Winning the Dead Heat
by Daniel Gasteiger
Imagine this scenario: You're trying to sell to a new market. You assemble a dynamite pitch, your sample material is amazing and the buyer really wants to work with you. Your proposal is at the top of the stack, but it's not the only one! The buyer has three favorite proposals with resources to make only one purchase. What do you think happens next? I hope you're thinking “Google.” When all else is equal, an agent, editor, art buyer or meeting planner googles your name and the names of your competitors. Whichever of you has the most impressive web presence makes the sale. It's crucial to understand the ramifications here. Your articles, drawings or photos may already appear in many books about gardening. You may have a dynamite relationship with a major media outlet. You may even create the most sensational photographs of Dracena marginata imaginable, but if the other candidates have a more impressive web presence, you're not going to win in a new market. How to Build Web Presence There are three broad and heavily-interrelated categories of activities that build your web presence without costing a fortune: ✔ Creating content on websites ✔ Participating in social media ✔ Performing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on web content Creating Content on Websites You don't need to own a website to create content on the web. Commenting on other people's blog posts, uploading videos to YouTube, posting photos on Flickr, even managing your Facebook account constitute the creation of content. When you participate in any of these activities, take credit by using your real name when you create social networking profiles or leave comments on blogs and forums. Participating in Social Media Normal humans feel pretty silly when they first use Twitter. I did and you probably will. Get over it. Twitter is an amazing community that lets participants move smoothly among conversations about almost anything. Many relationships made on Twitter have lead to business opportunities. You'll meet people who will want to buy your work or hire your services. Some will simply help you to tell the world about what you do, and that's a good thing.
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