How To Write a Blog Like A Professional (Even if you are a beginner)

How To Write a Blog Like A Professional (Even if you are a beginner)

how to write a blog

If you ask me “Is it difficult to write a blog?”

I won’t be able to give a yes or no answer.

I will say it depends.

It depends on what you want to achieve by writing a blog. It depends on how much time and research you want to invest in developing it.

If your only goal is to post a 500-word article on your website 4 times a week without much thought into the depth of the blog, it’s pretty easy.

But, if your goal is to..

  • Educate your audience
  • Solve a specific problem of customers
  • Help people understand a complex topic
  • Help visitors make a decision
  • Give an in depth review of a tool/book/etc

It’s a completely different scenario

In either of the above cases, you will need to first understand the topic in depth. Then provide elaborate information that makes it worth reading. A writing style with personality is an added bonus.

This process can take a couple of days, weeks, or even months. The more amount of time you dedicate to research and write, the better it’s going to be.

It’s when you write well-researched, valuable information in an interesting way, people will enjoy reading & search engines will reward you with more visitors.

Google has stressed the importance of high-quality content multiple times.

In this blog, I will share with you “How to write a blog post” in 10 simple steps. You may be a beginner or you may have never written a blog, this guide will show you the tiny details you need to focus on that will make your blog outstanding.

Let’s dive in. 

Step 1- Choose a topic

Topic selection is crucial. You want to write a blog your audience will enjoy reading.

Before you open your word document and start typing, you need to think and clear your thoughts on

  • Do you know enough about the topic
  • Have you used/experienced the product or service personally
  • What is your opinion on the topic
  • How much time do you want to invest in research
  • Decide the length of your article

I personally recommend you write on topics you have command, done enough research or have personal experience.

The internet is filled with blogs. Chances are, more than 1000 people have written on the same topic you are writing about. How are you going to be unique and why should people prefer to read your blog?

Well, it depends on a number of factors. But, it begins with choosing a topic you are confident about.

Step 2- Research

Once you finalize the topic, dedicate yourself to discover and learn more about the subject. You may already have fair knowledge, but it’s always wise to check out the latest developments.

Research for writing a blog doesn’t mean you do a Google search on the topic, read two articles and start writing.

Successful bloggers have a very strategic approach to dig deeper into a subject. If you don’t have a plan you might get lost in the web of information and lose precious time.

Here are some best practices you can follow

  • Read most popular articles on the topic
  • Identify influencers in your industry and know their opinion
  • Find out statistics on the subject to back your opinion
  • Read reports written by thought leaders
  • Read a book on the topic

Decide the amount of time you want to spend on doing each of the above activities. An organized approach to your homework will help you write effectively.

Step 3- Create an Outline

Crafting a perfect blog is no less than preparing for an attack on enemy. Without a master plan you will get confused, trapped in opponents plot and loose the battle.

But who is the enemy when you want to write a blog?

The enemy is your random thoughts, abundant information and eagerness to publish as quickly as possible.

It’s important that you know exactly what you want to say in which section of the blog. You need not prepare a script, but you should have a rough sketch or flowchart.

Here’s an interesting fact: 80% of people do not read the entire blog, they just glance through the headlines. To help every kind of visitor get value you have to deliver your thoughts in a very structured way.

A basic outline of your blog will look like this

  • Headline
  • Sub headline
  • Introduction
  • Content in every section
  • Conclusion

The goal of creating an outline before you start writing is to help you stay focussed. So that you know the things you should include and exclude.

Step 4- Write a Headline

Think of headline as banner outside a restaurant. A display of the delicious food inside, an honest attempt to lure visitors to choose your food compared to the other options.

Headline of your blog does the job of a good banner. You need to present your idea in unique way that looks attractive and catchy but not desperate.

Don’t over sell; stay practical with your promise. Focus on fulfilling dreams, wish and desire of customers. You can also show an interesting data to make your point.

Step 5- Compose an Introduction

Yes. You need to compose a killer introduction that captivates your readers.

The introduction is important because it sets the tone for the rest of the article and tells the readers what they can expect in detail.

One of the blunders, people do while writing a blog is by writing the introduction after completing the post. That’s a huge mistake unless you are writing a textbook for academic purposes.

Here are few popular templates you can follow to start your blog with a bang

  • Ask a question
  • Narrative style storytelling
  • Use a quote
  • Interesting fact/data
  • Anecdote

Step 6- Create the first draft

Now let your thoughts flow and record with words.

Instead of trying to be perfect, document your idea with its flaws. The first draft is meant to be filled with mistakes. Add easy to implement advice in your list and target emotions.

Remember to continuously encourage and motivate your readers so that they feel connected.

After you complete writing, read again to cross check the facts and information you just provided to your audience.

Step 7- Ending

Close strong. Make the ending powerful by motivating your audience.

Thank them for the attention, tell them that they have consumed great knowledge and deserve a pat on the back.

Then Make them believe of their capabilities. Encourage them to take action and make life better.

Step 8- Edit

“Kill the darlings” – Stephen King

Editing is the most understated part of blogging and editors the unsung hero.

