Photo by: Dreamscape Photographs
If you’ve ever wanted a balanced, structured outline on taking your blog to another level, this post may be for you. Building a better blog doesn’t happen overnight. I recommend 31 Days BBB, especially to those new bloggers and folks that need structure and community support to get going in the right direction.
31 Days to Building a Better Blog (BBB) was a smashing success. A thorough month of practical blogging tips, plenty of takeaways (intended to become part of your daily routine) and measurable results. Completing the remaining steps is on my “to do list” while school continues to zap my mind and time. Learning another language is both demanding and exciting.
In between classes, driving and while even running, I try to think of topics to write on and bloggers to dialogue with (directly and indirectly). I find ideas by listening (and reading) to the questions people ask and topics they discuss at coffee shops, on Twitter or even in blog comment sections. Why? We have to know the questions before we can present a possible answer; look to answer their questions, if you’re still struggling with this task, try to recall and record your questions and hardships when you first started blogging, freelancing and using social media tools. This should give you fresh ideas to write about. Always be aware of your surroundings. A rule I live by.
In this post/review, my aim is to help you realize the effectiveness and potential of personal branding, which should be yours to dictate. Create your image/brand by being intentional and conscious of others, including yourself.
Be valuable to one person at a time. Chances are, more people are asking the same questions.
Review of Rockable: Personal Branding by Skellie
What is personal branding? According to a report, “Personal branding isn’t very different than product branding, except that the entity
being branded is you.”1 It’s a process whereby people and careers are marked as brands.2
The Rockable Personal Branding ebook is free, so go grab a copy.
The ebook opens with a helpful intro on “personal branding” for those new to the topic. The next section, titled “positioning yourself” touches on:
- Whether your a generalists or specialists?
- Realizing that your brand is expressed in your output
- Defines USP (unique selling proposition)
Read the following posts by Skellie as followup: [here]
Chapter 2 [Building Your Reputation]
Be good at what you say you’re good at. Then make people think you’re even better.”
How do you build your reputation? Perception is critical to personal branding. If you’ve branded (presented) yourself as a fitness instructor or experienced writer, it’s not good if your actions (output) contradict that. This section offers tips on how to become an expert:
- Getting published
- Running a blog
- Joining trade associations
- Sharing your work related experiences
For me, getting a formal education was and still is essential. Getting involved with certain associations requires at least a masters degree. Growth comes through challenging yourself, remain teachable. When you’re willing to learn, it only adds to your tool belt, which adds creditability and value to your brand. Remember, these may be skills you expect to earn an income from. Getting the job means beating out the next guy by making yourself more marketable.
Don’t believe me? ask anyone that’s ever been through a series of interviews. Enhancing your image doesn’t only occur through the stories you tell but with the skill sets and tools you possess. Let’s move on.
Crafting Your Elevator Pitch
If interested read Day 1 of 31 days to BBB, there’s write up on how to write an elevator pitch.
It describes who you are, what you do
and how you can help.”3
Notable tips for this section:
- Focus on a few central points
- No longer than 30 seconds
- NO sales pitches
Here’s what bothers me about sales pitches and self proclaimed experts: if you have to say you’re an expert, professional or anything like that, chances are- you’re not. Let your work speak for itself. There’s nothing wrong with telling clients what you do but if you’re trying to0 hard, it shows. Let the proof be in the pudding as they say.
Another thing that disturbs me is those overdone Twitter backgrounds? Disgusting, I don’t know about you but it turns me off and makes me think this person is just about throwing a sales pitch at me (via DM).
Another turn off, those landing pages that just about tell you the world will end if you don’t sign up for their training or buy this once in the lifetime product.
More of crafting your elevator pitch
Your elevator pitch should answer these four questions:4
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- What makes you unique?
- Why should I care?
Skellie gives a helpful example and then explains her work and reasons for writing what she did. Please take the time to read it.
Leveraging Blogging for Branding
Updating a blog where your name is mentioned and doing it often should allow you to rank
#1 in searches for your name, even if you only update with one small post once a month.”5
Search your name in Google, setup up a Google profile while you’re at it. I’d also set up Google alerts for both your domain(s) and name. Keep an eye on your rep, content and so on.
Other points include:
- Blogs give you the opportunity to build creditability
- Blogs can serve as a portfolio
- Successful blogs can lead to book deals or beneficial relationships
- Blog readers could be clients
Personal branding for bloggers closes chapter 4 with ways to leverage (make the most of) your about page, blogging topics, including guest posting and comments.
- Your interaction with readers (or lack of it).
- Comments left on other sites.
A word of caution, building relationships with old friends and connecting with new bloggers/clients/readers is vital but “You need to spend as much time creating your ’stuff’ (whether that’s blog posts, videos or artwork) as you do building relationships.”6
Perfecting the Package & Final Thoughts
In the context of personal branding, your packaging refers to the material and visual elements people associate with you:
business cards, photos, email signatures, logos, the way you dress, the way your website
is designed, and so on.”7
Read and apply the principles learned in Rockable Personal Branding. I hope you find it as helpful as I did. Personal Branding Ebook isn’t for those wanting a fixed formula for overnight success. The suggestions, tips and ideas therein, require a strong work ethic and consistent training for the purpose of achieving whatever your goals are. Skellie is excellent at offering practical and measurable steps. This ebook isn’t fluff in content nor unrealistic in its approach, you’ll find it to be quite resourceful.
The only downside: you have to put in the work!
Don’t read for the sake of reading, don’t dive into a book and leave it without allowing it to resonate with you. I’ve seen college students fall victim to this- the material just never really settled in. Get the most out of whatever you read by becoming an active reader. You might also want to improve your reading speed: See this article (a lot of helpful tips) and check out Zap Reader (Free online resource).
Tips I Use:
- Keep notes as you read
- Never read without a pen
- Stop to review long paragraphs or complex concepts
- Don’t be lazy or afraid to look up words
Thanks for reading! I know this is one of my longer articles. My aim was to give preview and review of the material. Lastly, this completes Day 28 of 31 of BBB Series!
- see page 5 [↩]
- see Wiki [↩]
- Rockable ebook, page 16 [↩]
- see page 16 [↩]
- see page 19 [↩]
- see WikiHow- Personal Branding [↩]
- see page 22 [↩]
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