Previously, I believed that all I would have to do is deliver results, treat people with respect, and build my expertise in order to create a great personal brand.  Now that I have embraced the digital world I’ve realized that, if there isn’t a platform or an audience, your personal brand can only reach as far as your local community.  There are endless opportunities out there and, if you always think local, then you will be surpassed by competitors.  Imagine yourself putting on a concert with great music, but you have no amplifier.  There are only so many people that you will be able to reach.  So how do you reach that larger audience and find the volume?

There are thousands of respectable online publications that have millions of readers with a natural curiosity for new people and ideas.  Online writing gives a person the chance to share their own thoughts, experiences and personalities with thousands, even millions of people.  There is also the luxury of knowing exactly who your audience is, just by obtaining the right opportunity from a publication that reaches your target market.

In addition to reaching the people who visit the online publication, you also have the benefits of reaching millions of readers that have opted-in to email lists.  If it’s an interesting enough article, those readers will forward your thoughts on to friends.  A spread effect is then created through social media channels.  As people tweet about your content, their followers are introduced to your brand and expertise.  With the right articles and publications you can rise to the ranks of an online authority.

Don’t flood publishers with mediocre content and think you are going to have great results simply because you are getting published.  Quality content is extremely important to positioning yourself as an expert and thought leader in your field.  Industry leaders will sniff out the BS and you could hurt your brand.  The more time spent on brainstorming interesting topics and content development the better.  It’s a time consuming process, but the results and opportunities that appear are worth the effort.

As much as I was acclimated to reading a newspaper during my normal breakfast routine, I can say that having an iPad out with access to any online publication desirable is quite a bit more convenient and effective.  There are no limitations, and I don’t have to worry about picking up a paper from a certain place, or only being able to gain access to a couple of publications.  Someone halfway across the world in India can be reading the online publication of a local newspaper in North Dakota.  That’s one hell of an amplifier.