Fast Company

Use the Web to Enhance Your Personal Brand

oday is Tuesday, so this post is on positive personal impact.

A strong personal brand is one of the keys to creating positive personal impact.  Shelly Banjo’s column in the Wall Street Journal Sunday, on February 17 was entitled Washing Your Web Face.  Ms. Banjo said, “According to a December survey by CareerBuilder.com, 45% of employers use search engines and social-networking sites to research job candidates.” 

I got to thinking about this and came to the conclusion that the web can enhance or detract from your personal brand.  Successful people use the web to enhance their brand.  According to Ms. Banjo, the first step is to, “Inspect what’s already out there…Review at least the first five pages of results from search engines including Google, Yahoo and MSN.”

Ms. Banjo goes on to quote Tom Drugan, co-founder of the online identity management firm www.Naymz.com.  Mr. Drugan suggests that you, “Clean your space and wash your face…Remove anything on MySpace or Facebook you wouldn’t want your mother to see.” 

Toward the end of the article, Ms. Banjo suggests creating profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Naymz.com.  I have been a member of LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace for some time.  Yesterday, I joined Naymz.com in an attempt to see how well their service works.  I’ll give it some time and see if my search rankings improve – then I’ll let you know.

She also says, “If you have an interest in, or work for a particular industry, comment on industry-specific blog posts, articles and book reviews and be sure to add your full name and a link to your profile…Consider buying your own domain name.”  I have had www.BudBilanich.com for several years now.  It is very helpful with Google searches.

I have two comments here.  First. Ms. Banjo is correct.  You need to pay attention to, and do things to enhance your web presence, just like you do your personal presence.  People do use search engines to learn about you before they meet you. 

Before she retired, Sylvia Montero was the Executive VP of HR for Pfizer Inc.  She is a friend of mine.  I have mentioned her in my blog posts.  She once told me that a woman who was booking her to speak at a conference said that she googled her, and that my blog posts were among the first things to come up.

Second, use the web to build your personal brand.  I wrote a chapter in a new book from Insight Publishing called One Great Idea.  My one great idea was branding by blogging.  In the article, I described how I use blogging to build my Common Sense Guy brand.  You can read the article by clicking on this link http://bbilanich.typepad.com/branding_by_blogging/

Even if you don’t want to write a blog, follow Ms. Banjo’s advice and comment on blogs relevant to your industry.  In this way, you will develop a web presence as someone interested in industry issues.

Even though I have some pretty strong political beliefs, I don’t let them creep into my blogging.  And, I never comment on political blogs.  I do this because I don’t want to turn off potential clients whose political views are different from my own.

The common sense point here is simple.  The web is the first place people look when they want to get a feel for the kind of person you are.  Therefore, make sure that your web image is consistent with your personal brand.  Spend time polishing it.  You’ll be glad you did.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense.  I am not posting regularly on my www.CommonSenseGuy.com blog right now, as I want to concentrate on this one.  It is still up though.  Please don’t cancel your RSS feed as I will be posting there occasionally.  And, you can still get a free ebook version of my book 4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations by visiting www.CommonSenseGuy.com

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Bud

PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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