Magazine article Marketing

Andrew Walmsley on Digital: Make Room for 'Me' Time

Magazine article Marketing

Andrew Walmsley on Digital: Make Room for 'Me' Time

Article excerpt

Marketers should not be embarrassed about applying their SEO skills to their own personal brand.

If competition for the best jobs wasn't intense before, it certainly is now. But some people have an advantage in this battle for selection - they're noticed, their achievements are on display, and their transgressions are invisible. These people are optimising their personal brand and they're probably getting job offers you don't even see.

We've all Googled ourselves at one time or another, even if we're shy about admitting it - it seems self-regarding and vain. We'll take a professional view where managing consumer brands' position on Google is concerned, but when it comes to ourselves, we don't apply the same rigour.

But optimising your personal brand online will benefit you, whether you are actively seeking a job, positioning yourself to be approached, or managing your profile within an organisation. Failing to do this can damage your prospects across the board.

Since 1497, acts of parliament have been printed on vellum, valued because of its longevity. When we move into the digital world, we wrongly perceive it as transient. But online, we leave a trail of information that endures - and unlike goat skin, Google indexes it all.

It's all there, from a drunken photo tagged with your name, to a Facebook status update complaining about your job, to video of you criticising someone who's now your boss.

We're learning new behaviours as this medium develops, and while younger people have a different view of privacy from their elders, in the future it's likely that it will be taught at school. It will be as important a social skill as being able to hold your knife and fork.

These negative outcomes form a part of your personal brand online, visible to any person searching for your name. But while past misdemeanours are difficult to expunge completely, they can be made less prominent by adopting standard reputation-management techniques - taking down material within your control, and boosting positive coverage in order to push negatives down the rankings in Google, to second-page obscurity.

So what are the drivers of success in personal brand management? They can be summed up as three Cs: content, connections, and commitment.

Platforms such as Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and blogs provide an outlet for your thoughts. This is where you can create the shop window for your personal brand communications. What you say here could be around for a long time, so think carefully before you throw rocks at anyone. …

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