Self-editing has its own limits. By the time you complete writing a blog, you will be too close to find out errors, mistakes you have made.

All great posts are edited multiple times by professionals before getting published. If you cannot afford an editor, get it proof read by friends and colleagues.

If you are doing it by yourself, here are some tips

  • Use short sentences
  • Divide your thought into paragraphs
  • Use Grammarly to correct common grammatical errors
  • Avoid passive voice
  • Use action verbs

Step 9- Add Images, Quotes and Info graphic

Research has shown that people respond more quickly to visuals.

An appropriate image that either highlights a point or supports an emotion in the content increases the overall appeal of your blog. Similarly relevant quote or info graphic dazzles up the presentation.

If you are talking about a complex subject or suggesting a radical change to your readers, follow it up with a light joke, funny gify or meme. This will create a rhythm and they won’t get bored while reading your blog.

Tweak the pattern to create your own style or as per the need of content. The goal is to hold the attention of visitors and enhance the reading experience.

Step 10- Call to Action

After you complete the blog, ask your audience to take action. It can be a sign-up form for a newsletter or a guidebook. You can also motivate them to read more or solve the problem you talked about in the bog.

A great blog builds the platform for a CTA at the end that you need to leverage. Your readers might feel lost at the end if you do not ask them to do something.

The best CTA ideas include the following

  • Newsletter sign up request
  • Download a guidebook
  • A video tutorial course
  • Links for further reading

To write an outstanding blog post, you need to build your knowledge and write from the heart. The best blogs are able to connect with the audience at a personal level.

Written By Surojit Mahato

Written By Surojit Mahato

Surojit is a writer, marketer, and a storyteller. A renowned digital marketing professional, trainer and a speaker at industry events and colleges. Co-Founder of GrowthDish and author of 27+ business case studies published and sold globally.

My Story of How I Used LinkedIn to Find a Job & High Paying Freelance/Consultancy Clients (With ZERO Investment)

My Story of How I Used LinkedIn to Find a Job & High Paying Freelance/Consultancy Clients (With ZERO Investment)

How to use LinkedIn To Find A Job

In January 2019, I received more than 60 messages on LinkedIn from recruiters/CEOs/Managers of companies inviting me for an interview.

During the same time, around 37 clients approached to hire me as a freelancer/consultant.

That number is increasing every month and I have stopped keeping a count.

Why do recruiters and clients reach out to me even when I am not looking for a job change or a client?

How did this happen?

What exactly did I do for this?

I know you want the answers right now and without reading any further.

But, I can’t answer that question in one word or a single sentence.

Instead, I will share with you my journey on LinkedIn from the beginning. 

I am confident, if you follow the steps, you can achieve similar results.

So, here’s my story.

I started using LinkedIn in 2014.

I had just passed out of college and had a lot of time to kill.

If you are thinking I was super active on LinkedIn from day one, and I got a job offer the next day I created an account, you are wrong.

I wasn’t active on LinkedIn for two years.

Just like millions of others, I had no idea LinkedIn is an amazing platform to

  • Connect with CEO/HR/Managers of companies
  • Grow your network with professionals in the industry
  • Find a job
  • Find a business lead
  • Find freelance/consultancy projects
  • Build your personal brand

In 2016, when I wanted to change my job and switch career form research to marketing, I wanted to talk to people from the industry.

I wanted to know

  • How can I get a job in marketing without relevant experience
  • Which skills are needed?
  • How should I build my Resume?
  • How to convince the interviewer?
  • How to find a job?

I had endless questions and no answers.

I was stuck in a job I was no more interested and I desperately wanted to change.

I spent sleepless nights thinking, “Is there a way?”

One day while scrolling on LinkedIn, I read a post which said

“LinkedIn is probably the only platform where you can connect with the CEO, Manager, and HR of a company, and send a direct message.

If you construct your message intelligently, you will get a response.

If you want to grow in your career/business spend more time on LinkedIn than Facebook.”

The idea was simple and powerful. I thought about it for days and I felt hopeful.

The first thing I did was prepare a template message and sent it to 50 people in senior positions in the companies I wanted to get into.

3 to 5 people wrote back. They answered all my questions.

I was surprised.

That information changed my career.

I spent more time on LinkedIn, read articles, watched videos, followed influencers to understand how to find a job on LinkedIn.

I got interested, and I went a step beyond to build my personal brand on LinkedIn.

It took time (a couple of months). I built my network, worked on a profile and shared content without any hope.

I must say it’s tough in the beginning. 

But, everything changed when a recruiter directly approached me for a job opportunity.

I went for the interview. I didn’t accept the offer for personal reasons. 

However, in the process, I realized LinkedIn was powerful.

Today, I will share with you my journey of how I found a job on LinkedIn step-by-step.

It’s going to be lengthy, so get yourself a cup of coffee and curl up on your comfy sofa.

Feel free to bookmark for reading later. I do that a lot. I have separate folders of bookmarks.

Let’s begin.

Step 1: Build a Stunning Profile

Yes. You need to build a profile that’s impressive, relevant and interesting.

