What's really common to the people you probably define as having success online? Those, whose websites get loads of traffic, who sell their services and products better than anyone, and who get quoted constantly. It's not the "habits of successful people". It's not going to sleep by 10 pm, and waking up before dawn. It's not giving up on television or reading only non-fiction. It's not drinking more water or having a certain diet. It's not in wearing the precise kind of clothing or surrounding themselves with specific colours. It most definitely isn't being better than you.
Most of the successful ones mostly have nothing in common. Some of them are great writers, some terrible ones who keep "fast forwarding to today" and using other clichés. Some of them use great visuals, some create Pinterest images that look like they were made by a child using Photoshop Elements in the year 2001. There are those who create videos, others lean on written content, some are great with infographics. There are funny ones, boring ones, depressed ones, overly enthusiastic ones, toned down ones and everything in between. They use bright colours, or they have muted and earthy branding. They have different types of fans, and they serve different types of people. Non of them are the same.
The reason why some get more website visitors, comments, sales and email subscribers than you is that they get noticed. Their presence is undeniable.
Creating an undeniable presence isn't a step-by-step process. At least not in the sense, that you cannot follow one defined path to it. There are many different ways you can get noticed. As mentioned, some use enthusiasm and bright colours, and others go with more toned down ways. It's not even a certain thing you must do, such as create videos or use Pinterest like it was the air you breathe.
How easy would it be, if there was one specific way to distinguish yourself! But there isn't, because you are you. Those who succeed, they are undeniably themselves. You know them for being that very distinct person, who is other than anyone else.
The creation of a well defined branding starts with asking three questions, why, what and for whom. Why you do what you do? What do you do? For whom do you do it? When you have defined your why, what and for whom, you can start creating a consistent brand. The consistency is build through visual branding and non-visual branding. Visual branding includes such things as colours, fonts, photos and other images. Non-visual branding consists of messages, feelings, people, values, reasons and experiences, to mention some. The consistent brand is created by using all the visual and non-visual aspects of branding, and bringing them together in a coherent way.
Brand is a promise of what can be expected. It features all the expectations and prejudgements, ideals, values, feelings, thoughts and views other people bring to it. Thus a brand is not controllable nor it is static. Different people experience your brand in different ways.
The consistent branding is then applied to your online presence. Online presence is your whole existence on the Internet. It is supposed to look, feel and sound like your overall branding. Your presence includes everything you do online, and everyone you are online. It isn't limited to your public presences. Also your emails, instant messaging and other private online activities define how your online presence is viewed by different people.
To get noticed online, your branding and your whole presence must not only to be distinguishable, but also to be clear and consistent. You are not required to, nor you should try to be perfect. Consistency and perfection are not the same thing. And when I talk about consistency I don't talk about being unchanging. You can adjust, test, redefine, and change your consistent branding and online presence. If something isn't working, why keep at it?
When you add your branding to your online presence, you add it to your social media profiles, bios and the content you post, like and reshare. You add it to your blog posts, to your sales pages, your about page, and any other content of your website. You add it to your guest posting, your comments and everywhere else. You add it to the visuals you share and use online, and you add it to your content and messages. You even add it to who you follow and try to get the "right people" to follow you.
But you don't only build it and wait for them to come. In order to get found and get noticed online, you must be active yourself. You keep showing up, posting updates, creating content, asking and answering questions. You keep testing, changing, adding more consistency, and defining your brand and presence. If something doesn't work out, you move on and try the next thing. You keep doing, until you get noticed and after that. Not by being needy, not by being noisy. Just appearing there and reaching out.
To get noticed online, you don't need to get into the habits of other people or do other magic tricks. Subscribing to that is only superstition. Drinking more water or getting up early isn't going to get you noticed online. Instead you must create a consistent brand and defined online presence and keep at it.
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I'm Mervi Emilia Eskelinen, an artist and online presence strategist from Finland. I coach and consult indie businesses and bloggers to find focus with their branding, marketing and web. I have almost 20 years of experience, a bachelor's degree and some fun certifications in everything about digital media and marketing.