This article is contributed by Kathy Jacobs
It can take a lot of time and work to make your message stand out online. You will need to use all of the tools you have to refine your message and stand out from the crowd.
#1 Determine Your Goal
First, clearly define why you want to get your message out. What is it that will drive you to do the hard work to be heard online?
What is motivating you? Are you trying to help people? Do you want to become well-known? Are you trying to grow your business?
You will need to have the motivation and the drive to do the work. Once you define your goal, it will help you to stay motivated.
#2 Refine Your Message
Second, determine what it is you want to say and make it as clear as possible.
You may have a lot to say, but you’ll need to refine it into a single, clear takeaway message that people will easily understand and remember.
Spend a lot of time writing down ideas and thoughts related to your message. Then work on the wording until it is crystal clear and memorable.
Focus on just one thing.
As you craft your message, think about how what you have to say is different than what others are saying.
What is your unique spin on your message? Do you have a specific experience that makes your message unique? What makes you worth listening to?
How do you know if your message works? You can test it out on your friends, your family, coworkers — anyone that will give you honest feedback.
#3 Figure Out Who You Are Talking To
This item goes hand-in-hand with number 2.
You need to clearly identify who it is you want to talk to.
Who can use your message? Whom will it benefit? How will it help them? What do these people do?
While you might think that your message is for everyone, it probably isn’t. There is a very specific group of people who will benefit greatly from what you have to say and they will be eager to hear your message. It will resonate with this group of people, making it much easier for you to connect with them.
You will need to know your audience well before trying to reach them and crafting content that speaks to them. The better you refine your target audience, the more clearly you can speak to them, their needs, their desires, and their goals.
#4 Work on Developing Your ‘Brand’
You and your message will be intertwined online. In a nutshell, you are your message.
What kind of an image do you want to portray? How does it support your message? What parts of your personality can you utilize to help get your message out there?
You can use specific colors, images, and words that all embody your uniqueness that can help spread your message.
By developing a ‘brand’ for yourself and any digital media you produce, you will create a cohesive look and feel that people identify with you and your message.
Use the same style of images, selection of colors and fonts, and other visual tools on everything you produce so that you are presenting the same brand to your audience each time.
#5 Pick Your Platforms
There are a lot of choices for platforms to communicate online, but you probably can’t be on all of them. Actually, you really shouldn’t try to do be on all of them. Choose only the ones that will work best for you and your audience.
When deciding on which platform to use, consider
- where your audience is spending their time,
- where you feel the most comfortable,
- what you have the time for,
- as well as how it fits into your overall communication/marketing plan.
You will want to start small. You can always expand in the future, if you wish to.
In my opinion, it’s worse to try to be on multiple platforms and not be active, then to start on one and really interact with people on that specific channel.
#6 Write for Your Audience
You need to carefully consider your audience to be able to answer these questions:
- What is the best way to reach your audience with your writing?
- Is it by telling stories?
- Is it with a very professional tone or a conversational tone?
- What will best reach your audience and help them to connect with you and your message?
Be sure to consider how your audience speaks when writing titles and headers for your articles. What is the wording they would use to ask a question? What is the term they use to describe something?
Using everyday language instead of acronyms or the terminology used by industry professionals can make your articles easier to find on the internet and more likely to be read and understood.
Practice honing your writing skills as much as possible. There are a lot of helpful resources available online regarding how to write for digital media, but one of the best methods is to practice your writing.
#7 Repurpose Your Content into Multiple Forms
The articles that you write can be turned into a variety of additional materials for online use.
You can create a video, image quotes, white papers, memes all from one article. What media you produce is determined by what will best help you reach your audience and get the message out.
Video is one of the best ways for people to connect with you online. It’s personal, lets your personality shine, and, at least for the moment, stands out on social media.
If you’re comfortable in front of a camera, then get online and talk to your audience about what you wrote. Ask them questions. Answer their questions.
Maybe try doing it all live (though you should practice a bit first).
#8 Reach Out to Your Contacts
You probably already have lots of contacts — people you have worked with, helped out, taught, are friends with etc.
Get in touch with these contacts and tell them what you’re trying to do. Ask them to sign up for your newsletter. Ask them to share your message. Ask them for feedback.
Relationships are so important in every aspect of business. Nurture these contacts and help people out and they will help you out. This is especially true if your message resonates with them.
#9 Find out What Works for You
Try working through these tips and then find other examples of what people are doing. Try some new things. See what resonates with your audience and focus on that.
The things that work for you won’t work for everyone. You have to figure out what you’re comfortable with and what works best.
This article was written for publication on prudencebushnell.com by Kathy Jacobs of Kathy Jacobs Design & Marketing, LLC