If you are a job seeker then standing out is important in securing that next job.
Business owners and entrepreneurs need to be noticed to obtain funding and sell their products and services.
To succeed as a musician and artist your work obtains visibility as it is played, displayed and seen.
Authors have the challenge of writing a book that has to stand out in a mountain of 15 million books that will be published in 2012.
If you want to stand out, Seth Godin recommends “Purple Cows”
Do something unique and different.
We live in an age where we have the means and the machines to self publish and self market. Technology is democratising publishing and marketing.
The Gutenberg press has been superseded by the digital press. The written word has been set free from the confines of time and space.
On a social web you don’t need to wait to be picked to publish. You can “Pick yourself”.
No longer do authors have to pitch or beg a publisher. Amazon is providing the platform for self publishing.
The tools and technologies now allow you to publish short form content in an instant. That could be on Tumblr, Facebook or Google+.
Even your smart phone is a publishing machine in your pocket that can publish images and text whether that is on Instagram or Twitter.
Emulate then Innovate
Online video adds to the publishing mix which provides the means to communicate with all the power of face to face communication with all its associated subliminal messages.
The motivating power of face to face communications is not restricted to the boardroom or the town hall. YouTube is leveraging the transmission of skills that cannot be transmitted just with words.
You can’t show someone how to dance with text.
Video transmits the non verbal such as facial expressions, gestures, passion and eye contact where serious magic happens.
Reading and writing are fairly recent inventions whereas face to face communication has been honed by tens of thousands of years of evolution.
“What Gutenberg did for writing video is doing for face to face communications“.
Video enables people to view how something is done, then emulate and finally innovate.
The hardest part though is being prepared to open up and expose yourself to the world. Content needs to be set free and giving away your secrets is part of this new paradigm of radical openness!
Credibility is achieved through the display of your skills via your content whether it is carried by music, words or video. Visibility is achieved by building online tribes and followers and sharing with them your ideas.
So what can you do to stand out on a very crowded web?
1. Tap into your passions
Some people know from the first awakening of awareness, what they will do for the rest of their life. We all have an inkling of what we love. What keeps you up late at night, what do you read about, what makes you leap into your car and drive for hours?
This is your engine room.
2. Leverage your innate abilties
What are you good at? Reading, learning, loving, writing, video production, speaking, cooking or running? This is where you start. Along the way you will discover other skills that you didn’t know you had.
3. Build your Soapbox
This can be a Facebook page, Google+, Tumblr or a WordPress blog. My pulpit of choice is WordPress technology, with my own domain and self hosted. It is mine, I own it and I have control.
I like that.
Don’t hand over the keys of your content hub and home to a social network that can banish you without an explanation.
Some people have made their home on a Facebook page or Google+. If you are removed (and it has happened and regularly) then I can only wish you good luck in calling their help line.
This is where the rubber hits the road.
I remember reading a blog post on Hubspot and it said even if you aren’t exactly clear on what you should be publishing ….just start. This could be writing, creating YouTube videos, posting fashion photos, Publishing images of your art, paper folding or infographics.
In short create content. Don’t wait for the design and branding to be perfect. The refinement can happen on the journey as the crowd tells you what works and what doesn’t.
Just do it!
The magic is in the movement.
5. Know your audience
Understand the persona of the audience(s)who you are targeting.Don’t over complicate this, the audience will become clearer over time. You will hear their voice and see their shadows. You will sense what they want.
“How to” articles are always popular. It is the fastest growing category on YouTube. Educate with stories. A story’s power is twofold. It provides knowledge of how to act and inspiration which is the motivation to act.
Don’t underestimate people’s desire to learn.
In your target niche people want to know what is happening. Keep them up to date with the latest facts, figures and news. Articles that provide insights into the latest industry news will keep your audience coming back for more.
Show people the potential to change their life and show them a future with potential and let them know that dreams can come true.
A vision is vital.
7. Stay on topic
We are all tempted to go off on tangents. You need to keep asking yourself “does my audience want to read about this”. You can try new angles but the crowd will tell you via the retweets, Google plus ones, shares, likes and comments what they like and don’t like.
Focus is vital.
8. Keep it simple
As you build knowledge through researching, reading and creating you will be hit with the “Curse of Knowledge“.
“The better we get at generating great ideas—new insights and novel solutions—in our field of expertise, the more unnatural it becomes for us to communicate those ideas clearly. That’s why knowledge is a curse.”
So keep the message simple and clear of “industry speak” and acronyms.
9. Market and promote everywhere
Create a brand and presence on the large vibrant social networks. Publish and promote your content from your blog to as many social network platforms as time and resources allow.
10. Build for search engines
Google with its latest updates called “Panda” and “Penguin” is valuing unique content that receives social votes, whether that is a “plus one” on Google, a “Like” on Facebook or a retweet on Twitter. Use WordPress plugins like “SEO all in one” or “Yoast” that create search engine friendly titles, descriptions and tags that make it easy for Google to crawl your site and show up in search engine results.
11. Build your tribes
Tap into the power of reciprocation. Follow people on Twitter and they will follow you back (some of the time). The great content on your homebase (blog) and the essential engagement with your followers will help you build a tribe. Be real and be willing to show the human side of your self.
Open the hood and reveal your secrets and the tribe will leap in.
12. Communicate with multi-media
Everyone learns differently. The younger generation prefers a short video. Baby boomers would rather read an article. The LinkedIn types like powerpoint presentations on Slideshare.
Provide the same content in a variety of media.
13. Hone your writing skills
If you want to write then you need to “read”. Writing can be learned. The basics are vocabulary, tempting headlines and well structured articles.
Tempting visuals (eg Infographics) will add a little bit of content contagion.
14. Be relentless
I can’t stress too much how important this is. Producing content once a month isn’t going to cut it. It is like flying plane.
Full throttle for takeoff until you reach cruising altitude.
How About You
Are you visible online? What has worked for you in getting attention? Is it video or is it writing articles and blog posts?
Have you tapped into the power of writing great headlines? Do you need to build a larger and more engaged tribe.
Look forward to hearing your stories.
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Image by Trace Meek