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Articles

Daniel LeMoine is a social entrepreneur, change-maker, and writer. Here he writes at the intersection of faith, work, & building a matterful career.

Filtering by Category: creativity

My Online Brand Building Strategy

Dan LeMoine

By the end of July, when I finish the 100 Day Project, I’ll have written about 150 posts here — mostly on topics at the intersection of faith and work, building a career and body of meaningful work, and how to forge a faith for Monday (not just Sunday). Not a bad little base of content to play with, wouldn’t you say?

I got a question from a friend recently who receives my newsletter:

“[W]hat is your process for identifying and building your online brand?"

While right now my focus has been on putting in the reps, doing the work and writing everyday, that is not where it will stop. I have put some thought into this. Here’s the actions I plan to take to grow awareness and exposure of the ideas I publish here on this blog.  

My Personal Brand Building & Content Distribution Strategy

Here are the tactics and actions I plan to implement, in no particular order (unless otherwise indicated).

Move to a 1-2x/week Publishing Schedule

Daily writing is an excellent habit. Daily publishing is not where I’d like to stay. Moving to a 1-2x/week fixed publishing schedule will allow for more researched and well structured and articles. 

Cross Post Featured Posts to Medium

Medium is a massive platform with lots of eyeballs. Cross publishing there will generate more view and greater brand presence. A business partner and I deployed a similar strategy with The Beach Shirt when we began selling one of our products on Etsy. The number of eyeballs that get to your things on these larger platforms is a game-changer. It’s the difference between the farmer who waits for people to come buy his produce and the one who goes to sell it at the market where 100s of people come each weekend to buy.

Footer Call To Action on Medium

As I cross post to Medium, adding a footer call to action may be a good way to increase engagement and give people the opportunity to go deeper by linking back to my home blog. Something like:

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! You're a champion! :) If you enjoyed it, hit that heart button below. Would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

FYI: this article originally appeared on my website.

[*Hat tip to Gary Vaynerchuk for this framework.]

Using Buffer, Systematically Share and Re/Post Articles on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn

I don’t have the time nor desire to be on Facebook and Twitter everyday, let alone multiple times per day. Enter Buffer app and the beauty of batch processing! The plan is to set aside a chunk of time and batch schedule the articles to be posted throughout the coming weeks, months.

Use @ Mentions On Twitter To Tag/Credit/Honor Thought Leaders

Mentioning and giving credit to the thought leaders, authors, and mentor who inspired or were quoted in a post would be a good way to both honor them, and gain some exposure. It may even open up the possibility of collaboration or a retweet here or there. Who Inspired Or 

Something like: “@chipconley thanks for inspiring this post! [title] [link]" or "@ScottBritton have you seen this post you inspired?! Thanks!"

‘Passive’ Call To Action in my Email Signature

Adding a subtle call to action on my personal email signature may drive a few more reads from people I’m already in communication with who otherwise do not know about this blog on faith and works. I’ve used this tactic successfully in the past for other ventures and projects, and this project is no different.

Something like:

--
Dan LeMoine
danlemoine.co
330.620.3597
P.S. Check out: “26 Game-Changing Tools You Need To Be Using” 

Using Pablo, Create Instagram Quote Cards From Posts I’ve Published

Pull out select quotes or ideas from the work I’m most proud of and begin sharing those visual images on Instagram and Twitter. Buffer launched an amazing tool called Pablo which allows anyone to create these quickly, easily, and beautifully — not being a designer is no longer an excuse not to incorporate well designed visual media into your marketing strategy!

Make Blogs More Consumable

I’ve already taken a step towards making blogs easier to consume on the site with the use of the search bar at top right. As well, creating a “Best Of” and/or “Start Here” pages where readers can quickly jump into topics or articles relevant to them, not just the most recently published.

Other Ideas I May or May Not Pursue:

  • Read short quote from a post on Anchor to drive awareness and traffic and build authority.
  • Seek out guest post opportunities on like-minded blogs, thought leaders, or online communities.
  • Submit articles to publication like Relevant magazine.
  • Repurpose several posts into a downloadable free ebook.

--

The rationale behind building my online “brand presence” is two-fold.

First, I have this goal of trying to never need to use a résumé to get hired again. I desire to leverage meaningful connections I’ve made and the work I’ve produced. This blog helps highlight the later and showcase my journey of growth, curiosity, learning and becoming a change-agent. I have this intuition that to get any job I’d love, it’d be much more effective to point someone to a well designed website highlighting my body of work and meaningful projects I’ve been involved in, rather than a list of where I’ve worked and bullet points trying to beef up what impact I had. In my opinion, résumés are somewhat antiquated. 

