I always tell people that the real leverage in developing your personal brand is through publishing. You can simply post articles; for example to base.google.com or to a site like EzineArticles.
Normally I get one of three reactions:
- That’s way too complicated for me
- I don’t know what to say
- Can you prove this works?
Let’s look at these in order:
- No excuse for “too complicated.” Can you do email? If so, you can create and post to your own blog at posterous.com. Find another excuse please.
- If you don’t know what to say, how do you expect to get that job you’re looking for? Or the consulting gig? Or the promotion? Get over it! It takes some discipline, but everyone has something to say about their subject matter expertise.
- Proof: Ha! It came to me serendipitously today. The rest of this article is about my proof.
I use WordPress for my blog. I get statistics whenever I want them, and they include information about how many people have visited my blog, what they read, how long they stayed, and where they came from. I watch these stats because it’s the first time in my marketing career that I’ve been able to see definitive cause/effect relationships (for example, if a blog article is mentioned on a popular site, I get higher readership). But it’s also fascinating to watch the search terms people use – how they end up at my site when searching for something entirely different.
That’s how I know that people still remember Bill Godbout – I get one or two hits for his name every day from people who are curious about the history of microcomputers.
Here are the results so far from today.
manage personal online presence
linkedin web profile “page not found”
select multiple emails from excel
create your recommendation
how to send emails from excel
mail merge, sending emails from excel
set google profile
pixels profile picture linkedin
Nothing surprising there, but I got to wondering about the second entry, so I did a search on Google for the phrase “manage personal online presence.” The result, shown below, is that out of about 22 million results, 3 of the top 10 are articles I’ve written or articles I’ve been quoted in. Two are from a MarketWatch article Marty Orgel did a few months ago, and one is an article I wrote for Wix.com. (Note: I removed results 3-6 to fit everything in the image.)
Whoa! That means I’ve started to make my own online presence known to other people. And that’s what personal branding is all about. Somebody, somewhere in the world – could be China, India, Africa – looked up “manage personal online presence,” and out of 22 million results, that person chose to look at an article I’ve written.
Now, if you’ve been reading carefully, you’ll see that my own blog isn’t visible in this search. So how did this person got to my blog article from the Google search? I really don’t know, but it’s actually not important. What is important: I put an important stake out in the world of personal branding, and somebody came to see what I had to say. String this together with 20 or 30 thousand more requests like that, and I’ll have started a new career.