Be The CEO Of Brand You
Natalie Sisson helps entrepreneurs find creative social media solutions
Natalie Sisson is a business design expert whose speciality is ‘ensuring that entrepreneurs find creative ways to run their business from anywhere using online tools, social media and outsourcing.’
A lot of regular BusinessBecause readers will either have ambitions to run their own companies or their employers will want them to help manufacture the online presence of the company they work for. Either way we thought it would be useful to ask Natalie for her tips on how to structure an impressive online presence.
Natalie says the first step is to think “it is like becoming CEO of brand you, now that you are online you have to be the front person of yourself. Everything you do online is going to be noticed and can be traced back. You have a brilliant opportunity to be your own brand, whether you have a blog, website, Facebook or Twitter. Your complete portfolio can be online.”
Natalie herself says the most of her opportunities have come her way after seeing her online presence. Her business started with a blog but it is essentially a multi-faceted revenue. “I can run my business from my smart phone and website. I sell digital products and programs mainly for female entrepreneurs or those that want to start their own careers and I also give social media lessons.”
To keep up with developments in the technology world Natalie refers to a couple of blogs such as Hubspot, Mashable, Techcrunch and carefully monitors Twitter streams. From her travels as the Suitcase Entrepreneur Natalie has noticed how different countries use social media in different ways. She explains from New Zealand that she has been blown away by how social media is in its infancy. “People here in business are not on LinkedIn, there is hardly anyone on Twitter and Facebook is for social use. In North America they are so on it.” Brazil and China are interesting as they have their own social networks, 70% of Brazilians are using social networks – but their own ones. And in Arab countries where privacy is so important there is not such a great uptake.
Natalie travels the world and likes to be able to relate to her international audience. Therefore she searches Twitter to find out what different countries are talking about, “I am mindful of what other countries are looking for. In fact I am just about to put out the Spanish version of my blog, I think people have been slow to put out content in other languages.”
I ask Natalie which social media channel she believes is the most underestimated and she says it is not which channel but that “people forget about 24 hour online presence, there is always something else to do. The online world never sleeps and you do make money in your sleep as the internet transcends time zones. I find it is hard to switch off as there is always something you could be doing.”
Natalie’s secret to having a 24 hour presence is Hootsuite as it allows her to manage all her social media channels. “It allows me to cut out a lot of noise and follow lists. I can schedule messages and tweets to go out in my sleep and it follows analytics for me.”
For people looking to set up an online company Natalie’s key piece of advice is before you even start is to have a purpose, a clear goal. Do you want to be location independent, is this a side-hustle project or an online enterprise market. “The clearer you are in your purpose the clearer your product will be.” Natalie says that when she started out she had an undefined market and in hindsight wishes she had been clearer from the beginning.
Once your company is online “it is all about being consistent with one particular message. Get your head around the fact that you are a brand. What’s your message and from there you can build your authority, credibility and expertise.”
When she first started out Natalie admits to being cautious, “I would only speak in corporate communications tone but now I have opinions and sometimes say some quirky provocative things. Through my blog i am trying to provide advice, of course there are some things that i hold back, for example I try not to tweet when i am on a night out! You have to remember that all information is out there, both positive and negative reviews are already out there you just need to be mindful.”
The rapid expansion of social media has levelled out the playing field for small and large companies to compete on. “In small companies you can use the channels to make a start-up look large and established. Tools are at your fingertips to compete with the big guys, small companies also have the advantage of being faster at responding and reacting. In a large company it is all about who is in charge of which social media channel and are they sticking to the social media policy of the company.”
Natalie has just launched Sculpted Social Media, a website which will give you in-depth instruction on how to use social media effectively and which tells you to 'stop wasting time and start flexing your social media muscles.'
Interested in how Facebook got started? Check out our interview with Divya Narendra, one of the site's original founders
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