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18 posts categorized "Personal Branding Tools"

December 04, 2012



 

7158921905_0414d34929Considering that many employers utilize the internet for a good portion of their recruitment, it may be time to boost your online visibility using digital assets rather than a traditional resume. You need to make sure that all of your online profiles present you in a way that is professional and employable. If you're looking for a new job or a change in career, take a few minutes to have a look at your online profile and make sure it's professional and gives the best first impression for prospective employers.

What Do Prospective Employers Look For Online?

The very first thing you need to do is Google yourself. If you find positive information, images and profiles - that's great. If there is anything negative, you need to institute damage control immediately. If there is nothing about you online, it's just as bad an image to present to a prospective employer. You must ensure that you have, at the very least, a LinkedIn profile and many people have a professional Google Plus profile as well. You may also want to consider a Visual CV if you're looking for an online tool to present an all-inclusive online CV or resume.

Remember that it takes some time for your profile pages to show up in search, so give yourself plenty of time to boost your online visibility.

Facebook Privacy Settings 

One of the first places that employers 'check out' is Facebook. You absolutely have to ensure that your Facebook profile is professional and that a prospective employer will not find anything untoward on your page. This applies to photos and images that you have been tagged in by friends, so go through your social media pages carefully and set your privacy levels so that your online image is professional and friendly.

You may consider this an invasion of privacy and your freedom of speech. It may seem unfair to have to temper your 'voice' on social media, but statistics show that nearly 45%s of all employers use Facebook to pre-screen applicants and they make decisions about hiring based on your activity on social media.

It really pays to spend a little time polishing up your online profiles when preparing for job interviews; it could be as important as your CV or your interview.

 

 

November 17, 2011



Personal-branding
This is the internet we’re talking about. The World Wide Web. Everything is interconnected and conjoined to provide information and data about you and your brand. You cannot separate your personal online persona from that of your brand, particularly if you are a small business owner looking to increase your online business.

Personal Brand Reputation

One of the most important things to do as a small business owner is to make sure that your personal social media profile is optimized. This could have a massive impact on how your company is positioned on the web and could be the tipping point that you are looking for to increase your online brand presence.

Authority and establishing yourself as an expert in your field could lead to a massive amount of traffic to your site. It is not just people or corporations selling gadgets that have to invest in social media and internet marketing. Professionals offering services within their community, need to invest in some serious personal branding to drive their business on the internet.

Doctors, Lawyers, Plumbers – Are you a Professional?

Professional online brand management should be carried out by an expert. Your personal reputation as a professional is the only factor that you can truly use effectively to drive your business brand. The key to an authoritative personal and professional reputation on the internet is content.

Content Will ALWAYS be King for Online Brand Presence

As a professional a specific field, you’re expected to be able to deliver an opinion and offer advice on your field of specialty. Content and personal brand management could be the key to unlocking the door to increased clients and sales on the internet. The big search engines are always looking for expert content from professionals on different subjects and if you put your name to a piece of content, you have to make sure that it reflects your business, your profession and the services that you offer. Legal blogging and legal content writing are among the most specialized subjects on the internet. Are you prepared to leave your content to chance?

A piece of poorly written content could spell a reputation disaster. One of the aspects used in internet marketing is the management of your brand and your good name. If you have negative content and information on the World Wide Web about you or your brand you need to take steps to minimize the impact and negate the results. A professional online brand presence company could be the best choice for your personal and professional reputation.

 

 

September 21, 2011



Headshots

A new portal to increase your online brand presence has finally been released to the world. Savvy internet marketers and businesses have already tested the power of G+ and will be making use of the new social network to create more online brand presence for the products and services.With beta testing finished, Google opened their G+ social network to the world on 21 September 2011.

To date, the G+ admin have been quite strict on the use of G+ as a business tool but the worldwide launch will allow users to set up business pages and product pages. Although this has been tipped as possible competition for Facebook and Twitter, the two giants of social media, clever marketing people will think of it as another avenue to create online brand presence for the business.

Having an online brand presence is a vital part of marketing and the power of the internet should always be used. This is especially important for small business owners who don’t often have the resources and the time to invest in advertising on a large scale. The use of social media and business networks has been the saving grace of small and medium businesses in the recession.

