22 Ways to Stand Out Online
You’ve been writing some great posts, but STILL have problems getting people to notice you online? Are you not sure why this is happening? Are you wondering how you can make sure you stand out online?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, this post is for YOU!
Now that we got that intro out of the way, we can get started.
Standing out online can seem almost impossible. Everyone seems to have a blog, online business, website, or some other such online presence. It may seem like you will never be noticed with all of them crowding your online space. I know what you mean, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not as impossible as you may think.
There are several things that you can do that will make a huge difference in your blogging or business. All of these tips revolve around using your individual voice and unique personality to set yourself apart from everyone else. This originality will allow you to connect with your readers on a deeper level.
Not quite sure what I’m talking about?
Check out these 22 surefire ways to stand out online:
1. Just be yourself
I know you’ve probably heard this about a gazillion times in your life, but it’s actually quite true. I know this can be quite daunting, but it’s one of the best ways to stand out online. There is only one you, so celebrate who you are. Show your style, your personality, your quirks (Goodness knows I have a bunch of them!), your voice, your interests, your preferences, your hatred for bacon (Remember those quirks I mentioned?)…Everything that makes you who you are. Be your brand, and you will stand out.
2. Connect with your readers.
Sure, it’s pretty important to have some business-related social media posts were you share your latest discount, sale, or whatever. That’s totally necessary for your business! But, those don’t have to be the ONLY thing you talk about. It can get pretty annoying to constantly be pitched at. It’s kind of like having a salesman at your door who just WON’T go away.
If these are the only things you are talking about, it’s time to change things up a bit! Think about what you can share on a personal level, and you will be better able to connect with your readers. Talk to them, not at them.
3. Remember: You only fail when you give up.
It’s a saying that gets tossed around a lot on social media, but it’s one that rings true for me. I know it’s true when it comes to doing business or blogging. There are crazy amounts of new blogs and businesses that are being created each and every day, but most of them don’t stick around. Just because you are passionate about doing something doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to do. The people who really stand out online are the people who push through their hardships, overcome their obstacles, and grow from their experiences. You CAN do it!
4. Share neat graphics of quotes you love.
Find some pretty graphics of great quotes on Pinterest, Instagram, etc., and share them with your readers. You can share them on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram…anywhere! Just make sure they stick to the vibe you wish to curate for your brand. Need some inspiration? Check out my Quotes and Sayings board on Pinterest:
5. Give a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what you’re working on.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good behind-the-scenes shot. I love seeing the home offices of other writers, following some of my favorite actors and directors on Instagram, and following some artists on Snapchat. It’s a bit like being let in on a juicy secret, and adds a more personal feel to your brand. It helps you connect with your followers and readers on a personal level, rather than just on a business level.
6. Have an opinion about something.
I’m not just talking about preferring coffee to tea. I’m talking about having a super passionate opinion about something you can rant on and on about with serious conviction. Something more like the fact they should bring back Firefly, and that it was completely asinine that such a glorious show was cancelled in the first place. Be strong. Be passionate. Bring me Starbucks. (Seriously. Send Starbucks.)
7. Share your experiences.
No else has gone through the same things you’ve gone through. Nobody has had the exact same experiences that you have! Share your story in a way that relates to your blog or business. It doesn’t matter where you share it, as long as you do! Check out my about page for an example of how I related the struggles of having a speech impediment to my business.
8. Show your readers another side of yourself.
Just because you run a business or blog doesn’t mean you have to be business-y all the time. Share some fun photos of yourself, your life, or your colleagues. While you don’t want to flood your readers with selfies, do share some photos of you working, having fun, or doing some random things. Get creative with it!
As an example, check out this picture of me drinking coffee. I do a lot of that:
9. Find something you like, and hone your skills in that area.
People who stand out online (and elsewhere, actually) don’t spread themselves thin by trying to please everyone. If you try to do it all, you’re going to run yourself ragged and experience some serious burnout. Try focusing on one or two particular things – the more specific, the better.
10. Check out what other people are doing, and then do it differently.
There are thousands of stories that detail how successful businesses, bloggers, or other individuals gained their popularity and success. Read the stories about your competitors, colleagues, or other bloggers in your niche. Find out what they are doing, and then find a way to do it differently. How can you take it in the opposite direction? How can you improve upon what they are doing? How can you add your own personal spin on it? Find out, and do it!