Secondly, I have put a great amount of time and thought into the posts and ideas found here. I believe there are others out there who my writing would connect with and they’d say, “this is what i’ve been looking for all along.” I believe if more professionals started really trying to align their beliefs on Sunday with their actions in the marketplace we’d have better leaders, better organizations, and a better world. And I’m hoping a few of these thoughts move that needle, if ever so slightly, in the right direction. But they never will if they never get shared.

So, there you have it. That’s my approach and my rationale. 

Any other ideas on how to build your personal online brand presence?

(P.S. if you know anyone who is working to build a matterful career in a way that is informed by and glorifies God, please send ‘em my way!)


ARTICLE NO. 62/100 OF #THE100DAYPROJECT AND 100 DAYS OF WRITING.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS EXPERIMENT IN CREATIVITY, DISCIPLINE, LEADING UP, AND SLAYING PERFECTIONISM AND HOW YOU CAN JOIN CHECK OUT THIS POST.

What To Do When You Lack Discipline & Don't Follow Through

Dan LeMoine

About 50 day ago I set our to write everyday for 100 days. I knew when I set this goal that it was somewhat audacious. What I also did was mentally prepare myself to fail. 

And I have failed. (I RACK DISCIPRINE!)

Right now, it’s been 2 days since my last post. I have not upheld my commitment to myself and my readers (that’s you!) to post each and every day. 

In the past this falling off the bandwagon would have thrown me into a negative self-fulfilling prophesy — a downward spiral of guilt, shame, and disappointment of sorts — resulting in a complete halt of progress and momentum. 

We do this often...

We go months without posting to our blog solely because we hadn’t posted on it in a while. 
We stop working on that passion project or side hustle because we stopped working on it. (<—seriously, this is the rationale we use)
We lose momentum in our gym routine because we feel horrible about ourselves for not having gone all week. 
We don’t call that friend because we should’ve called like 6 months ago. 
We feel guilty about having one too many cinnamon rolls so we abandon our whole healthy eating regimen.

Sound ridiculous but I’m sure you’ve got some habit or area of your life where this happens either at work or at home.

So how do we mitigate this sabotage to our forward progress? How do we marshal on even if we’ve had a hiccup or stumble? 

The worst thing we can do, is allow our stumble to stall us. We have immense control over our own mindset and how we react and respond to our own short comings. And that is all this is—mindset.

From my experience as someone who once battled with feeling down about false starts and unfulfilled self-commitments, one of the most powerful tactics I’ve learned is to give myself permission to fail.

You may think that this gives me permission to not uphold my commitment, but the opposite is in fact true. It is actually a very strategic (and realistic) move. It gives a sense of freedom and liberation from the guilt and shame we often feel when we fail to uphold the high standards we hold ourselves to.  Look, life happens and we don’t always follow through with what we say we want to do or be about in our work. So we must plan accordingly and craft a bulletproof mindset around this truth.

With that liberation we know we can stop the downward spiral and get back on the horse. We can decide to not allow the mental momentum to come to a stop.

So when we fumble or stumble...

We know we can do what we can do.
We have grace with ourselves (and others).
Instead of excuses, we make appropriate accommodations to have a short memory and start again.
We take note of what and how we chose something else over "turning pro.”

So rather than let our oversight feed into a negative identity and sabotage our focus, we take stock of what needs to be in place to better prioritize our creative habit going forward. 

If we value building bodies of work we’re proud of we need to make the appropriate sacrifices. In a busy season, maybe it means waking up 25 minutes earlier to get your writing done before the day whisks you away. Maybe it means taking a 15 minute lunch instead of a 45. 

What’s worse than not following through on your creative habit or discipline? Letting one (or two) missteps tank your project or scuttle your initiative. C’mon we’re better than that.

The moral of the story is this: Don’t beat yourself up over your lack of discipline — don’t be so hard on yourself and certainly don’t let it stop you from moving ahead — that does more harm than good. Simply re-start (or re-re-start), keep you head down, and forge on.

Keep moving,

Dan

//

Note: It’s hard to talk about this without talking about priorities. It’s a given that my writing habit should take a back seat to my relationship with God or my wife. It’s a bit less of a given if my writing should continually take the back seat to wine and cigars with a close friend, a workout with some buddies, golf with my brother-in-law, sleeping in an extra half hour, birthday parties, or house guests.

