Google, your personal brand and social media

As the government community awakens to the value of social networking, they will reward, hire, promote people who can help them use social media to build relationships with clients, constituents, the public. Those who have used social media to develop their personal brand will become the all-stars.

You are what you do. Karl Marx says so. And, America agrees. In our society, attend any social function, meet somebody new, the first thing asked of you: What do you do? We define ourselves by our work, what we do.

Today, it’s getting harder to answer that question: What do you do? Because you’re probably doing more than one thing. That’s where your personal brand, how you package yourself, especially online, becomes important. If you are promoting and encouraging the use of social networks and social media in your current job, you better demonstrate how you use social media to build your personal brand, your web presence. For this post, I want to focus on how you can use Google to build your web presence.

Google yourself

First thing anybody does is Google you. Your web presence really matters. What you find or don’t find may surprise you. If you don’t show up on page 1 of the Google search, you need to start taking action to move up the search pages.

Get your domain name, register with Google

If you want control over your personal brand, you need to buy the domain name of your own name. For example, I own drnancydailey.com and I own nancydailey.com. Ten years ago I bought the domain names for my husband and all three of my kids. It may be harder today to get your name but you never know. You can check at WHOIS Search and see what domains are available. Once you get your personal domain name, register the URL with Google.

Create your Google Profile

Recently, Google added a nifty feature called Google Profile. If you have a Google account and have completed the profile section of your account, whenever someone googles your name, at the bottom of the first page, your information shows up. This is the fastest way to get to page 1 of Google Search. This is especially helpful if you have a common name, like John Smith. Here’s an example of the profile listings for John Smith:

Moving beyond Google

Next time, I’ll talk about how to treat your social media outlets as brand builders.

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Adam Arthur

Good post; though, I don’t think I would be quoting Karl Marx as a good authority on personal branding philosophy. Communism isn’t a good model for self branding- it is more on the level of collective power-government…the voice of a “select, chosen few”, speaking for everyone else.

My work doesn’t define me- It is only a small portion of what is required of me for “survival”. I must work to eat. My philosophy is that a person is what they think. You do what you really want to do outside of your job. I believe this is what really defines you. 🙂

Nancy Dailey, Ph.D.

Adam, thanks for reading my blog and commenting. As a sociologist, I can’t help but use Marx’s fundamental position about economic production. I am referring to Marx’s work on social relationships and the means of production. I, too, would like to believe our society did not define us by social status or more specifically, what we do. However, I’m too much a realist to believe otherwise. Personal branding is a manifestation of capitalism in our free market economy facilitated by Web2.0 technology. Everybody is a brand.

Jeremy Ames

“Today, it’s getting harder to answer that question: What do you do?” So true, I always struggle with this question. It’s relatively easy to self-identify with an organization or issue area, much harder with a specific skill set. Many associate “Social Media” only with communications or IT (if they’ve even heard the term) though it’s promoters can be found throughout government.

I look forward to your next post.

Andrew H. LaVanway

Nancy, thank you for the post. Logged on at 9:15 and was done by 9:35. Everybody should take the 20 minutes to do it before they end up with an off-brand name (though with LaVanway I am pretty safe).

The registration process did raise a questions – what do you do if your work product is owned and tightly managed by someone else like the government? If you love your work, how do you paint the line between what is personally you and what is your work done for rent?

Nancy Dailey, Ph.D.

I recommend everyone have an “audio logo” to answer the question “what do you do?” My next post is actually about this… rather than answer the question “what do you do?” with a noun like “I’m an artist” or “I’m a teacher,” you answer with a descriptive statement. That way you can describe your skills and competencies without sharing specifics about your current employer or client if you are restricted from doing so. I’ll share more in my next post. Glad you got onto Google. Your name makes you stand out, little competition I bet!

Joe Flood

I’m http://joeflood.com so of course I agree with the premise of the article! Registering my domain name years ago has really helped my career. One challenge, however, is that I do multiple things (like many people do). I’m not just a web content manager, I’m also a writer and a photographer. I use my web site for all three of these identities which may dilute my brand.