Tosin Ajibade is the founder of OloriSuperGal, a covener of new media conferences. In this twitter space she shared principles on how to build a strong online presence based on over 12-years personal experience being in the media
One of the questions that I get from people is how do you stay relevant in the media even after 10 years. People usually assume that after a certain period of doing business you should probably be pushed out of the business to something else. One response I have been able to sustain this business is that the media is my passion. In addition, having to sustain the brand for more than 10 years has taken a lot of people to put their hands on deck.
You might be building your personal or business brand and depending on what you intend to build in 2023 I’ll share a few tips to help you stay relevant and build your online presence.
Pay attention to Branding
The first concept is branding. Branding is perception. It’s one of the first things people will see before they get to know the person or team behind a particular brand. It consists of your colors, your logo, your online formats etc. For online brands, people don’t get to see the faces behind a lot of brands but they get to know the name and the vision and mission of what the brands start for.
If you want to build a brand that would last, you need to invest your resources and make sure that you get the best out of it. One of the things that we did before we got to the final stage of the Olorisupergal logo was that we worked with different designs. The designer who created this particular logo was from South Africa. I went far enough to get the best that I could do at that time.
Have a Value
The second concept is value. Value is very important. Most brands have the value they intend to create for their followers or customers in their mission statement. You get to see that most brands do giveaways when they come on the platform. You might wonder why. They are attracting followers and people to join their community. When you sign up for a newsletter, you get to receive a lot of freebies because they want you to remember them.
Most people will say this particular platform is saturated so how do I stand out? To stand out, you have to find your niche. Find that thing that makes you different from other communities. Ensure that you create value .
Be active on Social media
To build a strong online presence, you need to leverage social media platforms. You don’t need to be on all popular platforms. For instance, I moved from Facebook down to Twitter, then snapchat came in between. You just need to find the platform that really works for you. For most Gen-Zs today tiktok is their go-to platform for building an online presence. The Covid-19 lockdown really helped and a lot of creatives came out from the tiktok platform and are making money from it now.
Being consistent is one thing that you’ll hear. It may sound cliche but it’s the very truth. It can be really challenging trying to keep up with your brand or community. But one thing you need to agree with your team is to show up regardless. You can schedule your contents to avoid burning out. Give yourself breaks and room to strategize and see where things need to be improved on. Through your analytics you can discover what’s going wrong and what we need to do better. You can see when your audience cones online and how you can create content for them to increase engagement.
A lot of people will thrive on facebook because that’s their main platform but may not survive on Twitter. So, you need to know your strength.
You’ll need to apply SWOT analysis in building your online presence. What are your strengths? Where do you think you’re most seen or heard? Stay there, build again, then try to test other platforms. Read about the new policies for every platform at all times. Make sure that you are in touch with what’s going on each platform. For example, i’m not strong on linkedin and i have no idea how some of my colleagues are doing it. It is not my own strong point.
You want to build your presence with the right content for your audience so that you don’t lose your audience. But be sure it’s a platform you’re comfortable with so you don’t get to that level where you cannot move forward any longer, and just leave or disappear.
Create a Website
Another area where most communities or personal branding fail is in not creating a website. The website is very important. Before any serious brand will want to work with you you have to show proof of work and they’ll ask to see your website. These days, it’s easy to go to a platform to buy a domain for a certain amount depending on the currency, buy it and develop it. It can be as simple as a one page website. Just have your information there and keep it running with content, newsletters. Having that website sets you apart from the crowd and this is how you can stand out from the crowd without getting frustrated by competition.
Create good content
Under this, you also need to create meaningful content that suits your community. You can talk with your community once or twice a week, give a freebie, or create designs. You can also look for interesting opportunities that your audience may be interested in. That way they see value in you and they stay with your brand. Canva is a great way to create easy designs. You can also use fiverr to hire someone to do the content creation for you. You have to keep contributing to the page so that people can get to hear about what you do.
Differentiate your personal brand from your business
For a lot of people who have business brands that’s separate from their personal brand, you have to define the difference between both so that people don’t get confused about the different ideas. This was one of the mistakes I made while starting but I learned from it and found a way out of it. Now I have a personal brand that’s different from OloriSuperGal. When you come to my personal brand I train people on digital marketing and do other activities outside media
Another important thing in building a strong online presence is to develop relationships. Build relationships with people in your industry. Contact them, reach out to them and stay persistent. No matter how much you get a no or silence, keep knocking on doors. You’ll need this set of people for opportunities, referrals and recommendations that could help your business or personal brand.
Finally, you need to understand the tone and language of your audience. The way you tweet to your audience would differ from others. When you’ve known the tone that suits them, stick to it. the way you tweet to your audience would differ from others.This would be identified as your unique voice or identity.
People out there are making money and getting opportunities from being deliberate about building a strong online presence and you can too. It takes determination and following these little steps.
Question: Are there strict rules on the kind of content to be put on different platforms or can you just freestyle about what you post on different platforms?
Every day, there’s always a new policy from owners of these platforms. The only place you can make the rules is with your website. For the social media platforms, blogspots and gmail, whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook, you are restricted by the algorithms.For example If you want to have longer videos, Youtube is a better platform and you’ll get to see inspiration from people who are doing similar length of videos suitable for your audience. But these platforms change over time because now there are Youtube shorts with very short videos that creators can earn from soon and Instagram is also allowing longer videos on reel as well. So the important thing is finding what works for you and fitting it to the rules on the existing platforms.
Question: Can tiktok be used to grow a personal or professional brand? Are there some limitations with quality expectations from tiktok?
Tiktok is not just a place for dance videos or restricted to people in the entertainment industries. You can do marketing, teaching on tiktok. Being consistent is key. My personal page is just about writing and a lot of journaling but it has grown over the years. My highest videos have over 70000 views. It is easy to lose interest in a platform because of things people are saying. But do not get carried away or discouraged, instead find your passion and reason and keep going. Start with what you have. Even if it’s a small phone with little camera quality don’t let that deter you.
Question: Would you recommend resources that can help me rebuild my brand especially in choosing the palette successfully?
You’ll need a good graphics designer to help you work on the colors for the brand. They’ll ask you specific questions because your logo should represent you? Also look for inspiration from brands in your area of interest. Pay attention to social listening if you’re rebranding. Your next inspiration could be in the comment session.
Question: What other options can people use to showcase their brand without a website
Start where you are. You can use wordpress, wix until you’re able to get a domain hosting. You can buy the domain name in advance. When Olorisupergal started we started with blogspot for sometime before we moved on to our own website.
Question: How have you been able to evolve without affecting your brand and audience?
There’s a lot of trends in the media and if you don’t move you snooze. So it’s something to discover and move with the trend. If you don’t understand the trend, ask questions and let someone explain it to you. At the same time you want your content to fit the next generation’s interstate both millennials and Gen-Zs. So you have to have coaches to help you make your content more relevant for various people. In terms of losing people while evolving it’s okay. As long as you have clarity while evolving you should not bother about the loses to tract your new target audience.