How to develop your online brand and reputation

online branding

Join host Sheelagh Caygill as she explores the obvious - and less obvious - trends and influences in communications, PR, and marketing. Also explored are writing and upping your game as a creator of prose. In this essential listen, she interviews senior comms pros and thought leaders to reveal insights you can incorporate into your work.

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Lachlan Kirkwood is a digital marketing pro with half a decade in the online world. He works with tech companies, start-ups, and agencies – helping them use digital marketing to have a powerful impact on the bottom line.

In this week’s episode, he talks to Communicate Influence about this work, how to create a brand online, and the growth of TikTok.

Creating your in-person brand online

“For me, I only know how to do it online, which speaks to my generation,” says Lachlan. “But it’s not difficult, if you post authentic content and are real, and engage with people, they will know what to expect whey they meet you in person.”

Use this model and share

Lachlan says his journey as a digital marketer began with him documenting his experiences in the industry. Any business can use this model and document their experiences and share them online, creating a following.

“I created a blog and shared stories and the audience grew. With that, I was able to build a personal brand and make a transition into the freelance industry,” he explains. “It’s a really good way to source inbound work for myself. And I’m always learning, which is something I love doing.” 

He adds that what he was doing by sharing was not intentional, but content that people could relate to. “And people could see the value I was sharing. I was experimenting to find where audience finds most value.

Digital marketing requires you to be data savvy, and there is some overlap with data sciences. You also have to understand how to visualize and think about storytelling, and how how you can alleviate bottlenecks.

Lachlan Kirkwood

In other words, It’s a marriage of creativity and reading data. You must be able to make changes and evaluate and reconfigure things.

Why you should be on TikTok

Lacklan is loving TikTok at the moment. “Brands until now have relied on Facebook and Instagram predominantly,” he explains. But Facebook is now a paying platform, and organic reach is really limited. With Facebook ads, a lot of companies are trying to leverage them, so they are becoming more expensive.”

The beauty of TikTok is that the content is so raw and authentic; it’s a really impressive opportunity to build an organic presence on that platform. Initially not a lot of brands were using the platform, but we are starting to see more and more brands using it.

Lachlan Kirkwood

“Brands need to constantly find channels where the clients or customers are hanging out and then work out a strategy as to how to engage them,” he explains. “If they go with TikTok, they need to understand how it fits into their overall marketing and its role in that digital marketing funnel and the funnel conversion piece.”

Who uses TikTok well?

“A really good brand that comes to mind is Gym Shark, a sports fitness company that makes a apparel for people who exercise or go to the gym,” notes Lachlan. “They have partnered with influencers, and they participate in TikTok challenges such as a dance or something.

As a brand, when you are uploading a video on the platform you can choose to music and hashtag to add your post. When these challenges arise, Gymshark is one of the brands that is really capitalizing on them . These challenges are a fun and creative way for brands to participate in developing an organic following 

Can smaller brands use TikTok?

“One hundred per cent. I think the best content on Tik-Tok is the content that isn’t polished so for brands that don’t have large budgets or influencers, TikTok has a great editing suite,” explains Lachlan. “This means that TikTik is really streamlining the editing process and the costs behind it.  

TikTok wants a younger audience but we’re seeing a change in that overtime. This tells us that this audience was really interested in seeing authentic content, so what that tells us is that it’s raw and it’s real. They can relate to it in their personal lives.

I think TikTok is really only In its infancy and I think that has a lot more to come from Tik Tok in terms of how brands can utilize the platform.

Lachlan Kirkwood

Can established brands or older people use TikTok?

The Social Media Examiner noted someone in a keynote share that over 60 per cent of TikTok’s audience in the US is over 40.

“There is a lot of potential there for older audiences. It just comes down to people seeing content, and if they find an engaging or can use it then they will start using the platform. With TikTok there is such a diversity of content across the platform, there is something for everyone on there to enjoy,” says Lachlan.

Delivering value

“I always focus on delivering tangible value,” explains Lachlan. “I help a client understand what kind of impact they can have on their bottom line. And I do this by leveraging different channels and leveraging different data types.”

“I look at trends, track results, and make changes where necessary. The landscape is growing all the time with different channels and tools coming out.”

You can fine Lachlan Kirkwood at or on LinkedIn.

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