If you create an effective online brand presence, it is possible to market your products and services to millions of potential customers without having to invest a huge amount of money.

Online Brand Presence: Keep Your Reputation Intact

It is not always easy to create an online brand presence using social media, and it is very important that you manage your online reputation as carefully as possible. If you are using your personal reputation to promote a business, you need to make very sure that everything you post on the internet is congruent with the services and products that you offer as a business. Managing your online reputation is a key area where businesses often struggle. Remember that everything that you post on social networks becomes part of the public domain. Be careful about what you post, blog or write about in case it has a detrimental effect on your business.

With G+ you are able to carefully position how you share posts and manage your online brand presence and reputation quite easily. Many small business owners are turning to professionals to ensure that their online brand presence is enhanced by their online reputation.

May 14, 2010



When starting in the world of online reputation management, it can be difficult to get a handle on exactly how everything works. No amount of abstract articles and tutorials will ever serve as a substitute for actual hands-on experience. At the same time, many people are reluctant to jump in and begin manipulating their online reputation immediately – although this can be a perfectly legitimate choice.

One alternative is to create a fictitious person whose reputation you can freely manipulate without any fear of impacting your own reputation. There are two ways to do this: one is to choose a somewhat-uncommon name that already has an established presence, to practice competing with established names and presences; the other is to create a strange name that shows no Google results whatsoever.

The latter is the easiest way to begin playing with online reputation management, and means you won’t be competing with another real person who might need the results you’ll be sniping from them. One easy way to create a fictitious name is to simply combine two common first names and two common last names to make something new, such as, “Janedy Cannelson.”

The next step is to begin creating online content and social profiles with that name, to see what has the most weight. Using the various tools of online reputation management you can populate the internet with the world of your fictitious person. Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Digg, and other free services are one place to begin creating profiles. A domain name with the fictitious name and perhaps a blog installed is another. Specialized services such as LookupPage is yet another.

Once you’ve created these pages, you can track over time where they show up on Google in searches for the fictitious names. Try commenting on popular blogs, writing forum posts, and being active in all corners of the internet with the fictitious personality. Over time this will help paint a very clear picture of which services are most effective, and which are less so.  
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May 02, 2010



Anyone involved in online reputation management has likely used Google Alerts – it is one of the most robust free services available, and is a great help in monitoring key brand words to know immediately when new relevant content becomes available. Unfortunately, Google Alerts isn’t quite as fine tuned as most webmasters would wish it to be, and as a result it is often not used to its full potential. AlertRank doesn’t fix every problem with Google Alerts, but it goes a long way towards making it much more functional service.

Getting set up with AlertRank is quite simple. A webmaster makes an account with them, which in turn creates an email address @alertrank.com. They then change the email address at Google Alerts to that special address, so that all alerts are sent to the service, where they can then be processed according to much more specific criteria than Google Alerts itself allows for. Reputation management companies use this technique as well as others to monitor personal and corporate brands.

One of the most useful things AlertRank does completely seamlessly is add a great deal of useful data to each alert. Rather than a simple list of sites which feature a webmaster’s watched keywords, AlertRank lists the sites with important SEO data. Each page is given an AlertRank based on the site’s Google PageRank, number of inbound links, Alexa rank, and a wide range of features such as comments (for blog posts), Delicious bookmarks, and more.

In addition to this comprehensive rank, AlertRank also breaks all this data out into an easy-to-read column layout, so that webmasters can easily analyze the relevance of each site that includes their key phrases. These comprehensive reports can be sent at whatever interval is desired, as either a PDF or as an Excel spreadsheet, allowing for listed sites to be sorted based on various criteria, such as inbound links or Google PR.

March 17, 2010



Tracking your brand reputation on search engines, Twitter, Facebook, and other sites is an integral part of good reputation management. To be truly effective, however, you’ll want to check in regularly to see what’s changed, and how you can best get everything back on track. This can be greatly expedited through a liberal use of appropriate Firefox Extensions, which can speed up mundane tasks, and give you data that otherwise would take a great deal more time to work out on your own. These extensions are some of the most useful and affordable tools to help you build your online presence and manage your reputation effectively. 

