Tips to become more hirable, strengthen your personal brand and build a remarkable web presence. BrandYourself is a platform that helps you put your best foot forward online, including free Do-It-Yourself tools as well as custom services.
Whether you’ve just passed the bar exam or have been a partner at a top law firm for twenty years, lawyer branding is essential.
Today, online screenings – both formal and informal determine whether or not people will hire you, work for you, or refer new clients to you. The legal profession has historically been slow-moving when it comes to adopting online lawyer branding and law firm branding as standard practice.
But over the past few years that has changed significantly when you look at increases in social media use, personal website development and blogging by individual attorneys and law firms alike. Just take a look at the findings from the most recent ABA Techreport! Online reputation management is a necessity for successful attorneys and law firms.
Attorneys report that they choose to pursue online lawyer branding and engage on the web for a number of reasons. The attorneys surveyed in 2017’s ABA Techreport listed the following as their reasons for social networking use:
69% for career development or networking
56% for client development
39% for education or current awareness
21% for case investigation
In addition to understanding the reasons that attorneys invest their time in social networking, it’s important to take a step back and consider how potential clients use the internet when seeking legal counsel.
Important stats about lawyer branding and law firm branding:
According to a Google Consumer Survey, 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine.
74% of consumers visit a law firm’s website to take action.
And according to one survey from 2015, Internet search was one of the most common ways that people found law firms (second only to information from friends).
Whether you choose to actively manage your (or your firm’s) brand online or not, the data has spoken. Potential clients are looking for attorneys and law firms online, and what they find matters.
This guide will show you how to make online lawyer branding work for you so that you land and retain more clients and win more professional opportunities.
Before getting started, we’d like to discuss some of the most common questions and concerns voiced by attorneys and law firms when we first start working with them.
FAQs about lawyer branding from attorneys
Q. Online branding isn’t a priority – attracting and maintaining clients is. What is the ROI of executing a lawyer or law firm branding strategy?
A. Attracting and maintaining clients by being great at what you do should be a priority. However, lawyer branding and law firm branding directly contribute to those two goals.
Online search is a common tool that people use to find and evaluate everything – even legal counsel. If what they find about a lawyer or law firm online isn’t informative, is negative, doesn’t look credible, or doesn’t exist – they will just go to competitors who look better online.
And in terms of ROI, consider this:
According to a study from Rocket Marketing, 40% of small law firms don’t have websites. If you work at a small law firm, you can really stand out by having a well-optimized and well-executed website.
27% of respondents to the 2017 ABA Tech report indicated that they had a client retain their legal services directly or via referral because of their use of social networking sites for professional purposes. And that statistic doesn’t even explore the quality of the strategy used to acquire and maintain clients. With the right strategy and execution, this percentage is likely much higher.
A shocking 80% of lawyers in firms of 500+ attorneys who personally maintain a legal blog report getting clients as a result of their blogging activity. (ABA Techreport, 2017)
Lawyers who blog in firms of 2-9 or 50-99 lawyers each reported a greater than 50% success rate in client retention as a result of blogging. (ABA Techreport, 2017)
When it comes to devoting your energy and resources to lawyer branding, the data speaks for itself. Proper law firm branding strategy helps you beat your competition, attract more clients, and retain existing clients.
Q. Clients, attorneys, judges and juries wouldn’t take me seriously if they ever found my Facebook account – and you’re telling me I should make it public?!
A. You’re probably right. If anyone that you know in a professional capacity ever found your Facebook account they might seriously question your credibility.
But if you’re convinced that that’s the case, you need to perform some edits on the social media profiles that you control ASAP. Regardless of the privacy settings you (think you) chose, or how clever your pseudonym, there’s a good chance that anything you’ve posted there could become public information.
You need to clean up your Facebook account now, and any other social media profiles that you control. Eventually you will be able to leverage these accounts in part of your quest for successful lawyer branding. But before that can happen, you must ensure that these profiles are in line with the professional online brand that you’re trying to develop.
Q. My firm has a strict policy that limits and monitors the online activity of the lawyers, how can I build an online brand?
A. This kind of policy shouldn’t discourage you from investing time in building out your personal brand. In fact, this should encourage you. Make sure that you fully understand what the actual guidelines and policies are before assuming that you can’t post anything online.
