Every professional “…should be delighted to hear…that the old-fashioned concept of SEO is deader than last week’s sandwich.” In fact, the “bullhorn of radio, television, print and other one-way interruptive marketing approaches are quickly losing efficacy” and that’s an opportunity for you. Today’s marketing is much more “ambiguous, subtle, and not nearly as heavy-handed as it has been in the past.”
So, how do you get noticed in this shifting landscape?
Publish content that connects with your target audience.
That comes from a HBR Blog Network post entitled, Research: The Emotions that Make Marketing Campaigns Go Viral. In that post, Kelsey Libert and Kristin Tynski point out that:
…[T]here is ample opportunity for those who understand that engaging with audience means touching their hearts and contributing tangibly to their world.
Google pretty much pounded the crap out of keyword stuffing and other absurdities with the search algorithm changes it’s made over the last couple of years.
Sorry, SEO snake oil salesman.
Being “authentic” is about you driving your agenda in ways that demonstrate passion and authority. Your intellect is a balance of pragmatic know-how, wisdom, experience, personality and heart that is unique to you and that’s engaging.
Ghost writers can’t reveal the soul of an expert.
Don’t chase every social media tool or channel. Instead, commit to a social media strategy that’s comfortable for you.
If you want to build enduring online visibility then keep these three points in mind:
1. Writing is the best way to demonstrate expertise on the web (not gaming Google)
Dorie Clark is a regular contributor to Forbes and HBR for a reason. She believes that If You’re Serious About Ideas, Get Serious About Blogging. In Dorie’s words:
[F]or organizations and individuals that want to be known for their ideas, the clearest — yet most underrated — path is through blogging.
Paul Gillin, a social media advisor, author and trainer — comes to the same conclusion in B2B Social Media Marketing: Blogs Top Route, Online Communities Work by CMSWire‘s Dom Nicastro:
Blogs have “search stickiness and capacity to support long-form content. A weakness of social networks? Activity tends to dry up within a few days — whereas traffic to a blog post may be brisk for a year or more.”
2. A blog is just a tool — the “author” driving the blog makes the difference
Hear artist, cartoonist and author, Hugh MacLeod roar:
Blogging requires passion and authority, which leaves most people out.
Be giddy about that. Be happy that that blogging isn’t easy. That’s what you want. Not every professional is created equal. Some are more motivated. Some are more lazy.
The blogosphere is for the land of the highly motivated. And, the spoils — interconnections and connected communities — go to those authors who proactively build their “own” social networks. So, a blog — done right — sets your tone online becoming your competitive weapon and barrier to baffoons.
3. Practice a “give-to-get” ethos — show that you care
For Gillin, “success with any form of social media requires sharing expertise and helping people.” He calls this “give-to-get” and he counsels that you need to be “ready to share, respond and accept feedback’ or you will “have little success.” Think about it this way:
Content is king: it is the gasoline, social is the fire. I’ve got to have content to start the fire. —Michael Krigsman
So, throw some blog gasoline on your social fire…
Here are three “give-to-get” examples ripped from pages of LXBN:
- “Yes, It’s Legal.” But Is It a Good Idea? by Daniel Schwartz: this post balances what’s legal from an HR standpoint: “Just because it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for an employer to do.”
- “New” Mental Disorders Linked to Internet Use by Joe Bahgat: this post makes you wonder how some psychiatric medical book could possibly have anything to do with law or the Internet.
- Competing In The China Market by Dan Harris: this post features another author’s article on China’s truck industry that applies with equal force to competing in the China market as a whole.
These authors are having fun. They’re conversational. It’s okay to be YOU online. It’s fine to blend your personal and your professional. Less than perfect works for a blog post.
And, if you’re not a blogger, there is no good time to start — so start.
Like or not, a blog is a critical tool for establishing your online persona. Be forewarned: if you don’t own your niche online, someone else will.
Are you leveraging and repurposing your written work online? Why not? What social media channels do you use? Do you understand why writing/blogging is the best way to demonstrate your expertise on the web?
The title for this post, Where There is Ink, There is Envy, was borrowed from by Casey N. Cep‘s essay entitled, A Little Society that I found on the Poetry Foundation website. An engaging blog will inspire the envy of your colleagues et al. Thanks, Casey, for that great line. The credit is yours and yours alone.
- The Strength of Weak Ties in Social Networking: Seek to be Worth Knowing
- In Business Development — Who Knows What You Know — Is a Big Deal
- Word-of-Mouth Referrals and Content Marketing are Inextricably Linked