Every section of your profile matters.

If you are not aware, your LinkedIn profile has the following sections.

  • Cover Image
  • Profile picture
  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • License & Certifications
  • Skills & Endorsements
  • Recommendations
  • Accomplishments

Add details to every section. Give your visitor a chance to spend time on your page.

Here’s a list of top 5 things people usually notice in your profile.

Cover image

It sets the tone of your profile. If you have spoken in a seminar you can add an image showcasing the event. Alternatively, you can add content to highlight your services, expertise and communicate to your target audience in a single sentence. Feel free to be creative and experiment with the cover image content and design. 

And if you are an amateur designer just like me, tools like Canva make you look like a great designer. You will find multiple templates to play around and create an impressive design.

Headline

Utilize this space intelligently and mention exactly what you do. If you are a freelancer, be very clear about it. Add your expertise in related fields to make it look complete. That gives you a broader scope of connecting with people from related fields. 

Summary

This is probably the most important part of your profile. You get solid 2000 characters to communicate your story, highlight your expertise and convince your target audience.

Make sure you write is like a story and grab attention from the first sentence.

This topic is so vast, I can hardly convey my thoughts in this blog. I wrote a separate article on how to write an impressive LinkedIn summary, you can have a look.

Remember, you need not repeat things already mentioned in other parts of your profile. Use every word to tell your story beautifully.

It might take a couple of days to write a good story.

Take professional help if needed. Add links of your website, image, YouTube channel or Resume at the end to build authenticity.

Job Description of previous roles 

I have often seen people take this lightly and ignore it. Trust me, when a potential client or recruiter visits your profile, they are going to read everything you have. So, why waste any opportunity to impress?

The overall score of your LinkedIn profile depends heavily on how effectively you have utilized every section of your profile.

Recommendations 

When you are trying to convince a client how good you are, nothing works better than a genuine testimonial from a client. Same applies to job seekers.

Send a customized message to your previous boss, colleagues, and clients to write you a recommendation. And the best way to get a recommendation is – first you recommend them. Then ask them to write you back.

Here’s how you can approach your boss to write you a recommendation. 

Hi Sir,

The 3 years I spent at …….. laid the foundation of my career.

It taught me to be patient, do structured research and grow intellectually. I feel thankful to be mentored by you at the beginning.

I have moved on to content writing, content marketing, and social media marketing, but research is always the core of anything I write.

It would be great if you give me a recommendation.

Regards,

Surojit

Here are some examples of cover photos. 

Step 2: Grow your network

Once you are done with optimizing your profile, focus on growing your connections.

Use the search filter to find out people who can be helpful in the future.

Type a designation on the search bar, select people, select second connections, select a location and press enter.

You will find a list of profiles. 

You can play around the filter option and find out similar profiles in multiple ways (Profile from the same industry, same college, etc.)

Now, research on profiles that can be useful to you.

Connect with people

  • With massive followers
  • Who are highly active on LinkedIn
  • With a good profile. A good profile says they take LinkedIn seriously.
  • From your industry, in every kind of job role, you can think of. Your network needs to be big & relevant
  • Who are influencers in your industry

Now, you might say why I should take the pain of doing so much and send connection requests, interested people should approach me.

I will tell you why you should make your network bigger.

  • Your newsfeed will improve
  • In future when you share content, your target audience will observe you and come to know about you before you approach them.
  • You will come to know about more opportunities when somebody likes a post of a 3rd connection.
  • When you need help, you have a higher probability of finding relevant people in your network
  • To receive more likes and comments in your posts, you definitely need a bigger network.

So, happy networking.

We will move to the next part.

Step 3: Follow LinkedIn celebrities, Influencers, and Hashtags

A smart way to make LinkedIn more interesting, informative and be updated is by following.

Follow famous personalities on LinkedIn including who is considered LinkedIn power profiles. You will come to know about amazing things when they share articles, posts & stories.

Follow influencers in your industry. Influencers are somebody who has a huge number of following and share valuable content regularly.

I won’t add any figure to the number of followers one should have to become an influencer. I think anyone who adds value to the community, helps people selflessly and spreads goodness is an influencer. 

Follows hashtags relevant to you so get similar news in your newsfeed. You can find hashtags on the search bar by typing a hashtag symbol followed by the word.

For example “#motivation”

Step 4: Become active – Like, comment & share regularly

Just like me, the way I was in the first two years, I know there are millions of people who aren’t active on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn statistics show only 50% of users are active profiles.

They log in, read and they logout.

Then they get frustrated and ask questions like

  • Why isn’t my connections growing?
  • Why am I not receiving job offers?
  • Why people don’t reply to my messages?
  • Why I don’t get more likes and comments on my posts?

Well, LinkedIn doesn’t give you score for logging in.

The algorithm identifies you only when you are active on LinkedIn consistently. You are valued only when you give value to the community.

My suggestion is whenever you log in, make sure you like on posts you find interesting, comment on posts where you want to participate and share things you would want your network to know about.

When you become active on LinkedIn probably you target audience will observe you and approach you for a discussion.

