As entrepreneurs, we know the importance of building a strong digital reputation. These days, the Google search result for your name is equivalent to your resume. But building up your online reputation takes time – something a lot of entrepreneurs don't have. When you’re responsible for everything from finding investors to locating the best health insurance rates to solidifying partner relationships, it can feel almost impossible to carve out the time necessary for branding yourself online. Don't fret, it isn't impossible.
Here are four ways you can do it -- even when you have no extra time to spare.
Don’t have time to write a blog post? Or don’t fancy yourself a great writer? No problem. Use bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk’s strategy -- dictate your ideas into the voice memo function of your smartphone. You can reel off your missives in the car, on a walk, on your exercise bike or whenever inspiration strikes. By doing so, the pressure is off because you’re not simply sitting and staring at a blank screen. Once you’ve recorded your thoughts, you can have them transcribed by a service like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. It’s a lot easier to edit and move around your own words, as opposed to coming up with new ideas from scratch.
You could make social media content creation a full-time career (in fact, plenty of people have). But as an entrepreneur, you have other things to do -- so limit your time strategically. Use a social-media tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your posts in advance for the week. You can easily determine which items you want to crosspost (i.e. a certain piece should go on both Twitter and LinkedIn but not Facebook) and which you’d prefer to keep solely on one channel.
You’d never get anything done if you had to create fresh content all the time. Instead, think about how you can repurpose things you’ve already created using a different social channel. For instance, one blog post can be turned into at least five or ten tweets, if you excerpt different “pull quotes,” or interesting quotes you pull out to highlight along with a link to the piece. Or perhaps you could record a one-minute video summarizing the best wisdom from that blog post, and share a behind-the-scenes picture of yourself recording the video via Instagram.
Some entrepreneurs hire ghostwriters to create blog posts or other content for them. (I’m generally not a fan of the practice, because it’s so powerful to share your unique voice). But one variation that can be quite useful is to hire someone to interview you about your business. You can rely on a staffer, an intern who’s a solid writer or hire a freelance writer through sites such as Elance. They can provide you with a transcript of your conversation, and much like the transcript of your dictation, seeing your own words can often serve as a helpful prompt. Now, it’s not about “what should I write?” but instead, “how can I best organize my insights to help others?”