that addiction to the internet is a good thing!
Search engines are blessings for getting information, explanatory videos have made the application of information really easy too. YouTube has made information results more visual and engaging. Based on the nature of your question, this answer may change but my first preference for searches is YouTube over Google. The simple reason is that watching and listening is easier than reading content. It’s the second largest search engine in the world and number of YouTube searches are growing exponentially – searches related to “how to” on YouTube are growing 70% year over year! Having said that, I must agree that Google currently has no
alternative when it comes to searching a wide array of sites for real critical topics or questions. Scanning multiple answers and snippets quickly or using Boolean operators to narrow down to a specific topic is easy with web searches. Unlike YouTube, you are also not wasting time watching mandatory advertisements to get to relevant content.
When you find sites sharing great content, then don’t forget to:
- Bookmark the page and share on social media platforms
- Comment on blogs with your perspective
- Subscribe to newsletters
- Like their Facebook or LinkedIn page
- Follow them on Twitter
Yes, some bloggers or websites where you subscribed with your email ID or become a fan or follower, are likely to promote their products or services to you via their newsletters or advertisements. If you think it’s worth buying, go ahead and buy or else ignore those. The benefit here is that sometimes, these companies offer significant discounts to their subscribers via offers and discount coupons. I personally have benefited a lot from these. In the end, what’s important for you is the knowledge they are sharing for free. I personally even like their promotional activities because I learn their innovative ways of advertising and promoting services or products. I learn from that too J. Needless to say, when you think the emails are not worth the trouble of getting spammed, then unsubscribe immediately.
When you think you are equipped with good amount of knowledge in your preferred topic and feel you are ready to share it with the world, I suggest you consider starting a blog.
Blogs are a great way of sharing content and showcasing your skills. Blogs combined with social media sharing of the content helps drive followers and fans of your topics, and generate a good professional digital branding for yourself. As your expertise becomes more well known, it will also drive traffic to your site as a reputable and reliable source of information.
There are two reasons why people keep themselves away from blogging. Firstly, they think they don’t have the expertise in a subject to blog about – but this is a total misconception. Every person has information to share and can be perceived as a subject matter expert whose blogs have the information required. You just have to explore your topics of interest, define your target readers and generate relevant content.
Imagine you are an owner of a technical institute and may not get attention when you start writing about a specialized technical topic. However, you will get attention when you think about the broader topic or even how various specialized topics tie into the larger category. In fact, these topics might interest people who would probably join your institute. For example, overview of a technical course and career trends for those skills in technical industry, etc .
Second reason why people avoid blogging is fear of losing the power of their knowledge – i.e. secrets revealed could mean loss of business. For example, a travel company owner does not blog and share his stories because he thinks that people will directly go on tours instead of choosing his company, but this is not correct. When you share great knowledge, stories and worthwhile thoughts, a prospective customer notices that you have the required skills and understanding to do the work.
Generally speaking, people do not have the time and resources to manage such jobs on their own. For this reason, there is a higher chance for them to consider your services because they feel confidence in your expertise and competence as shared on your blog.
When you start blogging, you can auto-publicize your article with a few lines and a feature image on your Facebook page or Twitter profile, with a link back to your blog. Because your Facebook and Twitter visitors are more volatile as compared to website visitors, they are likely to leave your social media posts when they see some other attraction or advertisement on that media. But clicking the link to your blog post, is likely to generate a longer visit where they can browse to see your passion, content and information without any distractions. This is a better opportunity to convince your visitor about your subject matter expertise.
One last point to clarify is that there is a difference between personal Facebook profiles and a Facebook page. In India, many share their expertise, knowledge, experience or achievements on a personal Facebook profile as they don’t understand the concept of a Facebook page. “Facebook personal profiles are for non-commercial use and represent individual people. One can follow profiles to see public updates from people one is interested in but is not friends with. Pages look similar to personal profiles, but they offer unique tools for businesses, brands and organizations. Pages are created and managed by people who have personal profiles. You can like any Facebook Page to see updates in Your News Feed. Source: Facebook”.
I strongly feel that personal stories and photographs should be shared on facebook profile and professional expertise on facebook page.Your friends and relatives may have very little knowledge or interest in the topics that you post, while people searching for similar information will not be able to see these posts as they are not your “friends” on your Facebook profile. As a digitally savvy professional, I would recommend keeping your professional content separate from your family posts and pictures. You can always invite your friends and relatives (who you think would understand and like your subject matter) to like your Facebook page.
This is the least that one should do in order to keep pace with the world and keep promoting themselves.