Category Archives: Digital personal brand

Posts about how to build and manage your digital personal brand using digital and social media tools

Who does Google think you are?

Name badge showing marketing and branding terms

If we’re honest, we’ve all done it.

Some call it the “vanity search” or even “ego surfing”. Whatever you call it, it makes good sense to regularly ‘Google yourself’ in order to proactively manage your Digital Personal Brand.

In an increasingly digital world, many people’s first impression of you will be formed as a result of your online profile, so putting your name into Google and seeing who it thinks you are makes sense for anyone serious about managing their online professional reputation.

So what sorts of things should you be looking out for? Here are a few things you should consider when looking at your name search results:

  • Do you have any namesakes that appear high in the rankings?
  • How visible are your personal social media profiles, and would you be happy for a prospective employer or client to see them?
  • How easy is it to find the ‘professional you’?

You wouldn’t go to a business meeting or interview without clean shoes, a freshly ironed shirt and sharp suit, so why not pay as much attention to your online appearance?

Here are three simple things you can do to boost your online search visibility and make sure the ‘professional you’ is projected in search results for your name:

1) Make sure you have a complete and search-friendly LinkedIn profile

I’m assuming that many readers of this blog will have a LinkedIn profile, but not everyone will have a custom URL containing their name, like www.linkedin.com/in/steverevill. Not only does this look more professional than the default LinkedIn profile URL, it will also help your profile to be displayed in Google searches for your name.

I’ve created this short video to show you how to do it…

2) Secure your name URL, and publish a basic website or blog

Building and hosting a professional looking website is easier than ever thanks to platforms such as WordPress. Even if you have no plans to start blogging, you can still secure your name URL, like www.steverevill.net, and build a site with a static homepage to use as a gateway into your professional online profiles. This will also help to get you up the Google results page.

You can easily check if your name URL is available and get it hosted on WordPress.com. Here’s a couple of screen grabs to show you how to check this without having to sign up.

WordPress.com homepage

  • Then enter your name into the ‘blog address’ field to see if your name URL is available. If it’s taken, you’ll see suggestions that are available. Make sure it contains your full name though- ‘steverevill71.net’ would be better than ‘stevierev.net’.
  • Clicking on the drop down tab will show the domain name extensions available along with their annual cost. This can be a very cost-effective way of establishing an online presence.

WordPress blog address finder

3) Register your name on key social media sites

As well as LinkedIn, I’d recommend that you set up accounts on both Google Plus and Twitter in order to help get you up the first page of Google search results for your name.

Google Plus is a long, long way off being the ‘Facebook killer’ some hinted it may be at launch, but you’d be crazy to ignore it as the vast majority of search traffic in the UK is via Google. It also has other advantages over Facebook through its ‘circles’ functionality, which allows you to create lots of bespoke segments for sharing your updates across different aspects of your network according to the relationship you have with them – friends, family, colleagues, people you play cricket with etc.

Although Google announced in August 2012 that ‘Custom URLs’ were being rolled out to selected brands and celebrities, they are not yet [as at Jan 2013] widely available to general Google Plus users.

Registering a real name twitter account such as www.twitter.com/steve_revill will not only help establish your presence in Google results but will be a small (140 characters at a time) glimpse into the sorts of things you’re interested in and want to share with your network. You can also tweet updates from your LinkedIn account (but not the other way round) so don’t feel you need to have an onerous publishing schedule of content.

Do you Google yourself? Have you found anything that surprised you? What tools have you used to get your name up the  search results? I’d love to hear your experiences.

If you need any help or advice in brushing up your digital personal brand, please drop me a line.

2012 blog review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

I’m happy that this represents a c. 30% increase in views from 2011, especially as I didn’t write any new posts between June and December. In total, the site’s had over 4,200 views since mid 2010 when I first started blogging.

In 2013, I’m committing to publishing posts far more frequently than in 2012, so I hope you find them useful. I’d love to hear your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment on any post or drop me a line.

In the meantime, thanks for following my blog and I wish you and your loved ones a healthy, happy and successful 2013.

What Spongebob Squarepants taught me about Social Media

SpongebobIf ever a picture told a thousand words, it’s this one, which recently appeared in my timeline on Facebook- sadly because a ‘friend’ had ‘liked’ it.

The complex relationship between God, cancer and Spongebob Squarepants must have passed me by, but it illustrates the beauty and the curse of socially referred, user-generated content- quality control is only as strong as the weakest link in your network.

It’s annoying when spam appears in your timeline from large brands, but this is no more annoying than an ad and you tolerate it because of the huge benefits that ‘free’ access to a tool like Facebook brings. Plus, you know it’s an algorithm’s ‘opinion’ rather than one of your nearest and dearest actively engaging with the content by clicking ‘like’.

I can’t help contrast this with my LinkedIn timeline. No doubt helped by the removal of automated twitter feeds into LinkedIn, the stream of updates from my professional network of over 550 contacts on LinkedIn (some of whom are also Facebook friends) doesn’t suffer the same pollution of ‘like spam’.

Accepting it’s not in any way scientific, there appears to be a clear difference in behaviour by the same people on Facebook as on LinkedIn. Hardly ‘hold the front page’ stuff, I know, but with more and more talk of the drive from “B2B” (business-to-business) to “P2P” (person-to-person) communications being fuelled by social media, there’s clear evidence to me that people do fluctuate between their “work” and “personal” self, and use separate social media platforms to power these dual personas. For this reason, I struggle to see how Facebook will ever evolve into a truly valuable social media tool for engaging B2B audiences.

Maybe 2013 will be the year Google+ really starts to take off. The segmentation possibilities that its ‘circles’ functionality give you help alleviate some of the issues I’ve touched upon above.

How do you use social media tools? Do you have different platforms for your ‘work’ and ‘personal’ self? In what ways do you manage your digital personal brand using social media?

Twitter no longer LinkedIn

There’s no doubt we live in a digitally connected world.

But, with the growing number of mobile apps and platforms, it is easy to forget exactly how it’s all connected.

So I welcome yesterday’s news that tweets will no longer be displayed on LinkedIn- as should everyone that hasn’t appreciated the impact that automated cross-posting can have on their digital personal brand.

I use LinkedIn for professional networking. I’m ‘virtually’ suited and booted whenever I’m on the platform and am certainly in ‘work mode’. Yet I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s seen a tweet appear in their LinkedIn timeline and thought, ‘why are you sharing this with me?’.

The way I look at it, most people wouldn’t dream of bursting into a business networking event in their shorts and running vest and shouting “I’VE JUST COMPLETED A THREE MILE RUN IN 26MINS 19SECS”. So either they’ve forgotten these tools are connected or they simply aren’t thinking about the impact of the updates on their audience.

Although this automatic link from twitter has now been broken, it serves as a timely reminder to take a look at the what, why and how to manage your digital personal brand using social media.

  • WHAT tools do you currently use? Make a ‘map’ of how they’re all connected and ensure you understand what automated cross-posting is happening as a result.
  • WHY are you using them? Ask yourself about your audience on each of these platforms and how your updates impact their perception of you.
  • HOW can you effectively add value to your audiences using automation tools, but only once you’ve defined your ‘digital publishing strategy’- what will you send, to whom, how often and why?

There’s a number of tools that are out there that can help you to schedule and automate updates across a number of platforms. Personally, I’m a fan of TweetDeck, but the tool to use first is the one you have between your ears to make sure your digital publishing strategy adds value to your audience and fully aligns to your digital personal brand.

What do you think about Twitter’s move? Are there any downsides for users? Do you have a digital publishing strategy or any digital personal brand guidelines?