Important Elements You Have to Consider When Setting Up Your Online Presence

Here is the first of a series of guest posts on this blog! 

Meet Catherine McGuire!

Catherine is a content writer and freelance illustrator. She writes for several blogs on topics such as entrepreneurship, design, and the freelance lifestyle. Her passion is empowering and inspiring other creatives through her articles.

See her website: cmcguireillustrations.com

We would all prefer to… you know… write, instead of spending all day online trying to promote ourselves. But online presence is key to success in any field, and there are several mistakes that can hinder your efforts, dilute your impact, and cause social marketing to monopolise your time. Here are a few tips to be efficient and effective when promoting yourself online.

Be realistic.

If you know you can’t (or won’t) actively manage four social profiles, stick to two or three. The key is to provide good content consistently. Having an account that hasn’t been updated in eight months is just as bad as not having one at all. Visitors might think you aren’t working anymore, that your work wasn’t popular (thus they will decide they aren’t interested, either), or that you aren’t approachable or personable. If you have doubts about how much time and energy you can put into your accounts, start one account at a time to gauge the work and time involved.

Relevance is key.

Take a look at the social profiles of a few authors that you admire and who have a large, engaged following. I am certain they will have profile photos, graphics, and other images that are visually relevant and on-trend. If you need to hire someone to design a logo or take a new headshot for your profile photo, do it. Design and branding are the glue that holds your account together. In addition to having an aesthetic that looks current; you need to offer content that is trending and important. If you write about travel in Italy, visitors to your account want to see recent events, news, and articles about Italy and travel. That brings me to my next point:

Share content from other sources.

It is easy to assume that all you have to do is set up an attractive profile, schedule posts that share a ton of information from your site, and sit back and watch people flock to your account and love all of it. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. As I mentioned in the last point, you need to be sharing important and new content, and a good amount of that content needs to come from other sources. This is effective for a long list of reasons. An individual might follow your account because they see that you post on a topic that interests them and that you share posts from sources they already follow. Once they start enjoying your posts and viewing your account as a great place to find things that they like, they will be more apt to engage with content that you have created. This also helps establish your account as a reliable place to find content in your niche and makes you stand out as an authority on the topics you write about.

Consistency is essential.

Viewers will notice if you take months off at a time. Setting up a content calendar can be really helpful to keep you on track and make sure that you are regularly posting to your accounts. It can be as simple as sitting down at the beginning of every month and writing out a list of articles, images, and other content you want to share. Decide how often you want to post and then fill in your schedule. There are quite a few social media management platforms out there like Buffer and Hootsuite that allow you to upload content for multiple social sites and create a publishing schedule. Both Buffer and Hootsuite offer free plans. They are limited in regards to how many accounts you can link and how many posts you can create, but for many people, the free version is enough. The analytics features included on social media management sites can be very powerful tools. You can see the activity on all of your accounts from one place, which is such a time-saver if you want to aggressively pursue social media marketing and want to easily analyse your traffic and engagement.

There are a lot of great blogs and classes on social media promotion available, and booking a consultation with a marketer or content manager can give you personalized insight into how to engage with your target audience. These are just a few of the elements that go into crafting a marketable online persona, but if you follow these basic guidelines, you will be off to a great start.