We’re two-thirds of the way through the first month of 2016, and I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t given much thought to my own goals for growing my online presence this year. My social media posting is sporadic and my personal brand blog is neglected and dusty, despite my best intention to blog weekly.

In the midst of setting goals for my family and business, I’ve skipped attention to my own influence building goals, to my own detriment.

I want to build influence online this year, don’t you? 

Yet without a plan, I’m unlikely to move powerfully toward the person I want to become, online or offline.

In my experience, focused, consistent effort is necessary for growing online influence. Showing up, consistently, with content of value, is the only way to build a strong, memorable brand. It’s a slow process. It requires intention to connect and build relationships.

Before creating a plan for building online influence, it’s important to be very clear about your underlying why. What is motivating your goal? Why do you want to build online presence? Your why will give you energy and motivate you to remain consistent, even when faced with a challenging schedule or less than spectacular results.

In thinking about growing your online presence this year, here are some important considerations:

Your website Is your website positioning you well to reach your goals? Your website will influence people’s view of your brand and business. Could your website use an upgrade on design and functionality? If your website is not responsive to mobile, you will definitely want to consider investing in a new website this year. If your website is more than 3 years old, you may also want to consider an upgrade. My team is planning strategically to prepare for a new website in late 2016; we launched our current site in 2013.

Your content strategy What content are you creating this year and how will it fuel your online presence? What content have you created in the past that you could gently repurpose to fuel your online presence? My team and I are setting themes to shape the content on this blog to provide more value for our audience. How will you create content of value this year?

Your social media interactions I’ve noticed my own appetite for engaging on social media channels changing recently. I enjoy dipping into and sharing on Instagram. Because I am following fewer people, it feels like a channel that is less noisy and overwhelming. I’m also still really enjoying Facebook as a comfortable place to blend my personal and professional lives. How will you engage through social media to build new connections this year?

Your digital media placements Our Public Relations team stands by to help me in positioning myself through mentions on major media sites online. But amidst competing priorities, I need to decide how valuable and important this investment is for me. Is it worthwhile to record podcasts? What energy do I want to give to responding to media queries or seeking to place articles around the web?  Recording TV shows is fun — and provides video content to fuel my channels. What can I reasonably expect as an ROI on the time I invest in recording and promoting TV appearances?

As you consider goals for growing your online influence this year, our team is ready to help! Contact us today if we can support you with your website, social media strategy, or digital media placements.