Thursday, 26 June 2008

Build Personal Brand Through Blog

Blog merupakan media yang sudah tidak asing lagi bagi kita. Menurut Wikipedia Indonesia, blog merupakan singkatan dari "web log" adalah bentuk aplikasi web yang menyerupai tulisan-tulisan (yang dimuat sebagai posting) pada sebuah halaman web umum. Tulisan-tulisan ini seringkali dimuat dalam urut terbalik (isi terbaru dahulu baru kemudian diikuti isi yang lebih lama), meskipun tidak selamanya demikian. Situs web seperti ini biasanya dapat diakses oleh semua pengguna internet sesuai dengan topik dan tujuan dari si pengguna blog tersebut.

Sebagian blog dipelihara oleh seorang penulis tunggal, sementara sebagian lainnya oleh beberapa penulis. Banyak juga blog yang memiliki fasilitas interaksi dengan para pengunjungnya, yang dapat memperkenankan para pengunjungnya untuk meninggalkan komentar atas isi dari tulisan yang dipublikasikan.

Sebagai sebuah bentuk media komunikasi, fungsi blog sangat beragam, mulai dari sekedar sebagai media curahan hati (curhat) atau catatan harian, sampai pada media interaksi yang memungkinkan pada terbentuknya komunitas online. Blog juga bisa dimanfaatkan sebagai media publikasi untuk kepentingan komersial maupun non-komersial, baik secara personal maupun kelompok atau corporate.

Secara personal, blog juga bisa dioptimalkan sebagai media untuk membangun personal brand. Berikut ini ada beberapa tip menarik yang ditulis oleh Darren Rowse di Problogger . Rowse menguraikan 7 faktor yang perlu diperhatikan dalam "menjual diri" kita :

# build trust - increasingly marketers are finding that people want to know and be in some sort of trusting relationship with those that they buy products or services from. This is particularly true for a personal service like consulting. Be open about your agenda and about what you do and don’t know. Talk both about your successes and failures. If all you do is use a blog for ’spin’ you’ll present as too good to be true.

# be personal - building on the last point - one way to make a deeper connection with potential clients is to show something of who you are. This doesn’t mean blogging about your personal life, but show you’re human injecting humor, a photo or two of yourself and showing your personality.

# use story - I find readers respond very well to story on blogs. Stories of my own experience, stories of other clients (shared with permission as case studies) etc. Using relevant stories can help build credibility in your niche.

# establish expertise - people won’t give you the ‘expert’ label without you earning it. Show what you know (without being arrogant), show how you apply it (it’s one thing to know a lot - but can you translate your knowledge into something constructive and useful) and be a thought leader in your niche (ie break some new ground and show people that you’re capable of original thought).

# be generous - some consultants use their blogs to talk very abstractly about their field of expertise but don’t actually give their readers much in the way of practical and applicable content. My approach is to give away quite a bit of information and to be quite generous with what you share. If you help someone for free I find that the next time they need something they’ll quite often be willing to pay for it. You might not want to give everything away for free but free reports, ideas and tips should feature pretty heavily on these types of blogs.

# establish relationships in your niche - while building relationships on your own blog with potential clients can be very effective - when another blogger recommends you it can be even more powerful. Get to know other bloggers in your niche and you’ll find they will add to your credibility with their links and mentions on their blogs.

# be consistent - while there’s no problem with changing, growing and developing in your ideas over time you do need to present some consistent messages over time. If you’re constantly chopping and changing what you’re on about and focusing on you’ll find that readers find it hard to connect with you and build a ‘relationship’ over time. Remember that every time you post you have the opportunity to add to or take from your reputation and brand.


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