Your personal brand may be all about you, but you need people to help grow the brand. You need people to recognize you as an industry leader and talk about you in a positive light. This means that your personal brand cannot exist without other people. Your brand only exists in the minds of your audience, according to Build-a-Brand.
That’s why outreach is so crucial to the personal branding process. It helps you build a community that will accept and recognize your personal brand, helping it grow and thrive. So once you have every other aspect of building your personal brand covered, you should begin the outreach process.
Not sure how to get started? Check out the following ideas to build your personal brand through outreach:
Outreach through Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to grow your personal brand. It involves reaching out to websites and blogs that have authority in your industry to get your guest posts published. They tend to have a massive and loyal followings of people who are interested in the specific niche they cover. So it’s a great way for you to showcase your expertise to new audiences.
Here are the steps that you need to follow to grow your personal brand through guest blogging:
Step One: Look for Websites to Publish Your Guest Posts
With so many businesses using guest blogging to build links, Google issued a warning about spammy links in guest posts and contributor posts. As a result of this warning, most websites are becoming a lot more particular with the guest posts they publish. Some have even stopped accepting guest posts from new contributors altogether.
However, with some perseverance, you should be able to find websites that will publish your guest posts. Start by conducting a Google search for relevant niche keywords combined with the phrases “write for us” or “submit guest post.” This will help you find some of the top websites that still accept guest post submissions.
Image Source: Google search results page
It can, however, be difficult to find all potential guest posting sites through Google search alone. Some may not open guest post submissions to the public, so you will have to manually make an enquiry. Try searching for the most popular content in your niche using BuzzSumo. Make a list of the websites that published that content so you can include them in your outreach.
Image Source: BuzzSumo search results page
Step Two: Check for Authority
Since you’re trying to build authority, you should also make sure that the website you’re planning to write for has some authority. Use tools like the Domain Authority Checker to analyze the domain authority of each website that you’ve shortlisted. Make it a point to only pitch sites that have high DA, perhaps over 50.
Image Source: Domain Authority Checker results page
Step Three: Understand the Rules and Guidelines
Each website will have different rules and guidelines for guest posts. Some may ask you to directly submit a finished draft, while others may ask you to pitch them your idea first. So you need to carefully understand the rules for each website before you begin your outreach.
Most websites will ask that you check the content they have already published. This is an important step because you will get a better idea of what you can do to improve your chances of being published. It will also help you come up with topics and ideas that haven’t been previously covered on site, but which will be of value to the audience.
Step Four: Craft the Perfect Outreach Email
One of the most challenging steps in guest blogging is writing the perfect email. Even if you write really well and have an attractive portfolio, your outreach email could make or break your chances of being published on the site. So you need to carefully approach each editor with a personalized email.
Clearly explain why you’re reaching out to them and make it clear that you’ve read their guest post guidelines and published content. At the same time, avoid fake praise as editors can easily detect it, ruining your chances of getting accepted. Get straight to the point and try to keep it as short as possible without being brash or blunt.
In a few short lines, explain what you have written or plan to write about. And then talk about how the topic would be of value to their readers.
Here’s an example of what your outreach email should look like:
Hope everything’s going well for you.
My name is [name] and I’m a [job title/profession]. I’m reaching out because I noticed that [website name] is accepting contributions from guest writers. And I’d really like to take this opportunity to share my ideas and expertise with your readers.
I’ve written a post on [topic], which can [benefits for target audience]. I’ve attached the draft to this email if you’d like to take a look. Please let me know if you need anything else.
It would be a huge honor if you’d be willing to publish my post on [website].
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for your time![Name]
This is just one sample that covers some of the basic requirements. You can edit this template according to the specifications for each website and to fit your own voice.
Reach Out on Social Media
Since almost everyone is on social media, it’s the perfect channel to network and amplify your outreach efforts. Networking on social media can give you the opportunity to connect with potential clients and employers as well as potential employees and business partners. Plus, you can connect with authority figures in your niche and gain some recognition by engaging with them.
Your choice of social media platform may differ according to your niche. But ideally, you’ll need Twitter and Facebook. And if you’re planning to grow a professional network or become a successful entrepreneur, don’t forget to use LinkedIn as well.
You can conduct searches on these platforms using relevant keywords. From the search results, you’ll be able to find some prominent profiles that either have the keyword in their bio or regularly talk about the topic in their posts. Connect with them and engage with their posts through comments, likes, and shares.
Otherwise, you can also use the influencer search feature on the previously-mentioned BuzzSumo platform. There, you’ll be able to find top influencers who regularly talk about or share content related to your niche. You can follow them on social media and engage with their posts.
Some industry leaders like TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington are very responsive to social media comments. So if you find them talking about something that interests you or if they’re inviting their followers to comment, make sure you jump at the chance.
Image Source: Twitter
You could even share their articles and tag them in the post. Or you could tag them and ask a relevant question. Some may answer; some may not. Some may notice you but not necessarily respond. But it’s a great way to network with prominent names in your industry and, in time, you should be able to connect with some of them.
You can also look for relevant groups or conversations and join. LinkedIn and Facebook have many user-created groups where people with a shared interest can connect with each other. On Twitter, you can search for relevant hashtags to find conversations you can join.
Reach Out at Events
While networking online is easy and convenient, nothing compares to connecting with people face to face. You can effectively build your personal brand by reaching out to people at events. These events could be anything from local events to industry-specific events. The goal is to meet as many people as possible, and connect with them so you can establish your personal brand in their minds.
The best way to find these events is again through a simple Google search. You just need to enter the name of your city and add the phrase “business event.” This will bring up event listings which you can sort through to shortlist the most relevant ones.
Image Source: Google search results page
If you’re willing to travel, you could even broaden your search and look for upcoming events in neighboring towns and cities.
Furthermore, you could significantly establish your expertise and strengthen your personal brand by applying to become a speaker at some of these events. Speakers sharing their experiences and expertise in front of an audience immediately establish themselves as credible authority figures.
If you feel comfortable speaking in front of an audience, you could apply to become a keynote speaker at events organized by various organizations. Search for the term “keynote speaker application” on Google, and you should be able to find opportunities from organizations that are inviting applications.
Go through those results to see if there are any opportunities that would fit you and your expertise.
Image Source: Google search results page
These are some of the best ways to build your personal brand through outreach. Remember that you won’t experience immediate results. But you can gradually grow your influence and establish your brand with perseverance. Start applying these tactics today to begin building your personal brand.