Information, thoughts, feelings … we put it all out there for our friends, co-workers, and strangers to see (in some cases). We also share our opinions about specific products, people, articles, videos, and brands. Because the publishing world has been cracked open and made available to everyone, both on a blogging level and a status update level, we can begin to build both our individual reputation and our brand.
Brands used to pay big money for this type of power.
Now it’s free.
Building your brand with the social web isn’t just about attracting as many followers possible … some brands and most celebrities pay money for this, but it’s not powerful … and thus doesn’t cost much money. No. Building your brand with the social web can’t take place until you’re open to getting down in the trenches with your following.
Talk with them, not to them.
Listen and think about what they’re telling you. It matters.
Once you’re at that point, you can start building your brand.
Blog about what they want to read
If you’re writing a blog for readers, then you need to consider what your readers want to read. In a way, you’re a movie director and the only person you should be thinking about the whole time is the person watching your movie. Blog for your reader.
If you’re blogging for yourself, as many bloggers start out doing, then you don’t need to worry about this right now. Sure, it will help you because your readers might appreciate it, but you also risk losing some of your core readership if you begin writing for new visitors. If you have a loyal following, then they’re probably right there with you, learning, and on the same page. You’re leading the way of course, but they’re experiencing much of the same thing … so when you begin to publish content for new visitors, your loyal readers are thrown off. This comes down to a decision you have to make — do you want to attract new followers and provide a well-rounded experincing or do you want to continue forward at your own pace and publish for that group of loyal followers?
Perhaps there’s a happy middle ground?
This kind of brings us to the next point, which is something a lot of bloggers tend to lose when the begin blogging for the reader.
If you’re not yourself, then who are you!?
Too many bloggers try to be someone they’re not. It doesn’t matter if it’s celebrity, pro blogger, or whatever — it’s easy to see through. Be yourself and do your thing … if you’re true to you, then your readers will like you for who you are, not for who you’re trying to be. Be transparent and express yourself.
Acknowledge your readers
Build your brand by thanking or spotlighting your readers. Every appreciates the occasional credit or highlight now and then, but doing this publicly in front of everyone else will strike a chord with not only the reader you’re highlighting, but the rest of your readers as well.
The way you do this is up to you. Brands do this in a variety of different ways, so it’s up to you to come up with the way you’re going to showcase your reader.
It comes down to Word of Mouth
The social web provides everyone the chance to level with friends, strangers, customers, trolls — whoever!
Take advantage of this and always strive to create good word of mouth … people are going to talk, so it might as well be geared toward your favor, right?