In February 2008, we started ThatSocialNetworkingThing because we understood a few basic realities around the social web:
Your reputation online would stay with you for the long term.
You didn't always have control over what people said about you online.
Most people didn't understand social networks or social media.
Most people in professional roles didn't really care about social networks or social media.
Most people who were on social networks or social media didn't come at them from a marketing frame of mind.
These same points still hold true, over four years later.
The internet, like nature, abhors a vacuum. If you don't tell people what you want them to know about you, your work, your company, etc., that gap will be filled in by whatever is available on the first page of Google. Someone dislikes something you once said or did to them and they posted it online? Someone with your name wanted by the police? These are real situations that have hurt people's careers and livelihoods.
Would you rather control that message, or let your detractors?
Managing your online reputation, your "personal brand," is no longer optional. Even those folks who tried avoiding Facebook, Twitter and the like are caught up in those and other online spaces as no one lives in isolation. Your friends, your families, your co-workers - they are active online. The company you work for, the school you attend - they are active online. And they are putting messages out there that impact YOUR personal reputation.
There are ways to take back control.
"The best defense is a good offense." From the beginning of our personal brand management services, this has been our foundation approach. Because we started as a marketing agency with specialties in Search Engine Optimization, we understood that SEO is an integral part of managing your personal brand. Most of the companies which have developed since have adopted this same approach.
There is more, though, than just being 'everywhere' for high SEO - strategy. Just like we do for our corporate clients, having a plan for message, target audience, multi-channel and frequency when it comes to your personal brand is key.
Random activity results in random results. You don't know what is working and what isn't. If something isn't working, how do you fix it? Are you being consistent? Are you creating a comprehensive picture of yourself? Are you in front of the people whose opinions most matter to you and your industry/ profession? Do you have a plan for how to keep your profiles and presentations current to reflect your most recent and ground-breaking work?
Take advantage of the new year to develop a new plan for keeping your brand relevant and managed.
Ready to get started?