• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Personal Brand Audit: What’s Your Online Visibility Score?

    This is the fourth in a series of Personal Brand Audits, where we’ll make sure you’re keeping the touch points of your personal brand effective and up to date. (See Part 1: LinkedIn Audit, Part 2: Facebook Audit, and Part 3: Google Audit).

    What is visibility?

    3285859730_1b1798343fThe hallmark of a strong personal brand online is the ability to be found when someone searches for you on the web. The first step to ensure you can be found is to create profiles on major professional networks and directories that rank highly in search engine results. Besides your “home base” website if you have one, these form the foundation of your personal brand online.

    Visibility Part I: Profiles

    1. Do you have a complete Google Profile?

    A Google profile helps you control Google results by creating a profile that shows up when people search your name. This helps others find the right information when they search for you. Create a professional page that outlines your accomplishments, career goals, and links to your blog and other profiles. Create your Google profile now.

    2. Do you have a complete LinkedIn Profile?

    LinkedIn is an absolute requirement to build visibility for your personal brand online. If you haven’t already, drop everything and read Dan Schawbel’s post, How to Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn. It extends your network, showcases your expertise and simplifies your job search by making your connections to other companies transparent. Create your LinkedIn profile now and make sure it is filled to one hundred percent completion (LinkedIn will guide you through the process).

    3. Do you have a complete Twitter Profile?

    3373179479_ae3d2e77dbTwitter is a massively popular social networking and microblogging service that extends your network, builds your brand (if used right) and increases your visibility. Create your Twitter profile now and implement the tips in Dan Schawbel’s excellent post, How to Build Your Personal Brand on Twitter.

    4. Do you have a FriendFeed profile?

    FriendFeed creates a news feed that aggregates your activity on social networks, much like Facebook’s news feed. It gives people an easy way to stay up to date with your activity on the web and ranks highly in search engines. Create your FriendFeed profile now.

    5. Do you have a Gravatar?

    Claim your Gravatar (globally recognized avatar) so that your blog comments and other online activity are associated with a consistently branded headshot. Claim your Gravatar now.

    Visibility Part II: Directories

    Directories are like online Yellow Pages for people. They rank highly in Google searches and make it easier to find the real you. Create a profile on the directories below to increase relevant Google results for your name. Make sure your profiles include your bio, headshot, a link to your LinkedIn profile and links to the other places you exist on the web.

    6. Do you have a complete ZoomInfo profile?

    ZoomInfo is a comprehensive source of business information on people that ranks highly in search engines. Create your ZoomInfo profile now.

    3773377080_99da0dae7e7. Do you have a complete Plaxo profile?

    Plaxo is an online address book and professional networking service that automatically updates the contact information of your contacts and ranks highly in search engines. Create your Plaxo profile now.

    8. Do you have a complete Naymz profile?

    Naymz is a reputation management and networking service for professionals that ranks highly in search engines. Create your Naymz profile now.

    9. Do you have a complete Classmates profile?

    Classmates is a massive directory of high school and college alumni where you can find and reconnect with old friends that ranks highly in search engines. Create your Classmates profile now.

    10. Do you have a complete Ziggs profile?

    Ziggs is a business community where you create an online profile that ranks highly in search engines. Create your Ziggs profile now.

    11. BONUS: Do you interlink your profiles?

    3346820651_55e14ff847Link from your profiles to each of your other profiles. This is important because search engines like Google count every link to a web page as a “vote” for that page. Google results are often described as a popularity contest because the pages that come up highest in searches for your name are generally the pages that have the most credible sites linking to it.

    Because of this, you’ll want to get as many sites linking to your profiles as possible. That means you need to “interlink” all of your profiles to increase the Google rank of each. (For more specific tactics to show up highly in search results for your name, see my last post, Google Audit).

    Tally Up: What’s your Google audit score?

    Tally up your answers to determine your Visibility score. If you scored 0-4, take a few minutes right now to improve your standing. If you scored 5-7, set some time aside this weekend to improve your score. If you scored 8-10, you’re on the ball – keep up the great work.

