Have You Ever Googled Yourself?
Did you know that, if you’re about to meet someone new, they are likely to have Google you? This was revealed in a Harris Interactive poll, which showed that 23% of people actually will look for you first. This means that you need to know what they will actually find. Why is this important? Because:
- You have to know what they know.
- You can’t be taken by surprise.
- You need to know whether their information is correct.
- You have to be ready to address any negative things about you.
- You have to know how you compare to your competition.
Pick a respected professional that you know and type their name in Google to see what you would find. You would usually see:
- Nothing at all.
- A joke posted by someone on a blog.
- Negative stories such as court cases.
- A listing on a reference website.
- Information about historical figures that share that same name.
Now perform the same search, but add the person’s profession as well. This will give you different results, usually linking to the website of the company that the person you are searching for. So what does this mean? One of two things actually:
- They have no idea how to manage their online reputation and are missing out on a huge opportunity.
- They have worked together with such a good reputation management company that you can’t possibly find anything negative about them.
It is actually more likely that the second option is the right one. After all, in order to be a respected professional, you need people to know about you, your profession, and why you are so respected. Real professionals understand that people look them up, and they will do all they can to make sure that people find out good things about them.
What Lessons Can You Learn?
- You have to manage your online reputation.
- Online reputation is a fantastic marketing tool that demonstrates you are an expert, that allows you to build relationships with customers, and that makes you more visible on the crowded internet.
How to Build the Right Reputation
How you will build your reputation depends on your profession, the brand image that you want to create, and your audience. You may have a very targeted audience, or a very broad one. You have to be selective, however. Hence, some of the options available to you include:
- Using article distribution websites to publish content.
- Using various networking websites to enhance your personal profile.
- Making sure that any professional membership you have is up to date and properly listed.
- Working together with a search engine optimization expert to ensure your website is effective.
- Including fresh, new, informative content on your website regularly so that people come back and recommend your site to others.
- Putting your own name in Google regularly to make sure nothing bad shows up all of a sudden.
The internet can either be a swamp, or a golden ocean of opportunity. If you use it properly, it truly is a fantastic opportunity. Your role is to make sure the information that is out there is fully accurate.