My background is in marketing so marketing my own business should feel very comfortable for me. It does not. For years I’ve worked with people, supporting them in getting their business online and making their presence known on the internet. At one point I became so busy doing this that my own marketing fell by the wayside and I found it harder and harder to pick up the mantle and start to market myself again. I know the theory, it’s putting it into practise that was the problem.

I had lost a lot of confidence and didn’t know where to start to regain it. Being an avid blogger I started a series called Five Things I Learned This Week – a weekly series of posts where my audience would get to know me, my work and what goes on behind the scenes. It was a big commitment but a good one. It also got me back in the process of connecting with the people who wanted to talk to me. This year I started a series called ‘Thursday’s Thoughts’ – still a weekly blogging commitment but with less demands than having to come up with 5 things every week.

I find that being able to empty my head of my thoughts via these posts leaves me the mental space to write other, work related articles. I have a series of articles on my website called ‘How To’ which walks you through how to build sites in WordPress, tell your story online and offers step-by-step instructions for common issues. Whilst my Facebook audience are not too interested in them, the article links are great for sending to clients and for people who are not as far down the website developing journey as me, to be able to learn how to do things.

My marketing tips are:

Social Media is important to get your business known but it’s important to have a presence which reflects you entirely. This is where your website comes in. With Social Media you’re dependent on the styling of their platform, your website can be entirely styled around you.

Use the platforms you feel most comfortable on, choose 2 (other than LinkedIn, everybody should be on that) and do them well. Read your insights and create content similar to the stuff that performs best on your Social Media channels.

Be consistent online – have the same profile pic and banners everywhere, speak in the same tone of voice, use the same branding elements.

Always reply to peoples’ comments, even if you don’t have much to say – people who feel valued and heard will engage with you regularly.

Don’t be afraid of negative press – it’s an opportunity to show how professional you can be, offers a learning opportunity and reassures people you’re human, not perfect.

Delete and block Trolls and keyboard warriors. If they won’t say it to your face, they don’t deserve to say it to you online.