Content marketing has always been a great way to build links for improving search rankings and overall site traffic. However, most SEO professionals engage in their content marketing strategy with one goal: to build inbound links. While inbound links are great, pursuing this strategy without a higher goal will cause you to leave money and opportunities on the table.
Even if you work in a large company, personal branding is still crucial to building a presence in the industry. This not only benefits the company, but also the individual. A great personal brand can lead to a wealth of new opportunities stretching far beyond existing options.
Great personal branding has helped experts like Neil Patel, Seth Godin, Brian Clark, and Chris Guillebeau. These experts built a personal brand alongside their existing business endeavors to make themselves a concrete resource for originality, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
These innovators built their personal brands by working hard to write great content on a regular basis that demonstrates and shares their knowledge. Each has a blog that is updated regularly and fosters an active online community full of discussion and social sharing.
The most important lesson to take from this is that even though they are great content creators, their posts aren’t written to get links, but to share knowledge. When companies and writers understand this should be the purpose of content generation, great exposure and personal branding is generated naturally.
Build a Reputation
Great content that wins the hearts of readers builds a positive reputation. Insightful content that drives controversy, elaborates on ideas, solves problems or teaches valuable skills strengthens credentials and fuels the image of being an expert in the industry. This “expert” status is what opens the doors to new opportunities such as guest posting invitations, speaking gigs, high-value consulting contracts, and more.
Besides blog posts, reputation also comes from sharing content in a variety of different ways: podcasts, speaking engagements, video blogs, and social media. The more you’re able to have a presence on (and do it well), the greater and faster your reputation will grow.
Many who have a strong personal brand find that recommendations and referrals come from people they don’t know personally, but who have read their content and come to recognize them as an expert in their field.
This can be done by creating content people want to read because it serves a purpose. If a reader can’t finish the article without learning at least one new piece of actionable information or insight, then the article is going is not going to contribute toward building your personal brand.
Readers feel a personal connection to posts from authors they read regularly, and this benefits those wanting to grow their online presence. Through online discussion via comments and emails, you can develop strong relationships, which often result in actual business opportunities.
Once you’ve successfully established yourself as an expert in your field, you’ll start receiving business opportunities in all different forms, from job interview requests to radio interviews. Personal brand building should be an ongoing process, so take advantage of as many interesting opportunities as possible; this will accelerate the growth of your personal brand while helping to build new relationships.
Most business from content marketing stems from companies wanting to capitalize on the knowledge shown in the content itself. For instance, a social media analyst that writes an in-depth article about using social media to increase e-commerce sales may hear from a company that is looking to do that very thing.
Always write about what you’re good at. For instance, if a social media analyst wants more clients that need help with marketing on Pinterest, then it would benefit him or her to write an e-book on Pinterest marketing.
Or, if a copywriter wants to travel abroad, writing guides for various countries will put him or her on the right track to meet people that are interested in helping others travel or know of ways to help them get started. Publishing online content helps individuals get into the industry that they want to flourish in. It attracts others in the industry and will provide them with the best resources to further their career.
Build the Future
Utilizing relationships and existing content to further your career and business can lead to great, new opportunities. For instance, many bloggers have gotten book deals based on their blogs alone, and published white papers have turned into speaking engagements or private workshops for many large companies.
Many professionals believe that they need to get the education or experience first to be seen as an expert in their field. However, when it comes to the Internet, generating great online content is now seen as one of the best indicators of your knowledge and expertise. Because amazing content often comes in the form of answering the questions other people are asking, it’s important to first identify your passion, or else it’ll be hard to keep up with the industry as it evolves.
By providing answers to what potential clients are looking for online, you’ll not only create value that makes the world a better place, you’ll also establish your personal brand, leading to a wealth of new opportunities. So, from now on, don’t think about building links with your content strategy. Think about building relationships by providing real value, building your personal brand, and establishing yourself as a niche authority.