I am no longer actively blogging on this website.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I am going through a personal rebranding process. This is now complete and in this post below I am going to recap on the various stages I went through.
I run a number of popular websites, but my personal website has always been neglected. I knew there was untapped potential for this site to support my business and generate more exposure, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to go about doing this.
Until recently, I had never ‘planned’ any of the content on this site, rather, it had simply ‘evolved’ over time. I used to write aimlessly about websites, IT, chemicals, manufacturing, personal stuff, business and so on. My blog was my digital dumping ground and there was no consistency in what I was writing.
The design of my personal website design also left a lot to be desired. I mean, it wasn’t bad, but I only ever used stock WordPress themes on it, so it looked exactly the same as millions of other websites.
And while I was using social media, I felt like I could make much better use of it than I was doing.
I was struggling to define what I wanted my online profile to look like. My background is very much marketing, but I am essentially a businessman. And I have some knowledge of chemicals because of my job, as well as manufacturing . But I knew that I’d struggle establishing myself as an ‘expert’ in different areas.
In the end I decided to bring in some third party assistance by way of a personal branding consultant called Navid Moazzez. And I’m glad I did because it made the process so much easier!
Navid and I spent a long time discussing what I did for work and what I enjoyed when I wasn’t working. We considered where I saw myself in the future and if there were any people out there already with a similar background to myself. The plan was to build authority within my niche; the question was defining what that niche was…
I found it pretty hard to identify my niche. It may seem obvious if you look at my website now but it wasn’t easy. Because I had a range of interests, I had a number of perspectives I could write from. In the end, Navid introduced me to something called the Hedgehog Concept which helped tremendously. It reminded me of being back in my University days, it was really interesting.
Once I had identified my niche the ‘Bio’ naturally followed:
I decided to focus on being an entrepreneur and B2B marketing as these encompass my business interests and my passion for marketing. I concluded that, while chemicals and manufacturing pay my bills, marketing is my true passion.
Once I had my Bio sorted I then increased my level of engagement in social media. I joined a number of private forums and started following famous bloggers and business people on Facebook and Twitter. After this, I started connecting with people who were similar to myself – other young entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers. And as time develops I will look to connect with more authority figures.
To ensure I was targeting the correct Niche I came up with a list of potential blog post titles. The theory behind this is that you shouldn’t have any problem coming up with blog post titles if you are targeting the correct niche. If you struggle thinking of blog post titles then perhaps you aren’t targeting the right one!
In my case I came up with a load of subjects I could blog about relating to business and marketing. It’s worth noting that there is nothing wrong with wondering off-topic from time to time because it gives people an idea of your interests and what you are like as a person. Thus, I plan to do occasional updates on my blog about what is happening in my personal life as well.
A website is often the most time-consuming element of the rebranding process, however, it is central to any brand. I had help from some people I work with (one person in particular – thank you, Rob!) and I’m delighted with the results. Here a few of the changes I made to my site:
To generate interest, I wrote a fairly extensive report called “My 10 Biggest Mistakes In Business (And What I Would Have Done Differently If I Started All Over Today”. I was originally going to use this as an incentive to encourage newsletter subscriptions… but I figured it’s always good to give some stuff away for free, so I would urge you to download this report here, then if you think it’s useful please sign up to my newsletter 😉
Once I had everything in place I decided to re-launch my website. I set a date for the site to go live and made a To Do List for the site launch. I contacted friends, family and colleagues to ask them to spread the word. I did the same on a number of forums and I scheduled a load of posts on Twitter with links to my posts.
By the way any shares, comments or newsletter subscriptions would be appreciated!
Personal branding is an ongoing process so it should never be viewed as being ‘complete’. I plan to continue blogging about my experiences in business and marketing (plus a bit of personal stuff). I am also going to make a lot more use of video. Right now I am filming videos for my business; I can use these on my personal blog because they will be relevant to my personal brand. This will give me additional exposure.
Finally, I am going to make a consorted effort to connect with other influencers. In particular, I want to connect with other bloggers who run real-world businesses, like me. I believe I could learn a lot from others and I hope that I have something of value to give them.
Here are some more articles on the personal rebranding process if you want to find out more:
Hedgehog Concept (Jim Collins)
How to Rebrand (WikiHow)
Is It Time For A Personal Rebrand? (Personal Branding Blog)
Reinventing Your Personal Brand (Harvard Business Review)
Self-Promotion for Professionals from Countries Where Bragging Is Bad (Harvard Business Review)