All Articles Tagged "online branding"
By Andrea Williams
Everybody you know has a blog: your girlfriend who styles your hair every Thursday, your niece who’s only in the tenth grade and even her third period math teacher. But back in 2006, when Patrice Yursik first took to the web with her online journal of sorts, blogging wasn’t exactly tres chic.
The former journalist was encouraged by an internet-savvy friend to share her opinions with the world, and he prodded her to come up with an under-the-radar topic that would attract eager readers. Her short list? Natural hair tips and trends, makeup for black women and plus-sized beauty. She purchased her domain name on August 13; two days later she published her first post.
Now Yursik is more commonly known as Afrobella – the super fly chick with the super fly natural and one of the web’s top beauty blogs, black or otherwise. She flits about the country on one exciting assignment after another – interviewing celebs on the Academy Awards red carpet, working with chemists to perfect her very own MAC Lipglass shade – all the while keeping her 32,000-plus Twitter followers abreast of the latest and greatest in natural beauty and fashion.
Yursik has come a long way from her days as the calendar editor of a Miami newspaper, but she credits that real-life journalistic experience as the training ground for her blog.
“The challenge was that it was a weekly newspaper, and you just had to write as much as you can, and edit as much as you can and turn in perfect copy every week,” she says. “So it was a good preparation for building my own blog. It showed me that I can write a variety of different topics and interview anybody.”
Unfortunately, while the position helped her develop the chops she would need to consistently churn out creative, reader-friendly content for Afrobella.com, it also proved to be the catalyst that forced her to commit to her budding brand full-time.
While she was working, Yursik was able to juggle her online duties with her daily 9-5 responsibilities, jetting off to record segments for NPR’s News and Notes Blogger’s Roundtable on her lunch break and posting to her site in the evenings. Everything was smooth sailing until she was offered the opportunity of a lifetime to attend an event in D.C. held in honor of Barak Obama’s Presidential Inauguration.
From the professionals looking to solidify entrepreneurial or consultant ventures to those who want to distinguish themselves in the job pool, online branding is the perfect venue for you. Fast Company reports that this year, smart social networking is essential to gaining control over your professional life. As you undertake a new online strategy, there are five key steps that you must fulfill effectively to reach your personal online branding success.
As important as it is to incorporate Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn into your personal brand, make sure you have your own personal website as your base. Your website doesn’t have to be extravagant, it can be a simple page created on Squarespace, webs.com or WordPress. Make sure to use a real professional headshot on your site to give make it stand out. Once you’ve established your website, don’t forget to use social media tools to drive traffic to your site to get people interested in what you are doing or hope to do.
The next step is to blog! While you don’t have to create a deeply introspective blog with posts every few hours or every day, a blog with a post a week that includes simple text and a bit of multimedia can make a difference. You can then use the blog to drive traffic back to your website.
Once you’ve got your website and blog established, never underestimate the power of 140 characters. One bad Twitter status can ruin your reputation or a potential job opportunity. Make sure you keep your most outrageous comments to yourself and double check your wording before sending your thoughts into the universe.
Although it’s not necessary to jump on every social media platform as soon as they come out, pick a few new platforms to boost your personal brand. For instance, Fast Company observes that Google+ is a great way to build your personal brand and so it the app Path, which allows you to network with people on a professional level. One quick thing to note about Path: you’re only allowed 150 friends, so choose wisely!
The last piece of advice is to network, network, network!!!! Networking is a never ending process so to continue to expand into the online realm, try to find new people to connect with or follow every day. Make sure you actively engage with your followers and friends by saying hello and responding to posts and messages.
(Media Post) — Can you imagine witnessing the evolution of the universe from its earliest beginning? Imagine small, unrelated bits resolving slowly to form recognizable patterns. Like the hot, dense state that characterized the Big Bang, the evolution of online branding has been fueled by its own explosion of transformational technology (and yes, “black hole” is a fitting term for the recession). This is both a scary and exciting time for our industry, and I believe that leading brands — big brands, to be specific — are showing us the way forward.