If you’re looking for an objective measure of how well your personal branding efforts are doing, you can use the technique I describe in this post.
If you’re aware of personal branding, I’m sure you Google yourself regularly. It’s really rewarding when the results are good – “damn, I’m doing a great job…” For me, these results are really biased, because I’m the only Walter Feigenson in the country. But I had a clue that everything wasn’t as good as I thought when I Googled Feigenson – then my results were just OK. Turns out there are some Feigensons who are more famous than I am, although none of us gets much traffic. Drat.
Here’s how to get even more info: use the Google keyword tool to check out how often your name is searched. You’ll have to have a Google account to use this tool.
Here are the results for “Feigenson” and “Walter Feigenson.” (You should uncheck the “use synonyms” option.) Click on the images to see larger versions.
For my full name, things look ok – except for the low volume of people looking for me (sigh). When I search for Feigenson, though, note that I’m only #4 in the list. In case you’re wondering, Joel Feigenson is my brother, and I assure you he’s not a personal branding expert. Ben and Perry Feigenson were the founders of Faygo, a soft drink company in Chicago.
You should try this on your own name. You might want to share some of the results via comments on this post. In a future post, I’m going to tell you about how you can actually use AdWords to help people find you. It’s not free, but it doesn’t cost much. If you want a hint, Google my name and look at the paid listings (those are the listings on the right side of the Google results). You’ll see a paid listing for my name from Ziggs. I pay $4.95/month for that listing. I only do it so I can show other people how this can help you if you have a common name.
You probably already know about that problem: look at the keyword search tool results for “John Jones.” I’m only showing a small part of it, but you’ll see that John Jones was searched about 165,000 times in December. It’s pretty hard to stand out if that’s your name, but you can do it with AdWords.