How to build your brand online
I decided to create an ultimate guide on how to build your brand online for creatives. This article will provide you with the best tips and rules to follow in order to crush it online. I wish someone wrote this kind of article when I was 20 years old!
Good for me, I’m still 20-something 🙂 I studied Multimedia design in Denmark and we’ve been taught how to build our brand online. However back in 2011 there was no Instagram and almost any social media for business. So the game changed now and we need to adjust.
Do I need to create a logo for my brand?
Usually photographers and videographers have their logo to promote their brand even better. Photographers need it anyway for creating a watermark they can put on their photos. This is a good start, although I don’t have a logo right now. Why? I used to have, actually that’s what I started with, but I was chaning it every week and I couldn’t come to a one result that would bring out the feel for my brand. However, currently I’m thinking about really getting this sorted, as I want NicoleVen to become a strong brand known all over London.
If you just really starting out, a logo should be the last thing on your mind. Just don’t worry about it and do your thing. Create a content under your name, that’s the most important thing to do.
Website is the first step towards building a brand online
The first thing to start with to crush online world is definitely a website. I don’t care what you do or if you have nothing to show, do it anyway. Buy a web hosting, install WordPress, put up some awesome looking theme as many of them are for free! My website is hosted by SeekaHost for example, they offer full range of packages. For starting out and also business ones. My WordPress theme is completely free. You can find other open source platforms like Joomla or Wix, but I would definitely recommend a WordPress, as it is the biggest, the best and Google loves it so it’s much easier to rank it than a website on Wix.
If you don’t know how to install a WordPress, there is a good video explaining step by step process – How to install WordPress and start your blog.
No portfolio to promote?
When starting out, of course we lack a proper portfolio. We barely have clients! However, we have the skills and equipment. I’m sure you have some school projects, or just find a company to do something for them for free. In your family or friends’ business. Your friend has a company party? Go there to take photos or videos. Or weddings, well it’s always needed, although don’t stick with weddings for too long because you might limit your creative mind with doing the same thing over and over again. You can seek out events in the city to document and writing a blog about it. And everyone has at least one friend that is loving taking photos, so just do them a photoshoot.
Also for every project you do, ask for a review/testimonial for you, so you can put it online for everyone to see. It builds amazing trust in you and your skills immediately. You can go deeper and read the whole story in my article on UK Business Blog How video testimonials can transform your business.
How to rank a website on Google?
The next step is to do your on page and off page SEO on your website. Also you can start your strategy to rank your website for certain keywords. So if people google ‘Event photographer London’ your website will organically come up in the results on the first page. If you are able to get to the first page, you will be busy. You will get inquiries daily.
You can learn about on-page, off-page SEO if you read an article by Digital Marketing Institute The Complete guide to on-page and off-page SEO. Once you understand the principles, you can implement it and your website and name will get authority in online world. It will anyway bring you leads and clients, meaning you will get offline authority as well.
If you website is on Google and is not ranking and nobody can find it under your name. It’s no point of having a website in the first place. So once you build a website, do SEO.
How to promote your brand on social media?
Be everywhere. Literally. And not only that, you have to post every single day. It’s good to plan ahead and create content for few days in advance. I know it’s challenging with busy schedule but there’s the only way to do it. If you’re one of those people who hate social media, then there’s no point in starting a business to be honest. But if you have the right understand on how to use social media in your favour to sell and create a brand, which will grow, then keep reading.
How to create a Facebook page for my business?
Create a Facebook page, put nice cover photo, fill all the info, also your story. Write a nice story of you becoming videographer, or photographer, web designer etc. People want some personal info and story from you. Post every single day, and keep it updated. Get your friends to like your page for a start and then don’t worry about it much. Just keep doing your thing.
Do I need a Twitter account for my brand?
Twitter might be dying but it’s none of your concern. Create a profile and post there anyway, interact with other accounts. If nothing, you will get your name out there. It’s never a bad thing for SEO. I use Twitter mostly for reading the news. I don’t need newspaper or TV. I know all the big stories in 20 seconds, when I open my Twitter news. Amazing time saver.
I have to say that I put a lot of time and effort into my Twitter account few years ago. I’ve got 13k followers and I used to get 100 likes in average per post, which is amazing for Twitter. But I noticed that many people left this platform and mostly becuase it’s very difficult when you create an account, to get some attention. But I think you should try it anyway, and the key here is to retweet and interact with so many other accounts.