Step 5: Direct Approach

There is nothing wrong in approaching someone directly on LinkedIn.

It’s a community of working professionals and it’s built exactly for that.

But, the problem is the recruiter/potential client you approach is probably receiving thousands of messages from similar profiles like you.

He/she might want to get back to you, however, your message gets lost in the crowd.

The real question is how do you get the attention of your target audience either in a direct message or in a post you write.

Here are my proven rules for getting someone’s attention.

  • Do thorough research before sending someone a direct message
  • Send a personalized message every time
  • Never talk about what you want in your first message
  • Add subtle praise
  • Don’t appear desperate
  • Sound confident
  • Send follow up messages

Here’s an example. Feel free to edit it and use it again.

“Hi Priyanka,

I was going through your profile.

Loved the way you have written your summary and presented yourself. Every part of your profile synchronizes beautifully. 

You are doing an amazing job by helping people achieve their goals.

If you need any help, I would be happy to contribute.

Let me know.

Cheers!!”

I need not mention what my services in the message because she will probably visit my profile or see my headline and understand (Another way to intrigue your customer)

Step 6: Start writing meaningful content

If your final goal is to be found by recruiters/potential clients instead of you chasing them, the most powerful weapon you have is content.

But, what on earth should you write about on a public platform where CEOs of companies are in your network?

  • Write insightful, helpful and thoughtful posts/articles related to your industry which can benefit your connections.
  • Write something that can start a discussion.
  • Write about your professional life
  • Write about your personal journey of life. 
  • Write about stories of failure, struggle, and inspiration.
  • Write about things you observe in daily life

Whatever you write, it’s important to connect with something people can relate to, learn from and feel inspired.

I receive multiple messages every day saying they want to write and share on LinkedIn but they are worried their boss, colleagues and friends will see it and they might not like it.

My only answer to them is

“Just start. Nobody cares, except you.”

Obviously, I will recommend you not to share the problems you have with your life partner on a public platform.

Research and spend time to understand the kind of content that resonates with the audience.

See the posts on your newsfeed that receive hundreds of comments, then analyze how did that happen. Analyze previous posts of people who write viral posts.

You will find a pattern and probably write better than them.

Because you have a story, and your story is unique. You just need to share it with the world and see the magic happening.

Step 7: Help people

Gratitude reciprocates.

Science has proved it.

I am sure, you have gathered skills over the years.

It can be overcoming the fear of public speaking or mastering data science/public policy or digital marketing.

Trust me there are millions of people who would love to know a few things from you.

I am not saying devote all your time to helping people.

Help the number of people you can and probably they will few more just like you.

That way you add value to the community and build your brand.

Once you selflessly start giving, you will start receiving from the community without expecting.

That’s the beauty of social media platforms like LinkedIn.

And I am saying that from my experience.

There’s no harm in being a good person. Right?

Step 8: Build Your Personal Brand

That leads us to the final step – building your personal brand.

Creating your personal brand, have devoted fan following and increase the number of connections is the ultimate way you will be found by a recruiter/CEO/ Manager in the hunt for the right candidates or a client looking for a service provider.

But, that sounds like a mammoth task and it going to take a decade to build a brand. And you want a job, business lead tomorrow.

So, how can you build a brand overnight?

The answer is you cannot.

Building a brand takes time and a deep understanding of your customer. And that doesn’t happen overnight.

Don’t worry, it’s not going to take a decade. 

With sincere efforts and the right strategy, a couple of months is enough to give you a good platform to pitch yourself to your target audience.

So, how exactly will you build your Personal Brand on LinkedIn?

Here’s my step-by-step guide or a summary of the blog you just read

  • Create a Stunning LinkedIn Profile – Update your Cover Image, Headline, and Summary. Get recommendations to build credibility.
  • Grow your network – Connect with more people in your industry – people who can be your potential client
  • Become Active – Like, comment and share other on other people’s content – follow influencers
  • Help Others – Share what you have learned over the years with your network and you will start gaining followers.
  • Start writing meaningful content – Posts, articles, videos to engage with your connections

So, embark on your journey and write to me in case you need help with anything on LinkedIn.

I would Love to hear from you.

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Written By Surojit Mahato

Written By Surojit Mahato

Surojit is a writer, marketer, and a storyteller. A renowned digital marketing professional, trainer and a speaker at industry events and colleges. Co-Founder of GrowthDish and author of 27+ business case studies published and sold globally.

How to Build a Personal Brand from Scratch and Become an Influencer in Your Industry (The Complete Guide)

How to Build a Personal Brand from Scratch and Become an Influencer in Your Industry (The Complete Guide)

Today I will show you exactly how to build your personal brand step-by-step. 

After reading this guide you will

  •     Know personal branding in-depth
  •     Learn why building a personal brand is important
  •     Find out what can happen if you have a brand
  •     Discover smart ways to build your brand
  •     Gain the confidence to start off

Chapter 01 : Introduction

What if I tell you that you already have a personal brand.

Everybody has. Think about it.

If you have an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn – you have a personal brand.

A personal brand is your story.

