One of the most important things people need to do when they are “getting out there” and establishing an online presence, is understanding branding. It seems like a kind of nebulous term, but it basically means “who am I and what do I want people to see”. We do this for a host of reasons, but for me as a photographer I want this site to point to the work I like to do, in hopes of finding employment doing it after school.
One very helpful tool in doing this is the website Brandyourself. It will tell you a lot about you and what the net already knows about you. I recommend using the free side of the site first. You don’t need to jump in and start paying for help right away, but down the road as your brand grows this is a service that you might want to consider. The site searches the internet for anything related to your name and it gives you an initial score:
Screen shot citation: Bergeron, C. (2017, January 28). Brand Yourself. Retrieved January 28, 2017, from http://www.brandyourself.com/reportcard
D-, story of my life…JJ. Don’t be shocked at this stage, if you’re not an A list celeb or person with a social media staff you’re not going to be an A or B student here. From here you can search through results and identify from the first 100 google hits, that contain your name, which ones are “you”, “not you” or “are about you and negative”. The point of the site is to help you push the good up, and the not you/bad down. Now on the damaging warning, Brand Yourself considers any content about your address, phone numbers etc to be “Potentially Damaging”, kinda strange but don’t worry about it.
Now once you do this step you can start improving your score. Using the “What’s next” tab you see at the top. This will walk you through steps that will improve your net presence. You will perform tasks like this:
Screen shot citation: Bergeron, C. (2017, January 30). Brand Yourself. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from http://www.brandyourself.com/reportcard
For each task you complete you are awarded points. One of the first things I did was make sure I had consistent images of me across all of my social media platforms. Another quick note here, is that Twitter is important for reasons you might not know. I was a late arriver to Twitter, and was really skeptical about its usefulness vs upkeep. I have learned it does one thing really well, every time you improve any Social Media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook, TWEET THE CHANGE. Not because your 10 twitter followers care, do it because google cares. The more times your name circulates, the higher your search results go.
So what did all this do for my grade…
Screenshot citation: Bergeron, C. (2017, January 30). Brand Yourself. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from http://www.brandyourself.com/reportcard
Still a D-!!!! No biggie, basically it takes time to push results up. This is something you do a little of every couple of weeks. If you look, the points total went from 0 to 582, that is real progress. This was a great exercise. One thing I found out was I am still listed as an Author at Amber House Books, yep, someone used to assist in the writing of steamy military romance novels. It was fun writing with Heather Ashby, her books are great. It is also going to be one of the things I want included in my eulogy “Published Romance Writer”. I want several of those random, out of left field, tidbits to make the five people who attend say, “What?” Always strive to live an interesting life, if for no other reason than to make a handful of people on your last day say, “wow, really?”
Brand yourself logo used here is property of Brandyourself.com and used for educational purposes only, Citation: (n.d.) Brand Yourself. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://www.brandyourself.com/