Trying to make a name for yourself?
Yep, most of us are. That’s why we roam the Internet, visiting blog after blog, signing up to mailing lists, for webinars, tutorials, and otherwise investing in our freelancing careers.
We ask ourselves questions like: How can I reach a wider audience? How can I prove that I’m the expert my client needs? How can I become a recognizable face in my field?
One word: consistency.
Consistency in quality, content and image can get you more results with your marketing efforts than you think.
Speaking of becoming a recognizable face, let’s start with…
If you want to make a name for yourself, you first have to make a face for yourself.
Did you know more people recognize a face than a name? You can test this theory by simply trying to remember the names of people you’ve recently met.
Try it with online contacts from Facebook, Twitter or some other social networking site. You remember the woman who always RTs your tweets. Her profile pic displays her short, dark hair and her bright brown eyes behind thick-rimmed glasses, but what was her name?
Your image not only represents who you are as a whole, it also helps you stay memorable. This is why keeping your image consistent is an essential part of your marketing.
Keep these things in mind:
- Use the same bio pic on all of your social media sites, websites, blogs and forums.
It may show variety to have several different pictures of yourself online, but adding too many pics or changing it too often will risk you not being recognized.
- Change it every year or so.
You don’t have to use the same bio pic forever. As the years pass you should update your pic. Especially if you attend conferences, hold Skype sessions, or have face-to-face meetings of any kind. Because we now recognize your photo, imagine the surprise if we meet face-to-face and you look nothing like the pic you’ve plastered all over the Net.
- A head shot is always best.
A simple face shot with a pleasant smile plastered on it will do wonders for your image. You want to portray how friendly, professional, and gorgeous you are at every chance you get. (The gorgeous part was a joke, but … come on, there’s a lot of beautiful bloggers out there. I’m sure being handsome won’t hurt your credibility.)
- Keep it professional.
Bio pics with your band, in a bikini, or flipping the bird to the camera? Not necessarily the image you want to speak for your professionalism. That means leave your pet snake, your new car, and the big-breasted hottie out of your pic.
- Logos, icons, and images are okay to use… sometimes.
If you’re consistent and your audience easily recognizes your brand because of your logo, great. Otherwise, I would stick to using a face shot. You’re a real person: you don’t represent a team, you speak for yourself, a PR rep does not answer your emails or Tweet on your behalf. So remind people you’re independent by letting them see your gorgeous face.
- Register and update your Gravatar (Globally Recognized Avatar).
Display your pic with your blog comments on any Gravatar-enabled site by linking a Gravatar to your email address. Your comments might make people take notice of you, and your photo will help you stick in their memory. [Here's the link to set up your Gravatar.]
This is why your published clips, writing samples, and portfolios are important. To maintain a solid track record,
- Make sure what you produce is great every time.
If you usually conduct thorough research, or include detailed charts, or interview credible sources, why stop now? Clients and readers will expect that quality from your work every time. So deliver.
- Write well whenever you write.
Keep your writing quality high by writing your very best even in blog comments, emails, or on social media. Be it fair or not, people judge you on your writing skills. In a poll, I asked readers if they judge an author’s credibility by their content or their writing skills. Seventy-eight percent voted that both, content and writing skills, are important in determining an expert’s credibility.
- Don’t be afraid to switch it up.
If what you usually do is no longer giving you the results, response, or reach you want, experiment until you find something that works and stick to it. Stick to it until you become so good you automatically improve and adjust without even realizing it.
If you produce a lot of quality content regularly, continue producing quality content regularly. If you usually publish one great blog post a month, continue to make it well worth the wait. Be consistent with your productivity—or improve it—and stick with the new regimen.
- Stick to your schedule.
Make an editorial calendar to help you keep track of your plans.
- Schedule blog posts.
The popular blog publishing service providers, including WordPress and Blogger, have a “schedule post” option. Use it! Spend a weekend writing several blog posts and then schedule them to go live days, weeks or months in advance.
- Continue to meet or exceed expectations.
Rarely do people complain when someone improves, delivers ahead of time, or produces more quality content. If it’s good, it’s wanted and it’s appreciated.
- Don’t be afraid to try different things until you find what works for you.
We all have different goals and approaches. So what works for one blogger may not work for another. The trick is not to fear change or experimentation, but make it work for you.
There you have it: how consistency with image, quality and content can help your marketing efforts. Which one’s helped you the most in your career?