You and Your Personal Brand

We have all Googled ourselves before and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Monitoring your name on Google is actually something you should be doing fairly regularly according to Dan Schawbel, writer and expert of personal branding. I learned about Schawbel through a Fox Business article titled, The “Me 2.0” Guide to Personal Branding. The article goes into depth about the importance of managing your own personal brand and how it is increasingly becoming a must when it comes to getting a job in this online social generation. Schawbel has a blog that goes into great detail about the many ways one can grow and maintain their personal brand, but in this Fox article he offers the basics as to what it takes to stand out in the crowded cyber-sphere.

  1. Personal branding is a must! Everyone in every profession should monitor and manage their personal brand. Many employers from all types of industries in all types of professions are Googling people and searching for them on Facebook before hiring and if something negative comes up, you can say good bye to that job opportunity.
  2. Assess your brand’s current status. “‘Most branding work occurs before you jump into the brand-building process,” Schawbel writes. He recommends conducting a “personal and brand discovery” to assess what’s already being said about you, what short- and long-term goals you want your branding effort to achieve, and how you want people to perceive who you are — not in general terms, but in specific words. Knowing where you stand now is the first step in trying to correct or build off of your foundation.
  3. He recommends buying your personal domain name and that you build and maintain a blog or website. Once you establish this, work on optimizing your websites by using keywords so you appear at the top of Google searches.
  4. How to maintain your brand? Well, he recommends setting up a Google alerts for everything from your name to key buzzwords. If your name appears anywhere online, Google alerts will send an email showing you what was said. He also recommends using to follow the Twitter conversations about you. If you monitor negative comments through these avenues, you can protect your brand from unwanted attention.

Are you monitoring your brand? What does Google generate when you search your name? It’s never too late to start building your personal brand. Start with these easy steps and then do some research and see how you can distinguish yourself from the crowd.

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7 Responses to You and Your Personal Brand

  1. dbaxley says:

    Well, I must admit, I have Googled myself before (and I JUST did right now). Unfortunately, I’m not the only Daniel Baxley in the world, but my Facebook account, WordPress and my State Press articles can be Googled. I agree that it’s important to monitor your brand considering that many of our future employers will use this technique to gain insight into who we are. My mom said that when she interviews potential employees, she always Googles their name…kind of scary.

  2. spaeprer says:

    Dan Schawbel is a perfect example of personal branding and how you can mold your online presence. When Googling yourself, you must act as your future employer or even your mother and think “how does this website or photo represent me”? The answer to that question will deem your Google results appropriate or not. As a soon-to-be college graduate, personal branding has become a very important part of my “real world” preparation. This post does a great job of summarizing the important factors on your online image.

  3. kdoyle3 says:

    Daniel, I am in the same boat. I actually have a Katie Doyle who even LOOKS like me, scarier. She was on the Real World — terrifying. It is one of my goals to build up my online presence to override the other Katie Doyle, so that I will not, under any circumstances, be mistaken!

  4. tgierba says:

    I am lucky in the fact that there is no other Tim Gierba with a bad reputation to worry about. But I can see the issue for people with common names. I actually was fortunate to meet with Mr. Schawbel and hear how he conducts himself. His largest lesson was that you yourself are a brand before anything else. You could own your own branded company that has the potential the be #1 in the world, but if you yourself are badly branded, it won’t matter in the least.

  5. afleisha says:

    Since I have a unique last name, I’ve never had an issue with another person sharing my name on search engines, but I understand the challenges that presents, especially in your case, Katie! That is terrifying.

    At the last PRSSA meeting, the guest speaker, Kari Mathers, suggested everyone create a LinkedIn account, get the custom URL for the profile, and fill out all the fields on the page. She showed us that LinkedIn always appears on the first page of a search engine’s results. This is a great way to showcase yourself in the online realm.

  6. nkumarat says:

    I took Online Media last semester and one of the most valuable lessons was about online presence and personal branding. No one in the world has my name, which could be seen as a good thing or bad thing. Good, because I will never be mistaken for someone else who might have a poor reputation. Bad, because if there is something I do not want on the Internet that is connected to me. Most employers now check Facebook and Twitter accounts of their employees and even future hires. It is important to never post something that you might be ashamed of.

  7. jlsteph2 says:

    I really like the idea of building a personal brand, and I think it’s really important for those of us who are pursuing a career in the media. I think that before we focus too much on MAINTAINING a personal brand, we must look at how to create it in the first place. This is the first and hardest step. Personally, I have a blog and website, but I would not say that I have a personal brand. I think it’s important to discover who you are and what you want to be about. Once you can identify your unique characteristics and interests, you can make yourself known as the go-to person for information about a certain topic. After that, you can create a “theme” for the personal brand that you want to create that is consistent on all media platforms. I think once you do these things, the logistical steps of creating and maintaining your online presence can really take place.

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