11. Remember that customer experience is key.
I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have felt let down by a business or professional individual, simply because it seemed like they didn’t actually care about me as a customer. I stutter, and there have been numerous times when professionals have hung up on me. Business associates have flat-out asked me if I was mentally disabled.
Poor customer service, bad experiences, ignored emails, being on hold too long…so many things ruin the customer experience. Make you go above and beyond when it comes to your followers, readers, clients, and customers. Show them you care! Give them a great experience, engage with them, provide them with helpful content, surprise them when you can, and make them feel like you care about each and every one of them. Showing that you truly care will go a long way when it comes to standing out online.
12. Let people see what you are like outside of work/blogging.
What is something you do off the clock that your viewers would find fun or entertaining? Maybe you have a picture of you binging on Always Sunny in Philadelphia with a giant mug of hot cocoa by your side. Maybe one of you without makeup, but with crazy bedhead. Get creative with it!
Check out this picture of when I was babysitting one of the best kids in the entire known universe:
13. Ask your readers/customers fun and engaging questions.
What’s something related to your industry that you could ask your readers or customers? What about a completely off-topic question that would be fun for your followers to answer? If you want people to engage with you, you need to reach out to them. Give them a reason to talk to you! Try having a Question of the Day featured on your blog or preferred social media platform.
14. Make sure your content is original and useful.
When people find something that is really awesome, really useful, or a combination of both, they will want to share it. I recently shared a post by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (I’m a member). It covered the five ways by which degrees are changing in 2016. I thought it was both interesting and useful, and it brought about some engagements from others who found it interesting.
15. Give them a peek of your awesome workspace.
I’m a bit obsessed with seeing people’s workspaces. (In actually have an entire board dedicated to home offices and workspaces!) Share with your readers a picture of where your content is born. I shared this picture of my own workspace awhile back:
16. Reach out to others in your niche or industry.
Networking is truly important. Look for Facebook groups, Twitter chats, or Pinterest group boards related to your niche or industry. Get involved! Post stuff, share relevant content, ask questions, and comment on things. I’m part of several freelance writer groups, as well a group for people who stutter. I’ve met some great writers in both groups, and have a lot of fun making new connections. I also am part of a whole bunch of groups on LinkedIn, and have used them for networking opportunities. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!
17. Collect rave reviews and strong testimonials.
One of the best ways to stand out online – especially if you’re selling a service or product – is to get your previous clients or customers to write testimonials for you. Testimonials and reviews lend your brand credibility and help people trust you, even though they have never met you in person. Here’s my own page of testimonials.
18. Make sure you keep up with your blog and website.
Sure, it’s great to update your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other such social media accounts. But, it’s just as important (if not even MORE important) to keep your website updated. Post consistently, check for broken links, bring in some new content, and update your photos.
19. Go comment on blogs!
I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to drive the point home again. If you want people to comment on your blog, you should reach out and comment on the blogs of others. I have a bit of a habit of not doing this step as much (I am sometimes better at giving great advice than I am taking it! The more comments you leave, the more likely it is that someone will click on your link/profile and check out your website or blog.
20. Interact with people on social media.
One of the best ways to stand out online is to create a connection with others, especially when they are in your niche or industry. For example, I like to thank all the people that follow me on Twitter. If I get a mass of people, I will send out a general “Thank you to my recent followers!” I typically thank them individually, though. This creates a personal feel to your brand.
21. If you join a group or forum, be active!
What is the point in joining a group if you aren’t going to say anything? Take advantage of all the possible connections. Interact with people. Network, engage, share, and talk!
22. Spread love and positivity!
I know that sounds like pseudo-hippy stuff, but it’s actually really helpful. Why would you want to follow someone who only posts depressing, sad articles and whiny updates? I know life can be hard, but your readers don’t need to constantly be bombarded with that. They have their own problems to worry about. Instead, find ways to brighten your readers’ days by making them smile. Send a client a Thank You card. Give someone a genuine compliment on their post. Send out a care package. Share pretty stock photos, if you have the ability to do so.
There! Now, go through the list and try all of those fun activities.
Is there anything you would add to this list? If so, let me know in the comments below!
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