Of course, one of the best Firefox Extensions for managing your reputation is the simple search widget included with Firefox – you can use it to search not only Google, but almost any site you might find yourself referenced on, without having to directly visit the site and find the search, saving you a step or two each time you search.

UpdateScanner

This is a convenient, free, and easy-to-use Firefox Extension that helps you track when updates are made to a webpage. While some sites have RSS feeds that can do this task for you, many do not. If one of these sites mentions you regularly, or if you anticipate data about you being changed there, you can use UpdateScanner to be immediately informed when the information changes.

coComment

Perhaps one of the most useful reputation management tools available, coComment is a way to track all of your various online discussions in one convenient place. The Firefox Extension keeps track of every site you post a comment on. When people respond to your comments, you are immediately informed. You can choose to be informed via the extension, by RSS feed, by a Google Gadget, or by email alerts. This makes it much easier to remain on top of hundreds of diverse conversations, ensuring you respond in a timely manner to anything that needs your attention, improving your online reputation and helping to interconnect you with large communities. The extension works with virtually any site, including all of the major blog platforms, YouTube, Flickr, the NYTimes, and many others.

EchoFon

There are a myriad of Twitter Firefox Extensions, but EchoFon is one of the most robust and least intrusive. It sits as a small icon on your bottom bar, and when you receive a new message or are referenced in a Tweet a small box appears and tells you what was said. You can also use EchoFon to post new updates, to save yourself from moving out of your browser. EchoFon pops up a chat-like display when you click its icon, giving you full Twitter functionality.

Facebook Toolbar

The Facebook Toolbar extension is exactly what it sounds like: an extension that adds Facebook functionality to any open Firefox tab. You can post updates, as well as see Friend activity. This will let you seamlessly stay integrated in conversations with your follower base, without having to constantly be checking Facebook to check for new updates.

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March 12, 2010



Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Twitter is a powerful tool for businesses to control their message and stay in touch with their customers, but in order to be properly leveraged it’s important you stay connected to every conversation that touches on your brand – not just the ones that reach out to you. In order to do that, it’s important to have some tools in place to be steadily tracking Twitter for keywords and phrases related to your brand, so that if a conversation does involve your brand, you can intervene when necessary, to let your customers know you care, to build a larger following, and to address potential problems before they devolve.

Use Twitter Search @

The simplest way to track your brand on Twitter is to use the built in search for @brandname. This will show any tweets that have utilized your brand as a special keyword or phrase. Of course, many conversations in Twitter fail to use the @ nomenclature, so you’ll need to take it a step further to make sure you don’t miss out.

Create a RSS Feed with Keywords

The main Twitter search can also filter for keywords, and one feature you may not know about is the ability to seamlessly create an RSS feed out of these search results. By building an RSS feed comprised of a suite of keywords and phrases relating to your brand – not simply the brand name itself, but product lines and other unique descriptors people might use when discussing your brand – you will receive up-to-the-minute notifications whenever your brand comes up.

Twitter Applications

For those that don’t use an RSS feeder already, a number of Twitter applications exist that offer similar capabilities. TweetDeck is probably the most widely used, allowing you to build robust search panels utilizing a number of keywords, and to filter these searches in many different ways. TweetDeck can then be left running in the background, and may be set to provide you with regular notifications when new conversations around your brand appear.

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March 09, 2010



One of the most important parts of online reputation management is the ability to know when and where a conversation is occurring that relates to your brand – and ideally to know it right away, so you can positively engage in the conversation. With many next-generation tools, such as Twitter, this process is made seamless and simple through search services offered by the tools themselves. Blogs, however, are another matter entirely. Although blogs are often interconnected, and some reside on central services, for the most part they are independent entities, so there is no integrated search feature.

Luckily, a number of services have arisen to fill this niche. These services allow you to monitor the vast majority of blogs online for any buzz about your personal brand or keywords related to your brand. This way you can pop in to comment on a new post, pull positive quotes to use in your own materials, or arrange link trades to help boost your visibility.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is one of the most popular ways to keep up on your personal brand, not only in blogs but also in news items, general web searches, Google Groups, and videos. The search allows you to decide which areas you want searched for your terms, how often you want them searched, and how many results you want displayed. You then enter an email address and Google Alerts will send you regular updates telling you where your brand has been discussed on the internet.

