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, "
ADP/Paychex/Intuit? Not so great...
- LinkedIn.com Profile (make sure the public profile is turned on)
- Facebook.com Profile (even if you never use it - Google seriously searches this)
- Twitter.com 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 (Bob1967@whatever.com) get rid of it. Buy your own domain name if you don't have one and make it Bob.John@BobJohnsPayroll.com. 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 thecashwells.com for my personal stuff, but use Logan.Cashwell@gmail.com for LinkedIn, etc. It is about recognition.