30x30x30 Blogathon Post #6: June 6th – Steve Wainwright
Steve Wainwright is our contributor for the 6th day of the Blogathon. Steve founded Profiled.com, the only professional profile tool that provides one single place for business contacts to get a complete picture of your professional presence online. Best of all, this tool is FREE. Here is my very own profiled.com profile, so make sure to get yours too! In today’s post, Steve gives us 5 steps to kick-start our personal brands online.
Get ready to brand your ‘Google CV’ and enjoy Steve’s post!
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Your Google CV
If you don’t know why your online presence is important in communicating your personal brand, ask yourself this question: “If you’re looking to place a piece of business or you’ve been booked to go to a business meeting with someone you don’t know – what’s the first thing you do?”. More than likely – you’ll Google them.
In fact, most people use the internet to validate the people they’re looking to do business with, so making sure your ‘Google CV’ accurately reflects your personal brand is hugely important when establishing your reputation and credibility with a new contact.
Taking up the first page of Google with links to your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts is great – however this can cause your internet identity to become fractured and it can prove difficult for potential contacts to piece together a true reflection of who you are and what you do.
Google will always be the first port of call for new contacts researching you and, since ‘people buy from people’, you need to make sure that the first impression they get is a positive one.
The internet just became your biggest ally – so use it to your advantage. [Tweet This!]
The following personal branding steps provide a great framework to kick-start your personal brand online and will have potential contacts eating out of the palm of your hand in no time:
Step 1: Tell your story
That Google search may be the only time you get to tell your story and communicate what you’re all about to your potential new contact. Don’t be shy – make sure you have a professional profile which tells your story for you and is ‘on brand’. By the time your contact has finished reading they’ve either been convinced to deal with you (great!) or they’ve had enough information to know that you’re not the right fit for the job (again – great, it’s saved you both time and effort!). Either way, the internet has worked for you.
Step 2: Monitor your Google CV
Ensure that you know what people are posting about you, it’s an essential part of your business armoury. You may be surprised where and in what context things from the past crop up again. Given that we’re all busy people and can’t spend every day Googling ourselves, simply automate the monitoring of what people post about you so you have it delivered to you. It’s vital that you know and can react to what your contacts can find with as little effort as possible. There are two great tools you can use to do this:
- Google Alerts – This is great for getting a real-time view of what’s being said and with the worlds largest search giant behind it, you know it’s going to be fast. But beware, set up an alert for your name ‘Joe Bloggs’ you’ll receive alerts for everything on the web that contains that name which may defeat the purpose of getting the alerts.
- Profiled.com – This site is pretty intelligent so you’ll get a well filtered list of what’s being said about you, but the reports are only available weekly – ok for some, not timely enough for others.
Step 3: Influence the first page of Google
Ensuring you manage the top 10 results about you is a case of ensuring that those results are the most relevant to you. Creating content which is relevant to you and shows off your expertise will ride high in Google and you will start to dominate your Google CV. Your professional profile, your blog, interviews and guest blogs, LinkedIn and Twitter pages all rank highly so make sure you’re generating appropriate content.
Step 4: It doesn’t have to be all business
Allow your personality to shine through when you’re creating your profile, blogs and social media presence as this allows people to connect and relate to you. If your contacts share your values and they like and trust you then they will be more inclined to do business with you rather than your competitors. One of the most popular features on Profiled.com is the 60 second interview feature. The way people answer the interview questions speaks volumes about their values and outlook which is vital when communicating your personal brand online.
Step 5. Position yourself as an expert
Blogs are a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field and they’re hugely influential with Google when new contacts are searching for you. Stick to your core topic and make sure that the content is interesting and relevant to your readers. So if you’ve got plenty of useful and relevant things to say then writing a blog will be hugely beneficial.
When communicating online present yourself fairly, honestly and in line with your personal brand values. Your contacts will instantly recognise people that they can do business with and will connect with you without even having met you if you have interesting content and provide a 3D view of yourself online.
The people who have recognised that the online world is now almost exclusively informing the offline world have recognised that a strong personal brand online is now an essential business tool and is key to business success.
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