I remember the moment as if it was yesterday. I had just started a job as a marketing director for a small law firm in Central Jersey and needed some help understanding social media and SEO. My journey led me to the door of Marcus Padulchick of Source Excellence Advisors for his guidance. Right out of the gate he challenged me to “Google” my name – and I was shocked to find out that I did not appear anywhere on the internet. And from that time on I was determined to change that. Thanks to very strategic planning and execution, now when you google Jennifer Gardella, my writing and pictures display. As one client recently said “oooohhh, you really do know what you are doing.”
No matter what your profession or area of expertise, you should be looking to brand yourself and your business. I often joke that if I invite you to my home for dinner, be prepared for your meal to be served with love – but probably burnt or delivered. Cooking is not my forte. Branding you as an expert, and your business on the interent, is my specialty.
I work with many clients who are in the same predicament I was years ago. They may be an expert in what they do but they have yet to establish a stronghold on their name within their industry on the internet. You may be excellent at your professional line of work, but in order to be seen as a true expert you need a strong internet presence including a website/blog and a strategic social media effort. When I work with clients I show them each step of the process and how easy it can be to get started by just taking small steps.
I have a very specific process that is customized for each client. It grows out of some very key concepts that are addressed each step of the way:
Know what you want to look like: Knowing what you want to look like out there on the internet can be half the work to establishing a presence. For instance, you may be chasing a competitor and may need to analyze all that they do, then with my help, do it better (of course). You may also want there to be a certain look and feel to your presence. For instance, I love the Sandra Dee feel to my website, www.jennifergardella.com. It fits me and my personality so it works.
Be unique: Just like every flower is unique in some way, so is every person. What makes you stand out in your crowd? Do you have an interesting logo, service, or demographic you serve? How is your product or service different from your competition? If you work in corporate america how do you take business to the next level? How do you lead?
Find fertile ground: Know the different options for branding and what you can do in each sphere to help your overall effort. The different sites and approaches that work for a Fortune 500 executive might not work for the local artist consortium. Also, what works on LinkedIn does not work on Twitter. You may need to test and try before knowing what works the best for you.
Feed the growth: Be clear on how you are going to build your presence. Are you going to do all the work yourself or do you need to allocate budget to get some help?
Trim when necessary: Dedicate some time to your analytics so you can measure your progress. Use the numbers as part of a larger data picture to make informed decisions. Trends may change and as “they” say, what worked before might not work forever so be ready to be flexible.
For me, it is a great honor to work with clients as they start to establish themselves on the internet. I help them organize their brand and get it out there with a plan for success. Some clients arrive at my doorstep armed with a vision (including a logo) and need to get organized. Others have yet to put anything in place and need my help to get organized so they can start moving. Wherever you fall on the spectrum know that I am here to provide you with the information and guidance you need to get started.