Create a circle of photographers and videographers, follow them and write them, share their thing and you will be accepted into this Twitter world, trust me. Read my article on Biggest myths on about Twitter to get you started.
Why is Instagram is an ultimate brand builder?
That’s a chapter itself! Instagram is such a powerful social media platform. But in order to win over, you really have to post everyday stories, at least 3-5. And new posts, a lot of videos, also on IGTV. And it’s very important to keep the rules of different formats of videos and photos. A story is for example 1080×1920, and a post is 1080×1080.
Instagram loves videos, as well as its sibling Facebook. Videos are pushed up in search results and keep people interested in you. If you look at my Instagram @Nicole_Ven, you will see 99% of videos on my page. Not only because I’m a videographer but because I understand what this platform wants from me. Let’s have a look at other successful accounts. It’s not only Madonna, Gary Vee or Will Smith, but the list goes on of course.
Each of them is currently promoting something, that’s why they have videos on their profile and every one of them has a current story uploaded. Multiple times a day. Madonna is promoting her new album and a World Tour, Gary Vee is a social media guru so he’s promoting everything everytime. And Will Smith made amazing comeback and nailed all the social media platforms to show the world he still got it.
Will Linkedin profile help my business?
It’s mandatory of course and it doesn’t matter you’re not looking for a job. You are looking for your clients, aren’t you? Get some reviews from friends and fill your profile as much as you can. Write articles on LinkedIn as well and comment and be engaged with other people on it. I have 1000+ connections and I’m gaining more on a daily basis. Grow your Linkedin and you might get cliens from this platform directly.
Build a brand with YouTube channel
Google is YouTube so if you want your name anywhere to appear on the web, you need to be active on YouTube. Post new videos at least once a week. And I don’t mean 1 minute videos, but real proper content between 6-15 minutes long. Create customized thumbnails for your videos, play with it a little bit. If you show that you put some effort and not just uploaded the video, people will stop and watch. Put a subscribe button on every video and at the end of video, put up a recommended video to watch from your channel.
Ideally also create a welcome video so people know what to expect and why should they subscribe to your channel. I created the whole YouTube channel for the best employment lawyer in London Matt Gingell. We launched it with a nice welcome video and with a statement to post a new episode of employemnt law videos every single Tuesday. Matt gained more than 600 subscribers in 2 months! The key is to be consistent and put out the original and creative content. Constantly. You can get good tips and ideas from the article from Marketing Insider Group on Why and how to use YouTube to promote your business.
And don’t forget, it’s not only important to be on those social media platforms active but your profiles and photos need to updated. Nobody likes old posts, or old photos. Seeing that you last posted 1 month ago is like a 1000 years in online world.
Your face as your brand?
If you’re thinking about what to put on YouTube channel exactly, then I will answer you very simply. Yourself. You can upload your best work, testimonials from clients but also put your face in the videos as well. Don’t be a phantom and don’t hide. People will likely hire you when you can actually see you already presenting your brand. Being passionate about what you do and not scared to stand in front of a camera and declare it!
However, many of us are a bit scared of the lenses and cameras in general. Don’t worry about it because I’ve created an online course How to talk to the camera like a pro that will make you a video star in 1 hour. I came across many clients who had troubles speaking in front of a camera and I gave them a face-to-face training on overcoming this issue and how to speak confidently and with ease. That’s why I decided to create online course as well which is much more affordable and can help more people online as well if they’re not based in London.
Write blogs about your brand daily
Write blogs every day on your website. Also try to guest post on other sites related to your field. I know it’s easier to do it when you actually are a professional with years of experience because then you have the authority, but you can post on your blog first, having like 200 articles and then nobody can say no to you!
You also learn when you write about things. So it’s a really good way to spend 1 hour of your time daily. Keep in mind that your blogs need to written in SEO friendly manner. If you wonder why you need it, this article Why you need to learn SEO will explain it to you very well. Write long blogs ideally and also link to other sites and companies. Don’t make it look like it’s all about you, uncover your sources and inspirations. Google likes it too, it means you did your homework of research. And use media as photos and videos in your blogs.
Here’s a part 2 that gives you more insight on what to do when you sort all the things above out.
If you want help with building your brand online as a creative, you can get in touch with me on a contact page, either my email or fill out the contact form.