Helping Artists Succeed In A Connected World
Use Blog Comments to build to your brand
Now that we have established that as an artist you should build your brand and we've discussed the basics of how a consistent and well planned social media profile is an important first step, it's now time to start reaching out to the world to make people aware of you and your work. Participating in blogs is one of the best ways to do this while building brand awareness at the same time.
The Web is currently all about two-way communication. A great way to communicate is by commenting on blogs. When you do so you demonstrate that you are present and ready to engage in thoughtful communication with others in that community.
Here are some commonly recognized elements of "good" commenting. Some of these are pointed out in the best selling book Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Others are included in this excellent post by Pete Kistler. I've paraphrased and added to these a bit to make them relevant to artists.
- Find people that are blogging in your area of interest. You can search for them on Google, AllTop, and Technorati among others. You may already follow people on Twitter or Facebook. Some may have blogs where you can participate so be sure to check out their sites and see if they do.
- Comment often. Obviously, you don't want to spam but you do want to comment often so as to become a respected participant.
- Leave your name (and business / studio name) on comments but don't be "spammy" about it. Use the name you want people to find in search engines like Google.
- Comment on stories and pieces that relate to your areas of interest or speciality. In other words be relevant and know what you are talking about.
- It's ok to link to your website as part of your signature (particularly if others do) but don't explicitly mention or link to your stuff, even if it's pertinent — at least not for a few comments. In other words, don't say "Buy my images here" or even "Visit my website".
- Link to other sites that help illustrate your point. Also, give credit by linking to others when you use their posts in your writing.
- Be yourself, which is to say, "be one of us." When writing, speak in a conversational voice.
- Make sure you are adding value to the post you are commenting on. Just saying "I agree" or "I like your post" isn't really adding anything to the conversation.
- If you are going to present a point of view that is contrary to the original post or other comments be respectful in doing so. Don't attack people or their motives just because you have a different opinion.
- Check your spelling before posting your comments, you usually can't once it's posted.
Commenting is a very good way to begin building your brand because comments leave "digital breadcrumbs" that extend beyond the original post or blog. For example, when people Google your name, or the topic, your posts may be in the results. But most importantly, as stated in Pete Kistler's post, commenting leaves a trail of breadcrumbs online that "builds a web presence worthy of remark, differentiating you from others".
So, start building your brand on the web today... one comment at a time. People in your online community will get to know, trust, and respect you. And, that is what building a personal brand is all about.