Branding yourself on line is becoming more important these days with all of the social media options which are available and the low cost of entry to do it. For just a few dollars a month, anybody can create a professional looking website (getting professional content on your website is another thing) and build a world class personal brand.
In developing my own online brand, I have identified 5 “hacks” you can use to jumpstart your own professional image and online brand.
I love word clouds. They are fun to look at and use. Word clouds apps take text from anywhere – articles, social media profiles, resumes, web pages and create a graphic that shows a “weighted list” of key words. The larger the word, the more times it shows up in the document you are evaluating. My favorite word cloud generator is word.le. I use word.le to run the text of my resume and LinkedIn profile to ensure that the word cloud accurately reflects my personal brand. People who are looking for a new job often run the job description through word.le and compare it with their resume word cloud. The more similar these two clouds, the more likely you have the right keywords and tags that the company is looking for and as read by their recruitment scanning software.
Personalize Your Profile’s Urls
Often times social media sites will give you a randomly generated profile name or use the same profile name as your login in name. Check out this example.
In most cases, you can customize your url, subject to availability. Ok it is 2013 and if you have been sleeping over the last decade, you might of noticed that it is pretty hard to find a profile name that is not already used. Unless your name is Rumpelstiltskin or some other rare and exotic name. You may need to be creative. If you are John F. Smith, you might need to use your middle initial or other ways to differentiate y our profile url. They could be johnfsmith, jfsmith, johnsmith20, jonathansmith, etc. Consistency is key for getting high search engine results. Use the same ones across all of your online brands. In fact, the “Holy Grail” of personal branding is to have every website and social media profile to be exactly the same!
Set Up Many Profiles
Now when I say this, I am not speaking about the usual ones like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+. These are mandatory social media profiles. What I am talking about is the 20 to 30 other sites out there, where you have the ability to get your name on the web. Squidoo, Slide Share, TechCrunch, Vizify, Vizibility are among some of the better sites I have found and used. There are many others, each with their own angle of what services they provide.
Getting Better SEO for Your Name
Ok so you are ready to crack the bottle of champagne because you have spent the last week building 20 social media profiles. But wait. What if you build it and they don’t come? You do an ego search (Google) for your name and you don’t show up on page 1 search results. In a study provided by Chitika, an online advertising network, 91.5% of the web’s traffic comes from the first page of Google. And yes, you can hire companies to do all of the work for you, but for effectiveness and value I use BrandYourself.
What BrandYourself does is it allows you to create a BY profile that links all of your other web profiles, content, press-related links together. And then in their black box, they optimize the links about you and suppress the results of others. You can also use it to suppress negative web material and content as well. It costs about $XX a year and it works!
Cross Reference Other Social Media Profiles
What I mean is that on your LinkedIn profile (for example), cross reference your other social media profiles or website urls. In LinkedIn, you are allowed three. Do the same thing in Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. If the social media site does not specifically have a place to put the other profile urls, embed them in the profile summary, description, or biography section of your profile page.
There you have it. 5 hacks to jump start your personal brand. So what are you waiting for? Start hacking now!
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