Technorati


Technorati is arguably the most used, and most powerful way to search blogs and receive updates on key phrases in new blog posts. The service indexes hundreds of thousands of blogs, as well as keeping up on news clippings. This enormous database can then be quickly searched for appearances of your brand name. From that search you can generate an RSS feed, which will give you immediate updates when a new blog post appears anywhere in the blogosphere that mentions your brand.

WatchThatPage

If you’re interested in watching only a select few blogs, rather than the entire blogosphere, a service like WatchThatPage may prove to be more useful. This site allows you to create a list of pages that you want to monitor. You can then receive updates whenever the page is updated, or only when specific changes have been made to the change. For example, you could compile a list of your competitors’ blogs and business pages, and set it to alert you whenever your brand is mentioned on any of those pages, to keep appraised of negative spin they may be attempting to generate.

Rollyo

An alternative to WatchThatPage, Rollyo lets you create a dynamic search based on a search string that checks anything from the entire internet to specified list of sites. This search can then be turned into an RSS feed to give you regular updates. Although newer than WatchThatPage, Rollyo offers a number of additional tools, including a Firefox extension and other widgets to help keep you up to date more seamlessly.



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January 03, 2010



Traditional online email accounts are getting less traffic than in previous years. The reason for that is simple, people are emailing their friends directly from their social networks so they do not need to enter Gmail as often as they used to. Social networks are becoming stronger and are no longer used by a specific age group. 

Although there is an argument among different search engines on what is the most searched word of 2009, we feel that the most explosive and important word for 2009 is Twitter. Apparently, we are not the only ones who think this way. Only recently, Google unveiled its real time search option that will incorporate status updates from popular social networks among other real time results.

If you need any further proof on how seriously Google is taking twitter accounts create a fictitious account on twitter and conduct a Google search for that name 48 hours later. Odds are that this none - existing person will rank on the first page of Google thanks to that twitter account. Because of the fact that social media profiles usually receive indexation by Google and other search engines, creating a brand using free social media tools is certainly achievable.

Pizza Hut - Facebook fan pageFacebook

companies such as Coca Cola, Pizza Hut and U.S based restaurant Chain  T.G.I Friday’s have achieved considerable success by creating a Facebook Fan page. This can be achieved on a smaller scale by getting your friends and clients to become fans of your service. 

A solid Facebook fan page needs to be able to provide information about the business and possibly provide an added value to the fans of the brand. The Pizza Hut fan page is currently offering a 20% discount on all orders made with the Pizza Hut iPhone application as well as other coupons. 

Twitter

As written above, Twitter is currently enjoying the respect of major search engines. Although getting a large following on twitter takes time and effort, it is certainly achievable. Ranking well on Google for a twitter account is certainly easier if the account is active and tweets on a regular basis. The CEO of Zappos , an online shoe retailer  is using Twitter in order to engage and be reachable by Zappos customers. By being readily available, he is strengthening the brand of his company as being attentive to what the customer wants    

Oxford Car Service - LookupPage LookupPage.com - while it is not a social network, creating a LookupPage for a business or a professional can have tremendous return on investment (ROI). LookupPage enjoys excellent indexation by Google and creating a profile can help you establish additional positive results that often rank extremely well and contribute greatly to one’s Google Resume.  For example, you can check out Oxford Car Service which created a LookupPage for their business and their LookupPage is ranking extremely high on organic search. 

December 20, 2009



Since the tales of infidelity have started to circle around Tiger Woods, large sponsors such as Accenture have cut ties with the athlete. Accenture who has been a sponsor of Tiger Woods in the past 6 years, using his image for campaigns in print, television and airport advertising in 27 countries around the world has terminated the sponsorship deal all together. Other companies such as Gillette, Tag Heuer and AT&T have all decreased the use of Tiger’s image in their campaigns but have not ended their relationship with the athlete. 

