If you’re looking for a job or are a business owner, people will be searching for you on Google by your first and last name. You need to control how you are perceived online because if you don’t, then others will do it for you.
When I searched for myself on Google I saw a mix of my own results, along with a link to a genealogy website with the word ‘deceased’ next to my name. That’s when I decided to take control of my own personal brand and applied the strategies below to manage my personal brand.
These methods work more quickly if you have a unique name, but it is still very manageable to accomplish if you start now.
Curate Your Online Personal Brand Presence
- How To Search For Yourself – Google shows your search results according to your search history. So, it’s important to use a browser that does not have your browsing history stored. You can do that by browsing anonymously. Here are a few ways to activate private browsing using some of the most popular browsers.
- Leverage Social Media Profiles – Your LinkedIn profile will come up at the very top of search results because the LinkedIn.com domain is well respected by Google. Facebook and Twitter also show pretty high in search results, even with minimal content. I recommend customizing your URL on Facebook and LinkedIn, including your full name. You can edit your Facebook URL by going here, and you can edit your LinkedIn URL by following these directions.
- Google Properties Count Too – Though it is not widely publicized, Google tends to favor the websites it owns in the rankings. So, even if you have a very small presence on those website, your pages will start showing up on the first page of search results. For example, create a Google+ and a YouTube account with your first and last name, and your profiles will start showing higher in the search results.
- Claim Your Personal Website – If it’s available, go ahead and claim your personal website URL and just post a simple WordPress blog on it. I was able to claim www.MaciejGodlewski.com. After posting three blog posts to the site, the site is already ranking on the top page of Google search results for my name. There are plenty of tutorials online that can guide you on setting up a website, or you can use one of the all-in-one services like SquareSpace.
- Use Other Websites to Rank – There are plenty of other websites that let you create a profile, but the ones I found that get ranked high pretty quickly are SlideShare (a repository for PowerPoint slides,) and Pinterest (a social media network for sharing pictures.) I also claimed my own name on About.me since it can act as a personal directory for the other websites mentioned above.
Most of the websites mentioned above can be set up within an hour or two. Doing this will establish an all important foundation for your online presence. It has become a standard practice for hiring managers to search Google for background information on prospective employees, and for sales prospects to do the same when they’re trying to learn more about whom they’re buying from.
You need to take control of how Google portrays you to the world…