Nowadays it isn’t as hard as it was a few years ago to get known, to become visible, to brand yourself; we all use Google and want to have a recognized presence there. One of the challenges is that most of us just look at any search results on the first page. So, we have to have a clear strategy in mind how to get there.
The first thing to do is to Google “your name” and see what’s being said about you. Are you even online, do you like what you see, is your name combined with interesting events, links, articles etc.? If not, that’s the first indication that you want to work on your online personal branding approach.
Check How High You Rate Online
An excellent way is to use William Arruda’s tool to measure your so-called GQ (Google Quotient). If you rate an 8 or higher on his scale, you can go back to doing whatever is working for you. If not, write down some tactics – yes, make that list – you want to employ to create that brand you want to be identified with.
Claim Your Identity
One way to claim your identity, put yourself out there, is fill out your Google Profile. For an example, see my Angelika Blenstrup Google Profile, which allows you to show the personal side of yourself and present a more complete picture of who you are and what you’ve been up to in the past. In addition, a friend of mine who is an expert in social media, always advocates claiming your own name through, for example, GoDaddy or Network Solutions, so no one else can.
Control Your Reputation and Identity
Social networks like Zoominfo, Namechk, Ziggs, ClaimID, LookUpPage and particularly, Visual CV, which I learned about from Guy Kawasaki’s blog, can give you a great opportunity to control what’s being said about you online and can reveal the parts of your personal brand you want to emphasize.
Make Your Brand Identity the Same All Over the Web
When filling out your profiles on these and other social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and so on, make sure you use the same name and picture. It makes you recognizable in an instant.
Search Engine Optimization
If you can’t manage your own, go with the expert! I mentioned earlier, that most of us don’t search or read beyond Google’s first page. And as far as I know, besides excellent content and lots of it, you have to get smart about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Since this is an area that I dabble in at best, I look at Thomas Petty’s SEO blog site, to get inspiration about what to do for SEO when writing a blog, when redoing things on my website, or to understand how to set up future pages on my website. I think that he and other SEO experts are essential for your personal branding message rising to the top.
It has become quite easy to become “someone” online, to develop that personal brand that people associate you with, you just have to be smart about it – and, which I constantly have to remind myself, work on it regularly. That way, when people are looking for your area of expertise, it is your name, which will come up.
Angelika Blendstrup is an expert at International Business Communications: Personal Branding, Accent Reduction, Presentation/VC Pitch Training; Author & Speaker Professional Business Communications.