Of the many things you can do to help your Internet presence – your personal brand – publishing has the most leverage. I always say this in my presentations, and I’ve also written about it before, but here’s some proof.
Sunday, May 31, 2009, shortly after Microsoft’s new Bing search engine went public, I wrote a quick review. I thought it would be fun to write something quick, right after the release. What I didn’t count on is how much this helped my organic search results.
I’m writing this on Monday, June 1. If you search for “Bing search engine reviews” on Bing.com, my blog article is the first return!!! Microsoft’s own press release is the 8th return! Check out the my image capture, or try the search yourself. (Of course, by the time you try this, I could have been knocked off the first page.)
As you might expect, this is really exciting for me – and a little bit astonishing as well. What’s even more interesting is that my article is nowhere to be found using the same Google search. What does that mean about the Google and Bing article ranking systems?
So how does this relate to building a personal brand? It’s simple: I’m leaving “bread crumbs” on the Internet – it’s clear that I follow current trends, that I’m capable of analyzing them, and that I can put together some coherent thoughts on the subject (or so I hope).
This is all part of becoming a subject matter expert. The more evidence you have that you “get it” – whatever the “it” is for you – the more likely you are to be hired for a job you’re seeking or for a consulting assignment you’re bidding on. People are more likely to trust others they understand and think they can predict. I can tell you as a hiring manager, these were always big considerations: Joe Blow looks good in the interview, but can I predict his behavior after he’s an employee?
Notice that nothing in this equation is an indicator of quality – your writing will have to stand on its own for that. But getting found is the first step. If you can demonstrate subject matter expertise, that’s the second step. Even if it isn’t directly related to what you do, it’s still important. Write about fly fishing if you want to. If you can show passion for fishing, the ability to think and communicate effectively, you’re very likely to show the same excellence in any job you undertake.