Pepsi who named a Gatorade energy drink after Tiger Woods, decided to pull the plug on the drink shortly before the news of Tiger’s car accident made headway. They too decided to scale back the relationship with the pro golfer as opposed to ending it. Golf is considered an upscale sport and some of the products that Woods was promoting are high scale as well. Some of the potential customers for these products are conservative and others would simply feel that Woods no longer represents elegance and luxury. To put in basic terms, Woods is suffering from a negative online image that brands do not want associated with their products.

The fact that it is much harder to build a reputation than to destroy it could not be any truer in this case. Most of us are not celebrities and will never be known to millions of people around the world. We all go about our business and live our lives without the issue of public perception having an effect on the choices we make. Since we are not paid to be a brand we can afford to do what is best in our opinion at any given point provided it is acceptable by our family and friends. 

It was not long ago that comedian David Letterman confessed on national television that he had not been faithful to his wife. Letterman opted to be the one who breaks the news to his fans as opposed to the media. While it is fair to assume that had Tiger Woods announced that he was leaving his wife and new born a few months back his reputation would take a hit, it would certainly not be as bad as things have become for him as of late. However, there are still things that can be done to protect the brand of Tiger Woods brand – but this is an issue for a different post…

 Tiger Woods Accenture
 

 

December 17, 2009



Wordpress  If you follow several blogs or even read a blog post every now and then there is a good chance that Wordpress was used in the process of publishing the content you are reading. Wordpress is an open source blog publishing application that is being used on more than 202 million websites around the world. People love to voice their opinions and one way to do that online is by blogging. When it comes to establishing an online presence, a sure fire way to get a Google ranking for your name would be to keep a blog.

The main reason people are drawn to use Wordpress for their blog is the simplicity of use that it offers. Another element that is taken into consideration with Wordpress is how big and popular it has become. Bloggers are interested in improved SEO – search engine optimization for their content. More traffic could mean money in their pocket from the sales of ads or simply the satisfaction of knowing that more people in cyberspace are connecting with what you have to say. 

Google bots are not in the business of missing new and fresh content so Google will not overlook a platform used by millions of users provided unique content is added to each blog on a regular basis. In other words, when people create a web site out of thin air they are often required to submit the site to Google for indexing. This is not necessary when creating a new blog on Wordpress. Google bots will index a new Wordpress blog because it was created on Wordpress and will continue to do so as long as new content is posted frequently. 

Google strives to find the most relevant content possible for every search. This also means that the search engine bots are looking for different types of content. We all receive video and image results for our queries for a reason, people actually clicking on them; otherwise Google would not be presenting them at all. Because Google is looking for anything relevant, it is taking into consideration just about any type of file in cyberspace as long as it relevant to the search query. Blogs in general are very relevant. They are often personal and are updated on a regular basis. A WordPress blog has the potential of ranking extremely high in a person’s Google CV  provided the blog is updated frequently.

November 29, 2009



  Google Alerts  

One of the reasons Google has become so powerful in the past decade is the fact that they have come up with excellent tools for the online community to use at no immediate cost to the end user. Because so many of us have a Gmail account, it is very convenient to click a single button and remain within Google property for photo sharing on Picasa or reading Tom Friedman’s latest article on Google Reader. Google is simply making money from offering relevant ads and services while making our lives easier. Their strong targeting is a result of knowing what we have been searching online and emailing about to our friends.

 Monitoring the performance of a website has become easier with Google Analytics, a free tool as well. Any person who has website nowadays can monitor the traffic the site is receiving and determine several important factors such as which key words generated the page view, the physical origin of the search and the type of internet browser used to visit the site. It was worthwhile for Google to give out Analytics free of charge because they realized that its full integration with Google Adwords would sell many sponsored listings.

Which free tool is Google offering to monitor my online brand reputation?

Although it is imperative for a business or a professional to establish a positive Google resume, there are tools that can be used to monitor new results on a day-to-day basis.   Google Alerts is a great tool for knowing what is being said online. It is very easy to set up an alert and the user can determine how often he or she will be receiving notices from Google, it can also be stopped at any time. A business can set up an alert for its name and the name of its competitors so that when new information appears they would be notified.  

How does Google Alerts Work? 

Google bots are constantly “crawling” the web. If an alert has been set up and they notice a change or new content regarding the topic of the alert, they send out an email with a link to the new content.

 

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