In today’s episode of The Career Rx I’m going to share how you can build your professional brand and grow your online presence without your own website.
You know you need an effective online presence to get ahead professionally, but you're not ready to start your own website? While it is much easier than you probably think, it's also not the first step you should take. The truth is you can level up your professional brand online without a website of your own.
This is a question I get quite a bit and there are easy solutions you can start using today – to raise awareness and grow your business online.
In This Episode of The Career Rx We’ll Discuss:
- How you can build your professional brand without a website
- Two key features you need to have set up on your social media profiles
- 5 platforms you can use to maximize your professional brand voice and content
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TRANSCRIPT AND SHOW NOTES (5 Ways to Build Your Professional Brand Without a Website)
Hey there friends! Welcome to The Career Prescription podcast (aka The Career Rx). I’m your host Marjorie Stiegler.
As a physician and a healthcare social media expert and today's topic is a question I get all the time…
What if I don't have a website? Is there any way I can build my brand or do I need to get the website done first?
The answer to that is you do not need a website.
There are 5 ways you can build your professional brand online, but before I share this, I will say I do recommend you eventually build a website.
If you are intending to sell products or services, grow your medical business or a different business or if you really want to establish yourself as an expert in a certain area. This is when a website can really help you grow. A website can help you book speaking opportunities, generate sales and build your brand.
In the meantime, you don't need a website to start building your professional brand.
How To Build Your Professional Brand Without a Website
One of the best ways to grow your professional brand without a website is to focus on search engine optimization (SEO). Yes, this is indeed possible without your own website!
SEO is how search engines know what to show about you when someone Googles your name or how the search engines show results when someone's looking for an expert in a topic. That's what search engine optimization is in a nutshell.
Before we talk about the 5 strategies you can use online to build your professional brand, make sure you are doing the following…
Two Features You Need Set Up on Your Social Media Profiles:
1. A Public Profile
You can't have your privacy settings turned on, as this will prevent you from being found in search results.
If you're using a social media account and you have it set as private or approval and you're only interacting with friends and contacts, this won't help you grow your online presence.
It's a totally fine way to use social media, but it's not going to help you for this purpose.
2. Searchable Content
This podcast episode was first created as a Facebook Live video. As a video search engines have no idea what I'm saying unless I add a transcript or other written content in the description that goes alongside this video.
If you were to watch the recorded version of a Facebook Live, the video content is not searchable other than the title, the description and the hashtags. So, if search engines don’t know what you’re saying in your video it doesn't help build your brand.
Of course, you want to make sure you have your brand phraseology figured out too.
What's your branding?
What are your targeted keywords for search engine optimization?
Once you have your brand messaging worked out there are 5 ways to roll this out.
5 Ways to Maximize Your Professional Brand Messaging
1. Create a Facebook Business Page (and make sure it’s public)
You can set this up in minutes. Keep it separate from your personal social media profile you use to interact with family and friends. This Facebook business page is always public.
Everything on a Facebook business page is completely public. Therefore it's a place you can:
- Customize your bio
- Share your views
- Write small articles in a post to utilize the platform as its own online destination or website
- Create engagement with your followers/target audience
Related: The Fastest Way for Doctors To Build a Stellar Online Presence
A Facebook business page is an excellent place to target as Facebook has a high ranking in search engines already. If you include your own strategic SEO on your business page, this will get you some good results.
2. Utilize LinkedIn as Part of Your Professional Brand Building
LinkedIn is also a great social media platform to focus on when building your professional brand.
Make sure to double-check your settings to ensure you are public and searchable.
LinkedIn is a great place to post articles that can tie to your overall professional brand messaging.
When you update your bio and write captions/articles make sure to use your targeted SEO keywords to maximize your visibility.
As long as your profile is public and searchable, this is doing you just as many favors as having your own website, maybe even more due to having high search engine rankings, which a new website won’t have until you establish yourself.
3. Professional Landing Page
The third thing you can do is create a landing page.
You can easily set this up with email marketing providers like MailChimp (referral link?). Some email marketing companies even have free plans (Mailerlite). The landing page will live on the email provider's domain.
The benefits of having your own landing page are you can communicate with your target audience with written content and imagery.
You can essentially write a long-form blog post and then focus on making that post SEO friendly. This would include adding the right long-tail keywords to the landing page headlines, body text, image alt tags and meta description.
Related: 3 Keyword Research Tips to Grow Your Physician Side Gig
Make sure to also include a strong call to action on your landing page that communicates the action you’d like the reader to take.
4. Guest Blogging
There are many mega blogs out there in medicine. For example, KevinMD.com is one of the most widely known.
Many of these large websites accept guest posts, so you can submit a blog post on these websites that already have a high ranking (domain authority).
Check out my guest post for KevinMD: 5 Simple Steps to Amplify a Physicians Professional Visibility
Some other great up-and-coming websites I really like are:
- SheMD – which is primarily about women in medicine.
- Doctors on Social Media – just like it says, it’s a blog for and by doctors on social media
If accepted, they also will syndicate your posts so you can submit blog posts to the managers of those websites and they will post for you.
This means that associated with your name, your branding, your search engine optimization – you can communicate online in a place that will rank more highly than your own website.
Some websites, of course, have a higher domain authority than others. As I mentioned, KevinMD is one of them. Another place you can post is Doximity, but if you can get other websites that have high rankings to post your content, you don't need your own website to do that.
Most of them will post your content even if you're already posting it in the other places we’ve discussed – LinkedIn, Facebook and a landing page. You can, therefore, get more bang for your buck in terms of content amplification.
The final thing I will say…
Of all of the social media profiles you use, whether it’s Instagram, Pinterest, video/photo platforms, remember that search engines don't know what's in the video. They don't know what's in the picture. While this is getting better all the time with artificial intelligence and machine learning, it’s still early days for that, and an important principle to keep in mind for non-text content.
The captions and the metadata are really important here.
The titles and descriptions you include in your social media platforms is a really great place to include your target SEO keywords. This will help get your name out there on platforms that already exist.
If you post a photo with a quote, Google won’t know what the image says unless you write the text from the quote alongside the image.
Just realize search engines don't know what you're saying in a photo or video. You, therefore, want to put some tags, keywords, title and perhaps a synopsis or even a full transcript so search engines know what you're talking about.
Although I do recommend you eventually get yourself a website for building your professional brand, those are five key strategies you can use.
Building Your Professional Brand Without a Website: Recap
All five of these professional branding strategies already have high search engine rankings – higher than you would if you started a website today.
Reminder! When communicating on these platforms ensure you have your settings configured to be public and searchable.
Leverage those five strategies and those two key checks on each one and you’ll find you have a real operation for improving the visibility of your professional brand.
As part of your professional brand you want to make sure you are using language to describe:
- Who you are
- What you bring to the table/ what you offer
- How you help people
…This will help you make a bigger difference to more people without having to have your own website.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Career Rx.
Please be sure to subscribe and leave me a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or whatever podcast player you're using to listen today. Also, be sure to send me your questions so that I can answer them and give you a shout out on a future episode.
Bye for now,
Related Professional Branding Articles & Resources:
- The Branding Rx: Professional Branding 101
- Professional Branding: What is IS and ISN'T
- Show Up and Be Seen: a Modern Guide to Professional Visibility