Friday, March 20, 2009

Who's Who? You're kidding right?

Hasn't the time come that those infamous, "Who's Who?" books went the way of the dinosaurs?

I received a letter yesterday from some company asking for my money in order to be in their guide. Now, if I were technologically illiterate, I might wonder if that could help me network outside of my network... however, I'm a big geek at heart.

So here I sit typing on Blogger, monitoring Twitter, updating Facebook, and trolling through LinkedIn's Answers section trying to help folks out with their questions... and these people think they can help me network?

I say - it's over people. Go quietly and no one will snicker.

All that someone has to do to monitor their exposure to the world today is to type their name into Google and see what floats to the surface. There are of course, two sides to every coin... if you made some nasty comment on a ListServe back in college - guess what!?! It lives on! Of course, we all know this, and much can be forgiven in this day and age.

The tricky part is if your personal brand isn't showing up at all. My name is a beautiful thing. Yup, I'm gloating. Not because it is such a cool name and that I make my Momma proud (which she claims I do), but because I'm pretty much the only one on the Internet using it.

Goody for me! I'm so unique that all the 'Logan Cashwell' hits are mine, and mine alone! (mostly)

Now.. what about the Jim Smiths (no offense Jim), or heaven forbid, the folks with a last name that is also other people's first name? Welcome to the puddle of quicksand called the Internet.

All hope is not lost though. Anyone can work on bringing their name to the surface. The important thing is not to worry about more than the sphere of influence you are looking to hang out with.

This means that when, 'Bob John' in Tampa gets Googled with a keyword relevant to his business - That is where the money is at. Getting your name associated with your industry and the Google searches that your kind of customer are making is the trick.

So, when some puts in a search, " Payroll Service" into the moneybox on Google - what shows up?

You? Great!!!

ADP/Paychex/Intuit? Not so great...

If you really want to use this channel, now is the time to take a few steps.  Here are the first few steps I would take if I was starting off raw in this effort:

  • Profile (make sure the public profile is turned on)
  • Profile (even if you never use it - Google seriously searches this)
  • Profile (even if you never use it - free pointer back to your home page)
  • An, "About" section on your company web site with your name and some history in the first paragraph that identifies you with your business.  This is so the little preview in Google shows the searcher that you are indeed the one they are looking for.
  • If your email address isn't recognizable ( get rid of it.  Buy your own domain name if you don't have one and make it Apps.Google.Com can set you up for a whopping $10.00/year with your own domain and email addresses.  Who can't afford that?  I bought for my personal stuff, but use for LinkedIn, etc.  It is about recognition.
Feel free to Google me as a test run.  Enjoy the video of my kid's gymnastics meet, right along with a link to this Blog... but it is all about me - and that's what Networking online is all about (and no, my ego isn't really the size of a hot air baloon - I swear!).  

Once the, 'all about you' part is out of the way (because its really all about the customer), you can begin to give back to the network.  No one likes a begger out there - but everyone likes to read what someone is saying when they are helping someone else out.  So get out there and lend a hand.

When it comes down to it, it is just about being there when people are looking for you.  If you can be present when the prospective customer is looking for help, you are much more likely to get the chance to make your pitch, and build that new relationship.

1 comment:

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