1) Position yourself
Think about how you want to position yourself in the market. What are you selling exactly and how do you want to position yourself? To position you professionally it is helpful to have an account on LinkedIn. In the German-speaking world XING is also used excessively. One principle: Be honest!
2) Find a good Avatar
Find a good name for your Avatar (online identity) connected to your name and profession. For Twitter make sure you use as little characters as possible but easy to remember. Abbreviations are hard to remember.
3) Practice Blogging
To practice blogging you can open a free blogspot or wordpress.com account. Once you feel you have the ropes of blogging you want to get more professional.
4) Buy Domain and install WordPress
Buy your domain. Try to find a name that is easy to spell and easy to remember. You can use http://www.namecheap.com/. Once you have your domain you need a script for your blog. I work with WordPress which has stylish and professional templates. You can download your script and start blogging away. Join the community and read other blogs: http://wordpress.com/
5) Install Social Media Plug-Ins
Install Social Media “Plug-Ins” so that your readers can share content on other Social Media. This is really not difficult if you are willing to follow the step by step explanations. Usually I donate about 10 USD if I use a plug in regularly. Also you should only use tested plug-ins and the ones that have been rated highly. My favourite and most important is AKISMET because it identifies spammers and sorts them out right away.
6) Invite your current fans, followers and friends
It might be a good time to invite current fans, followers, friends to become readers on your blog. You should blog at least once a week. My personal preference is not to have advertising on my blog. I have a page where I explain what our service offering is but I do not use advertising on my blog. For readers of my generation and older (say born before 1980) I believe that less is more.
7) Create Facebook page and join Twitter
If you have some encouraging readers you might want to create your Facebook page and open a Twitter account. Please keep in mind that you will need to feed and interact on your blog, FB and Twitter at the same time.
8) Engage with other Bloggers
You can ask other bloggers if they would feature your blog link on their blog roll and vice versa. Whatever you do: It is important in Social Media to reciprocate. I recommend you read articles on how to blog. I have learnt that it is recommended that you feed posts 2 to 3 times a week. The articles should be short, fresh and contain pictures and sub-headings.
9) Get active on Twitter
Open your account with the same handle as your Avatar (under #2). If you have a follower on Twitter you should follow back. If your tweets are retweeted you might want to RT this person’s tweets too. If you are recommended by tweeple you should also recommend others (See www.followfriday.com).
10) Limit your online time
You can easily get caught up in Social Media and spend a lot of time there. I have fixed online times where I work on Social Media (about one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening). I spend an hour on Fridays for FF. Blog articles you can write on Sundays. Around once in a month I clean up my Twitter account with http://tweepi.com/ and run Mackeeper. So reserve about two hours a month for housekeeping.
Hope this helps!
PS: Around 3 years ago I joined Twitter as @angela3004. It was on birthday and I had a glass of champagne so I was not really aware what I was doing. About a year later I started to use Twitter to support the flood victims in Pakistan. Then I changed my handle to @angieweinberger. I have about 2800 followers now. I used to describe myself as a technology “dummy”, a simple user who likes to try out new tools. Now, I have improved my face and name recognition. My memory is a lot better. I also found my love for writing again that I used to have as a teenager and I even write poetry on one of my other blogs. So this Social Media journey for me has also been a journey to myself. I made a lot of new friends online and some of them are my greatest supporters today.
“Baby steps honey!” (from a movie about a shrink “My name is Bob”)
“You’ll be fine” (from “A serious man”)