At the end of the day having a clear view of our priorities will give us a framework to help clarify our decision making in these instances, but it’s still hard. The key is to feel less guilty about hitting the pause button or saying No, even to our work, from time to time for more important things (or sometimes less important things). We just got to keep grinding, there is no room for getting down about missing a day or two.


ARTICLE NO. 49/100 OF #THE100DAYPROJECT AND 100 DAYS OF WRITING.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS EXPERIMENT IN CREATIVITY, DISCIPLINE, LEADING UP, AND SLAYING PERFECTIONISM CHECK OUT THIS POST.

Remove this one thing to be a more effective communicator

Dan LeMoine

When editing posts I often go back to remove the I-statements—“I think” “I feel” “I wonder"

I don’t limit this practice to just blog articles either. Emails and other correspondence or writing get the same once over too. They don’t all get taken out, but I try to thin them down. Below you’ll see why I do it, and hopefully it may help you in your own messaging as well.

I do this for two reasons:

1. It tightens up the writing.

If someone is reading your blog post, they already know the bulk of it is your opinion, perspective, or take on a certain matter. For largely subjective or arguable statement, you can take "I think" out of the sentence structure and not loss anything (and in my stylistic opinion it makes the sentence better). Example:

“I think business has the potential to be a massive force in shaping culture to help others flourish.”
vs.
“Business has the potential to be a massive force in shaping culture to help others flourish.” The latter is neater and tighter, wouldn’t you say?

2. It helps structure the thought in a way that’s not entirely about me.

Even though I’m sharing my thought or perspective, by starting sentences or thoughts with “I” puts me more in the spotlight than the idea I’m working to share. And ultimately, it’s not about me, It’s about my reader (you!). By removing the I-statement I’m widdling the sentence down to just the idea and allowing the reader to agree/disagree with less interference that may come from it being about me.

It’s a subtle change. But it’s details like these that, compounded over time, can make a difference. Maybe you’re like me and your writing isn’t where you desire it to be. This is just one of the ways we can tighten up our messaging — by working hard, even in these smallest of details, to make the audience the hero, not us.


ARTICLE NO. 41/100 OF #THE100DAYPROJECT AND 100 DAYS OF WRITING.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS EXPERIMENT IN CREATIVITY, DISCIPLINE, LEADING UP, AND SLAYING PERFECTIONISM CHECK OUT THIS POST.

Maintain Your Creative Habit…Even When You Don’t Want To.

Dan LeMoine

Somedays you say enough is enough and hang the hat with a less than all-star performance.

Somedays you come home from work and all you do is start dinner with your wife and open a bottle of grape and try to sneak 15 minutes on the laptop to keep the habit going. 15 minutos, that's it. Because you love your wife. And wine. And your wife.

Somedays it’s 11:30p, you still haven't [insert your creative discipline here] and you’ve just committeed to doing a crossfit workout with your top dudes at 5:30a; you’ve committed to the process though, so you open that laptop. 

You shut up, sit down and type only for the mere purpose of staying in the habit by pulling on the tiniest thread you can find, even if just for a few minutes.  

It’s like the days when I’ve only got twenty minutes before the gym closes but I go anyway to stay in the rhythm of going. I don’t produce anything meaningful (and maybe a case could be made that it does more harm than good judging how my hammy is feeling right now after rushing a set of deadlifts without a warmup #Cmon! #You'reNot18NoMore!), but the habit was maintained. The momentum was kept. The mind was tricked into thinking: Yeah, I’m still in the routine. Nothing’s lost. We still got this. 

Or it's like when our kids hike the Caribbean's tallest peak. They inevitably end up dragging ass (to their credit they're lugging packs half their body weight on their backs). "Just keep moving," I say. "I don't care how slow you go, just don't stop. Keep the momentum going. It's so much harder to get moving again once you stop. Just keep cloggin'. "

When life gets in the way, when the more important “first things” must be kept from slipping into the margin, but you don’t want to lose your precious momentum, find the smallest thing you can do, the smallest ember to blow on, and keep the fire from going out. Know, that you can’t maintain and grow this fire with this minimal effort, but it’s enough to keep the ember alive until you recharge, reboot, or whatever else you need to give it the appropriate attention and resources to get that flame roaring again.

Here's to crushing it...tomorrow ;)

Dan


ARTICLE NO. 38/100 OF #THE100DAYPROJECT AND 100 DAYS OF WRITING.

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS EXPERIMENT IN CREATIVITY, DISCIPLINE, LEADING UP, AND SLAYING PERFECTIONISM CHECK OUT THIS POST.