A personal brand is how people perceive you.

A personal brand is something that people think about you, without knowing you personally.

Today, anyone on the internet can find you on social media and scroll through your account.

People can see your recent posts, activities, read, watch and know so much about you. They can create an image about you without knowing you personally.

Whether you like it or not, people will judge based on what they see online.

For example, when you share on social media everyone can know about

  1. An event you recently attended
  2. A guest lecture you gave
  3. Any useful information you posted
  4. A vacation you had recently
  5. Regular updates from your life

When you apply for jobs, a recruiter might go through your online presence and try to understand you better.

But, if you have a personal brand you can use this for your benefit.

Imagine a potential recruiter/client finds you online and gets impressed with your profile, then sends you a message for discussion.

You both meet, have a brief discussion, and you get an offer.

It would be amazing. Right?

Well, it’s not a fantasy, I have received multiple job offers without chasing recruiters because of my personal brand.

Now, I want to share with you everything I have learned in the process.

Hopefully, you will implement and get similar results.

Let’s begin.

Chapter 02 : What Is Personal Branding?

personal branding

If you think you have to look like a celebrity and have a personality like a TV host to start your brand, you are wrong.

If you think you have to share everything from your life when you build your brand, you are wrong.

Personal branding is about telling a story you decide to share.

But…

It’s not about telling a lie.

It’s about telling valuable things and sharing a part of your journey.

It’s about giving information in a strategic way.

For example, if you are a graphic designer, you can regularly share photos and content related to your creations to build your personal brand.

When an interested visitor goes through your profile he/she might get impressed and offer you work. 

Your personal brand gives recruiter/clients an opportunity to know more about you.  

The internet equips everyone equally to become a star, but you should know how to use it.

When you don’t leverage the things available for free, you lose opportunities.

While interacting with clients, I have observed that people think they need to be someone very different from who they are in order to build a personal brand. 

That’s not true.

People say that they don’t have the personality to come out in front of the world in a presentable way.

I don’t agree with any of the concepts because you don’t have to please everyone.

The first step of building a personal brand is knowing who your target audience is.

Then, all you have to do is share your knowledge, experiences, and stories from your life. 

You can do it because people would like to hear stories when told in an interesting way.

It doesn’t matter if a thousand people have spoken or written about the same concept, you can always share how you feel about it or give your opinion on the topic.

For example, if you have worked for a decade in a factory as an operations manager, people would love to hear from you about your experience, some concepts you applied and some stories.

I may not be interested, but it doesn’t matter. People in operations would love to listen to you. 

Chapter 03 : Why Do You Need A Personal Brand?

It takes a lot of hard work, time and patience to build a personal brand. There are no shortcuts and you will hardly see any success in the beginning.

So, if you are looking for an easy way to earn money or find a job, you should try other ways in parallel.  

But, if you are tired of proving your capability to recruiters/clients and you wish somehow they would find you & get convinced, personal branding is must.

Here are five reasons for you to build your personal brand.

Gain Trust

Your personal brand explains who you are, what you do and why you do it. In simple words, what motivates you in life? 

When your intentions are clear and your story sounds genuine, your audience begins to trust you. People feel more comfortable as they can predict what you will do.

Building trust is the single most important thing when you are looking for a job or searching for your next business lead.   

When you face an interview you want it to get hired, but a recruiter looks for clues to analyze if they can trust you. Similarly, your clients want to look through your eyes and understand if they can trust you with their money.

Bigger perception

Your brand gives you the space to connect with your audience at an emotional level, not just intellectual. This allows you to persuade people as buying decisions are taken on emotions. 

Differentiate from competition

Your personal brand gives you the ability to separate yourself from the crowd and position yourself in the mind of your customers. As your brand becomes stronger it elevates you above the rest and you have to work less to convince your audience.

Authenticity

Your personal brand starts with who you are and what you stand for. It’s built on your skills, values, goals and your passion.

You don’t need to fake or try to be anyone else. By being totally authentic, you make it much easier for your target audience to make a decision.

Go-to person (Expert)   

When you share highly valuable content related to your industry, people start perceiving you as a thought leader.

As your brand grows, people recognize you before you meet them. You will be remembered as the go-to guy in your field.

Chapter 04 : Find Yourself

The first step to build your personal brand is self-discovery.

Take a piece of paper answer the questions below:

  •     Who are you?
  •     What do you stand for?
  •     What are you passionate about?
  •     What do you believe in?
  •     What are the values you believe in?

These are not questions that you can answer within an hour. You need to think deeply and explore yourself to write a meaningful story about yourself.

Take your time and frame your answers intelligently because the strength of your personal brand will depend upon how well you know yourself.

Once you are done with the above questions move to the next set of questions.

Ask yourself:

  •     What’s your goal?
  •     What do you want to become in 5 years?
  •     Why is it important for you to be what you want to be?

Unless you have a clear goal in your mind, you won’t be able to create a strategy, and execute your ideas. Define the bigger vision of your life and break it down into smaller goals that you can achieve.

Once you define your goals move to the execution part.

