What’s In a Name?
Have you ever performed a Google search on your own name? Were you happy with the results? Does it even matter where your name ranks? As a social media management firm, one of the fastest growing areas of individual concern to business owners, CEO’s and entrepreneurs alike is the need for personal reputation management and enhanced listings. Not only has social media become a mainstream tool for use during a job search but everyone from recruiters to investors routinely turn to social media in order to learn more about prospective applicants, business partners and primary stakeholders associated with a company. In short, the need to build a personal brand has never been more important. Keep reading to learn how to measure your own personal impact score as well as tap into a budding niche business idea!
In an ever increasing social world, you – as a distinctive individual – are increasingly becoming a brand of your very own. There are a multitude of reasons why building a personal brand is important including:
1. College Graduates – New college graduates need all the exposure possible especially in a tough economic environment. Recruiters and job placement agencies are increasingly going social and using social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to understand the full potential of prospective job applications.
2. Business Owners Seeking Investment – Are you an entrepreneur hoping to gain angel investment funds or perhaps planning to pitch to an investment firm? Both your business and key company staff will be under intense scrutiny by prospective investors. A robust and carefully crafted social media presence can make all the difference by demonstrating both formal and informal relationships, prior examples of pertinent experience and perhaps most important of all…a demonstrated ability to network!
3. Partnerships – Maybe you are just thinking about hiring or applying for a new consulting gig, forming a partnership with a company or collaborating on a project…where would you start your search? The Internet of course! People and companies are increasingly interested in the “big picture” approach to understanding who they will be working with even on short-term projects. Why risk your own reputation by doing business with someone that is unreliable or un-connected?
4. Networking Opportunities – Last but not least, having a strong social media and search presence allows you to engage in unsolicited networking opportunities. Whether it is a request for media interview or simply input into a bit of problem solving with peers, these informal networking opportunities often pave the way for bigger and better things.
Where Do YOU Rank?
Each and every day, over 1 Billion (yes, with a B) are Googled; chances are you have performed a search for your own name. So, where do you rank? Take a few minutes to take this quick little quiz to determine your individual social and search status:
1.Do you have a highly unique name? If so, type your name into Google. Is your personal presence on the top 3 results? (Stellar job!). Are you on the 1st page of results? (Good job!). If your name is very distinctive, obviously it will be much easier than if you have a common name like Jim Smith however, very few people have this advantage. The vast majority of people will need to carefully cultivate their online and offline persona! Remember, most people will find their listings located on other sites rather than their own; for example, magazine articles or newspaper clippings tend to dominate results for most people. Make sure the top listings for your name include direct links to your social media site(s), blogs, YouTube channel and of course, personal website.
2. Do you have a common name? Type your name and occupation into Google. For instance, “Jim Smith photographer”. Do your personal websites and social media pages/other show up on the top 3 results now? If so, great job! If not, do they show on the first page? Still a solid showing. Fail to show up at all? Try step three…
3. Type in your name and location. For example, “Jim Smith, San Francisco”. Where do you show up now? To three, first page or beyond the first page? If beyond the first page continue to step four…
4. Type in your name, location and occupation. For example, “Jim Smith photographer San Francisco”. If your personal links are now showing by now you desperately need professional assistance!
Now, here are the ugly facts; as a social media management firm we see firsthand how much difficulty many small business owners and entrepreneurs have trying to get their business listed properly but when it comes to individuals…it’s much worse! In fact, only 2% of individuals own the entire first page of results for their own name search – that means 98% of individuals would benefit from reputation management services including strategic social media placement. Remember, 94% of people will only view the first page of results so showing up on the 2nd page is all but useless.
But it’s even worse than that…only half of people own their first results – by FAR the most important position possible. Among those that do show up, 25% do not have any positive content to display! In fact, roughly 15% actually have NEGATIVE information or links showing up leaving a less than stellar impression on anyone that happens to be searching for relevant information. In fact, a substantial number could be mistaken for someone else including criminals or other “look alike” profiles.
Of course, all this represents a veritable gold-mine of opportunity for anyone interested in assisting others with enhanced reputation management.