These days your personal brand is valuable. If you want to start a business someday your personal brand can be leveraged to help you drive business in its early stage. Your personal brand can also help you secure a job or build connections.
How so? Well, the first thing someone does before they do business with you or hires you, for example, is to do a Google search. It will typically be something like “Your name + your city” to see what it pulls up. So, it’s favorable to have positive information show up — if not you might as well unpack your carry on luggage because you might not get that job interview you want.
While they are typically looking for negative information or potential red flags, you can also be proactive and make sure that what they see is a good reflection of you and works in your favor. Here are a few tips to help you protect your personal brand online.
1. Set Up Profiles on All Social Media Networks
Have you ever noticed that when you Google someone that their social media profiles are always at the top of the search results? Why is that? Well, those sites have such high authority that they naturally show up on top.
So, even if you don’t use them all, it’s a good idea to set up a profile on each and optimize it with your name and location. These include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.
2. Set Up Google Alert for Your Name
You should always monitor the Google results for your name and anything identifying, like your business or your location. “You can set up Google alerts that will send you an email anytime there is new information online related to the alerts you specify,” says Chris Moberg of Slumber Search.
So, things like “your name” and “your name city” or “your name business name” can be set up to help you monitor what is posted about you online. If something unfavorable is posted you can then take appropriate action to address it.
3. Register for Identity Theft Monitoring
One of the easiest ways to tarnish your online personal brand is if your identity is stolen and the cyber criminal starts to open accounts online and offline in your name. Often times it can take a while for that to have a negative impact online, but once it does happen it can be a total mess.
The easiest way to help prevent this is by constantly monitoring your credit and personal information. There are several services that will text you and email you if anyone attempts to access your personal information.
4. Start a Personal WordPress Blog
What if you have limited information online? One way to change that is to publish content that tells the world who you are, what you do, and anything else you would like to be associated with your personal brand.
WordPress is the easiest blogging platform to use and it’s great for SEO, which will help your content rank high in the Google search results. Post about you and make a personal blog that highlights all of your accomplishments. For an example of a nice looking WordPress site you can learn more here.
The good thing about this strategy is that you control the message 100%.