Ask yourself:

  •     What are the skills needed to achieve your goal?
  •     How many skills do you have?
  •     Which skills should you learn?
  •     How much time you can devote to developing yourself?
  •     How much time will it take to achieve your goals?

Knowing yourself and creating goals doesn’t mean anything unless you identify the gaps, create a strategy to work on it and achieve your goals within a certain time.

Remember, When you take up the task of discovering yourself, you need to be brutally honest with yourself and analyze your strengths. If needed, take professional help to give you the initial boost. 

Here’s an awesome tool you can use to understand yourself better. 

Chapter 05 : How to Build a Personal Brand from Scratch

personal branding

When you try to build your brand, you need to drive your audience to a certain place on the internet. It can be a website or a social media page. 

To build your online presence, you need to engage with your audience in all four formats of communication (text, image, audio & video) with equal intensity. 

When you reach your target audience in multiple ways, it will be easy for them to recollect you or your brand. 

Let’s understand the options you can explore to build your online brand one-by-one.

Start a Website/Blog

I know you will say, “Is it really necessary? It looks pretty complicated?”

Well, if you are really serious about building your personal brand, you need to get a website.

It looks professional, you can have an online address and separates you from the crowd. 

Before you get scared and stop reading any further, let me tell you something. 

Creating a website is not tough. You can do it yourself without knowing to code. WordPress is an excellent platform to build your website. 

It may not look awesome but you will have something to start off. You can keep on improving it with time. 

I will show you how you can do it without any expert help.  

But first, think about a name. Think about the name you want to use to brand yourself. 

It can be your name, something you closely associate yourself with or a new word. 

Note: Your domain name has to be unique and available. 

Lean Domain Search is an amazing tool to find names. It will suggest you a list based on your inputs in the search bar. 

Tip: Keep it short, unique, and easy to remember.

I used growth dish for my website because my ultimate goal is to help you grow in your career, life & business. I connected it with recipe because I am a foodie and to make it unique. 

There are three things you need to know when you create a website – Domain, Hosting & Theme.  

The first step towards creating your website is buying your domain name. I recommend NameCheap. It’s cheap, simple and has amazing offers. 

Once you buy a domain name, you need to get a hosting – a place to store all the information. Some of the popular names are – GodaddyBluehost & Hostgator

I recommend SiteGround, because of high-quality customer service and uptime. Also, it’s recommended by WordPress. 

After you make the payment, your website will be live and you will get access to the WordPress dashboard. You can customize your website according to your preferences.  

Once you are done with domain and hosting you will need a theme to make your website look good. 

You can use free themes, but if you want your website to look and feel good go for a premium theme. You can find amazing themes on Themeforest & Studiopress.

A personalized email address on your domain name will help you look professional while you interact with clients. 

That’s it. 

Your website is ready for creating your brand. It can take a couple of hours in the entire process depending on your experience. 

Create Social Media Pages

social media channels

This topic is vast. 

You need to understand the social media platforms where you can find your audience. 

You have to find the platforms you are really comfortable using. 

Some of the common social media channels are – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn & Twitter.

Each platform became popular for different reasons and people expect different content in each of them. 

The right strategy is to choose one platform and gain your command. Once you reach a level, use the network to grow your other social media channels. 

Let’s discuss each of the social media platforms briefly. 

Facebook 

One of the first social media channel to have more than a billion users. People go on Facebook to share snaps from personal life, casual updates and life events. Facebook keeps updating their algorithm to improve newsfeed and promote ads based on interest. 

Instagram

It’s more image friendly and became popular as smartphones got good cameras. You cannot use this platform on desktop. Apart from images, short videos are able to hold visitors for long. 

Twitter

Is text-heavy with focus on short conversations. Hashtags are really popular and you get only 280 characters to express yourself. Twitter expects you to engage with a network through reply and retweet. 

LinkedIn

One of the dark horses of social media, LinkedIn is more professional and focuses on learning and career growth. On LinkedIn, people look for opportunities and build relations in the industry. 

Start A Podcast 

start a podcast

A podcast is your voice recordings stored online. You can have your online channel and store all your recordings in one place, anyone on the internet and find it and start listening without any cost.  

Imagine this as your website in audio format. 

Podcast is still undervalued and lesser-known, but it’s fast gaining popularity.

If you don’t start a podcast start soon, you are going to miss the early mover’s advantage. 

Anchor.fm is the easiest way to create your podcast and it gives you online space to store them. Your voice gets distributed on platforms like Spotify, Google, iTunes, etc automatically.

The best part? It’s free. 

Unlike a website, you don’t need to pay for domain or hosting to start a podcast. So, start today. 

Start Your YouTube Channel

Youtube channel

Videos are going to rule every form of content. 

Each social media platform is promoting short videos to increase engagement with the audience. 

If you can record videos and share it regularly on YouTube and other social media channels, you can expect a dramatic rise in viewership. 

As the attention span of people is reducing every day, short, engaging and useful videos are becoming the preferred choice of consuming information.  

Write a Book

Write eBook

I know it’s tough. But, writing a book is a great way to build your brand. 