    Here are the audit points, to recap:

    1. Do you have a complete Google Profile?
    2. Do you have a complete LinkedIn Profile?
    3. Do you have a complete Twitter Profile?
    4. Do you have a FriendFeed profile?
    5. Do you have a Gravatar?
    6. Do you have a complete ZoomInfo profile?
    7. Do you have a complete Plaxo profile?
    8. Do you have a complete Naymz profile?
    9. Do you have a complete Classmates profile?
    10. Do you have a complete Ziggs profile?
    11. BONUS: Do you interlink your profiles?

    Good luck, have fun, and remember: a little personal branding effort now pays off dividends later.

    Author:

    Pete Kistler is a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, a top 5 finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2009, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely read career development blogger, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards. Pete manages strategic vision for Brand‐Yourself.com, the first online reputation management platform for job applicants, named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative College Startups in the U.S.

    avatar

    Pete Kistler is a top 5 finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine's College Entrepreneur of 2009, a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely read career development blogger for Brand-Yourself.com, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards. As CEO, Pete manages strategic vision for Brand‐Yourself.com, the world's first online reputation management platform for job applicants, named one of the Top 100 Most Innovative College Startups in the U.S. He has won a number of top honors for his writing, presentations and business plans.

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    9 comments on “Personal Brand Audit: What’s Your Online Visibility Score?
    1. avatar
      EXPERT

      Hi Pete,

      I don’t recommend creating profiles on sites that we are not going to martian them.

      If five of your suggested sites are top the Google results for a jobseekers and employer not find something interesting so its worthless!

      I recommend to stick with the magic three sites (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook). For me, they top the search results and up to date.

      Thank You!

    2. avatar
      EXPERT
      Meg Guiseppi says:

      Pete, I’m so glad you list Google Profiles at the top. One of the very nifty things that happens when you complete one is that your gravatar shows up in search results for “your name”. Very attention-grabbing and very likely to compel people to click through to your profile.

      Thanks for another great one in your series!

      -Meg

    3. avatar
      EXPERT
      Charles Lau says:

      Thanks for writing this audit of my online visibility score. I will definitely score zero in ZoomInfo, Plaxo, Naymz, Classmates and Ziggs.

      I don’t have any of the above, and my presence there is definitely for the purpose of exposing myself to the world of strangers because so far I have never heard of any of my friends (online and offline) having them.

      Nevertheless, I will take note of them and learn more about them. :)

    4. avatar
      EXPERT

      Hey Pete,

      Is that my picture I see on the top right hand corner? :)

      Well, I couldn’t agree more with you on the brand building tactics you recommend. As a community evangelist myself, I’d definitely recommend Google, LinkedIn and a Twitter profile, and given time constraints those are the three I’d build out first.

      And, you may have covered this earlier, but I’d recommend a blog as the central repository that ties all your other profiles. In short, it is your living brand website.

      Here’s one of many posts I’ve written on that topic – http://mariosundar.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/save-you-from-a-layoff-or-after-one/

    5. avatar
      EXPERT
      yinka olaito says:

      The addition of Naymz is new to me thanks for bringing this into spotlight

    6. avatar
      EXPERT

      Pete: Thank you for being so complete with all of your recommendations. I have been invited to join Naymz, Zoominfo, and Zigs, but since I had never heard of them, I didn’t bother to give them a chance. I will check into them now that you are recommending them. However, I do think that having your profile in the top 3 is probably more than enough unless you plan to maintain all of those profiles.

    7. avatar
      EXPERT

      GREAT advice. I had an “aha!” and a “duh” moment simultaneously when I read the tip to create a Google profile.

    8. avatar
      EXPERT

      Hi Pete ,

      Good job on this post, I think you bring up important issues and I could not agree with you more regarding the interlinking of online profiles. I think Naymz is more of a social network than an online directory LookupPage on the other hand, is geared especially for online visibility. If you compare the tools for the same name I am positive that you will agree with me on which tool is more effective . Secondly, the links that professionals create on their LookupPage are SEO links, which is not something other tools mentioned above, can pride themselves with. Linkedin for example limits their follow links to three per profile.

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