Do your research, create an outline and dedicate some time every day to write a book in your area of expertise. Within 2 to 3 months you should have a rough draft ready. 

You can publish it an Amazon as an eBook or make it available on your website. 

You will earn royalty from the books sold and gain trust of your audience.  

Every medium and platform we discussed are equally powerful. You need to find out the one you are comfortable with and start off. 

Make small efforts regularly to build your presence every day.

Chapter 06 : Brand Promotion

Once you build a brand, you need to maintain it. 

The industry thumb rule is you should spend 20 percent of your time in content creation and 80 percent to promote it. 

But, mindlessly posting on social media is not going to give you results. 

You need to have a strategy, change the perception and become a thought leader. That’s how you become a brand.

How to manage your personal brand

Content Marketing Strategy

To nurture your relationship with your audience over time and manage the way people perceive, you need a content strategy. 

Whether it is a Blog, Social media posts, Podcast or a YouTube video you need to develop a strategy to deliver useful information to your audience regularly.

To create a content strategy for your personal brand you need to follow the steps below

Identify your audience: The core of creating amazing content for your audience lies in understanding your user. You need to create a persona and know exactly what they do. You need to know which companies they work for and how much they earn and what would they like to read. 

Discover the pain points: To create content that resonates with your readers you need to know their desires and what they are struggling with. Once you have an idea about it, you can create content related to them and drive engagement.  

Know your strengths: If you talk about things you know little, you are unlikely to gain the trust of your readers. It’s important for you to know what you are strong at and then share your thoughts. This will help you position yourself as a thought leader in the industry.  

Choose a medium: If you are a designer and you are looking for more clients or a job, some of the best platforms are Instagram, Dribble & Pinterest. Someone looking to hire a designer will definitely search for designs on Instagram or dribble. You need to use such insights to build your profile. 

Interact and improve your content: As you keep sharing more content online, you will get a response from your audience. Some might be good, okay or awesome. You need to understand the kind of content that resonates with your audience and focus on it. 

Help People in Need

Want to know why you should help people?

It will make you happy. 

Help someone in need and spread goodness. It’s simple.   

Helping others should be a natural extension of your personality and business. Unfortunately, we are self-obsessed and look for profit or self-interest in everything we do. 

Pure business and no humanity will destroy civilization as people might lose hope in goodness. 

But, you have work to do and family responsibilities. How on earth are you going to help other people in need?

Well, you don’t have to spend millions to help someone. You can start in a small way, contribute and make a difference. 

Building a personal brand is different from anything you have done so far in your life because you are trying to change the perception of people. 

You need to find out ways to improve your image. 

The interesting thing that I have realized is, you cannot fool your audience. 

So, you have to help real people in need, before you share those stories. 

There are a ton of things you can do to help people without spending money. 

You can 

  • Teach someone a skill you have learned for years 
  • Guide someone in a career with your experience. 
  • Share your experience with college students
  • Help someone find a job in your industry

There is no harm in being a good person. Right?

When you help someone in need, they are likely to help others. 

It’s only when you truly start helping people you will be able to realize the kind of peace you can get from the process.  

If you are already doing things to help people, share the stories with your audience and if you haven’t done anything like that in your life, start now. 

Better late than never. 

Become an Influencer / Thought Leader

If you want to be taken seriously within your industry start sharing highly useful relevant content and do it consistently. 

When you try to position yourself as a thought leader, you need to provide value to your audience and showcase how you impact businesses with your skills. 

Here’s a list of things you need to do step-by-step to become an Influencer

how to become an influencer

Focus on a Niche

You cannot write about everything under the sun to create your brand. Even if you can, you shouldn’t.  

Your audience doesn’t want to hear everything from you. They want to know what you are good at. 

You have to pick your area of expertise, stick to it and consistently create content in multiple channels.

You need to know your subject in-depth, understand complex topics and write about it from experience, not theoretical stuff. 

When you stay true to your core, people start recognizing you for the valuable information you provide. Your name will become synonymous with your industry.  

Grow your network

Your network is an asset. 

It might appear stupid to make efforts daily to connect with more people in your industry, but it’s worth it. 

Initially, it’s pretty tough, especially when you don’t see any signs of a return in the initial days. 

But hold on to it. 

Once, you touch a good number, your network will grow exponentially with little effort. You can focus on creating high-quality content. 

Share your knowledge

To build yourself as a thought leader you need to create an enormous amount of content and share it with your network/followers. 

Your audience should be able to find you through multiple platforms and know about your expertise. 

So, you need to be highly active on social media, publish guest posts on publications with high traffic and collaborate with Influencers to become popular. 

A lot of people fear that if the share everything they know for free, they won’t get clients. 

In reality, it’s actually the opposite. When you share more information in public platforms about how exactly you add value to your company or clients, more people would love to connect with you. 

Have an opinion

Remember the daily debate on TV News?

You and I both know that they do a lot of crap talk. They talk mindlessly for 15 mins which can be summed up in 2 mins.  

The thing to learn here is, they can articulate thoughts, combine facts, and tell a story. They can add their opinion and make an excellent point. 

That’s a skill. 

If you have it, great. If you are weak at it, build it with practice. 

You might not be able to provide a solution to every problem in the world. However, you can definitely add perspective and give your opinion. 

The important thing is to be diplomatic when you say something. Avoid controversial topics in the beginning and try your best to not hurt anyone’s sentiment.  

Engage with your followers

If you consistently create and share good content, interested people will follow you to stay updated.

Your followers will increase dramatically. It’s not tough. 

The difficult part is to engage with your followers to get deeper insights and maintain brand value. 

The best brands in the world take feedback very seriously and analyze the information to decode the interest of the customer. 

That’s exactly what you need to do. 

Whenever someone comments on social media posts, blog or writes an email to you, read it, understand it and reply to build a relation and know them better. 

This will indirectly help you create better content for your business and gain trust. 

Chapter 07 : Pro Tips

personal brand

Professional Head-shot

When you are trying to build your personal brand, your image is going to represent you. It’s as important as your logo.

You will need multiple high-quality photographs, so go for a photoshoot.  

Selfies, photos cropped form a vacation trip or simple ones in your passport won’t help you build an image. You need to hire a photographer and explain to him/her exactly what you want.

You don’t necessarily need to be in strict formals to look good. It’s your pose, smile, and confidence that matters. Avoid highlighted backgrounds or flashy clothes and try to get the focus on your face. 

A professional head-shot will help you create a killer first impression. 

Tagline

Your tagline should summarize your vision within 3 to 5 words. 

A good way to create a tagline is understanding how exactly you make an impact in people’s lives. 

For example

Jeff Bullas – Win at Business & Life in A Digital World

Zen Habits – Smile, Breathe & Go Slowly

Online Editing Tool

You cannot afford to make silly grammar mistakes when you are a public figure in your industry. 

Bet it an email, blog or social media content, your writing should be error-free. But, you don’t have enough time to check grammar every time you write. 

That’s why you need an online editing tool that’s integrated as a chrome extension to help you write grammatically perfect sentences.  

Grammarly is an amazing tool to make your writing error-free. I have been using it for more than a year now and I am totally in love with it. 

Communication Skill

If you aren’t good at public speaking, don’t panic. It’s a skill and you develop it with practice. 

Want to know how?

There are multiple ways. But, first of all, you need to have the desire to be a speaker and understand the need.

You need to know that unless you are good at communication, and convincing someone, it will be incredibly difficult to crack an interview or find a new client. 

Here’s how you can improve your communication skills. 

  1. Read books
  2. Take online courses
  3. Start writing
  4. Record yourself

Basic Designing Course

This is one of the most underrated skills. 

Basic understanding of design is going to help you present yourself better in multiple ways. When you know which colors look good together and how to structure an impressive banner etc. you are one step ahead in the race. 

Here are a few online design courses you can consider. 

  1. Graphic Design Bootcamp (Udemy)
  2. Photoshop for Entrepreneurs
  3. Free Graphic Design Courses (SkillShare)

Chapter 08 : Case Study

Chapter 09 : Common Questions

Can you get a job/business lead from a personal brand?

Yes. You can definitely find a job or your next client from LinkedIn if you work consistently to build your profile and presence. It might take some time, but your efforts will pay off. 

Majority of the people never get success on LinkedIn because they consider LinkedIn as a job portal.

It’s not. It’s a community of working professionals, so you need to focus on building relations. Once you grow your network and share valuable information with your network, you will get engagement. 

That’s the starting point of success.  

Can anyone build a personal brand?

Absolutely. 

All you have to do it showcase your skills, present your achievements and build trust. You need to share your story with the world. Everyone likes a story. 

You don’t need to be someone else to build your brand. You need to be true and learn the art of things you should share. 

How much time will it take?

It depends. 

It can take a couple of months or a year. It depends on how much time you are willing to devote to build and maintain your online presence.

You can hire freelancers, mentors, and specialists to do the job for you. But, unless you make an effort, you won’t be able to build trust. 

How much money do I need to Invest?

It depends. Starting a website can cost you anywhere between 100 to 200 dollars. You can start recording videos on your smartphone but if you want to look good, you need to invest in a DSLRVideo mic and video editing software. Similarly, for Podcast, you need to invest a good mike

What are the benefits of Personal Brand?

When you build a personal brand you can 

  • Find a job
  • A recruiter can approach you
  • Clients will find you
  • Get opportunities to collaborate with people/businesses

More than benefits, it’s about helping people with something you know. 

Chapter 10 : Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide.

Now, I would like to hear from you. When are you going to start? What’s your goal? Which platform are you going to choose for building your personal brand?

Are you excited to start the journey? Do you have any questions?

Leave a quick comment below and let me know.

Sharing is caring. Share this article with your network. 

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Written By Surojit Mahato

Written By Surojit Mahato

Surojit is a writer, marketer, and a storyteller. A renowned digital marketing professional, trainer and a speaker at industry events and colleges. Co-Founder of GrowthDish and author of 27+ business case studies published and sold globally.