These rules will help you in being even more selective and strategic about what it is that you choose to create and share online. We often encourage our clients to imagine that their bosses or parents read everything that they post online. In this case, your bosses actually are monitoring what it is that you choose to share online.
That should make you feel even more intentional and strategic about what you’re doing. Don’t share anything confidential, clearly state that all opinions are your own and cannot be construed as legal advice, avoid red flag behavior, and focus on developing reinforcing positive content (more on those last two later).
Q. Building a website & being active on social media could trigger compliance issues, how can this be prevented?
Luckily attorneys can build and maintain an informative and effective online brand without violating any compliance issues. Whether you create your brand on your own, use BrandYourself’s software or work with our Managed Services team – you get to set the boundaries.
You get to determine the type of content created, published, shared, engaged with and endorsed under your name.
Furthermore, it’s easy to include language that explicitly states that all of the content found on your site or profiles is your own opinion and shall not be construed as legal counsel.
Disclaimers on your site, blog, newsletter content, embedded in social media content or on social profiles are more than acceptable when it comes to developing your online presence. You don’t have to choose between compliance and having an online brand. Instead, go for the third option – a compliant lawyer branding strategy!
Q. I don’t have time to build an online brand because I am busy practicing law, what are my options?
A. At BrandYourself we pride ourselves on empowering everyone with the information that they need to take control of how they look online. That’s why our offerings include everything from free access to our DIY online reputation management software to customized boutique branding services led by our in-house Managed services department.
As an individual attorney with little time to spare, we are happy to help you choose the Managed Services package that aligns most closely with your goals. Don’t think you’ll have time to share your thoughts, but you want your brand voice to be as authentic to you as possible? Our brand strategists are extremely creative and driven when it comes to working around a client’s schedule and delivering the desired results.
We also work with law firms to create a customized law firm branding strategy, as well as executive branding options that include executing strategies for each attorney and any other key personnel.
Q. A negative search result comes up when you search my name, can you remove that?
A. Whether a competing attorney mounted a smear campaign against you, a disgruntled client wrote awful things about you on a website, you lost a case, or someone with your name has a criminal record – negative search results are costing you business.
Depending on what the negative search result is, you may be able to get it deindexed (so that it won’t come up as a search result) with a takedown request. However, rules regarding takedown requests in the US are pretty strict, so if that search result doesn’t fall under those guidelines, your request won’t be honored.
Your best bet is to build an informative, high-quality online brand with properties that you do control.To learn more about dealing with negative search results, make sure to read through our guide, and see how else BrandYourself can help in the last section of this post.
Key steps to a successful online brand as an attorney or lawyer
Regardless of your area of expertise, level of experience or where you work, a personal brand is a must for lawyers and attorneys who want to increase their professional opportunities. When it comes to successfully building a brand that attracts clients, impresses (and retains) existing clients, and encourages growth opportunities – follow these three pillars:
Pillar 1: Build a basic brand
Pillar 2: Build credibility & an audience
Pillar 3: Target Opportunities
Pillar 1: Build a basic brand
Whether you already control a number of social media profiles and websites or not, you need web properties that are working for you. That means building or optimizing key profiles and websites. When looking to improve your brand, this foundational phase is critical to the health and long-term success of your online presence. Building a basic brand should include the following steps:
Scan and audit search results for your name.
Clean up any content you control that doesn’t support the professional image you want to project online.
Build an online presence that reflects your personal mission statement and showcases your areas of expertise.
Devise and follow a personal branding strategy that addresses your professional priorities and stick to the deadlines you set.
To learn more about each of these steps, make sure to read our personal branding guide. And if you sign up for BrandYourself’s free online reputation management software you can automatically scan search results for your name, flag damaging content on your social profiles and learn how to create & optimize your accounts step-by-step.
When it comes to building a strong online foundation for attorneys and lawyers, we suggest that you start with the 10-12 online properties suggested in the personal branding guide. However, it’s especially important that lawyers create or optimize their profiles on law-specific sites like Avvo or Martindale (and its associated sites). That way you ensure that people who are seriously looking for legal counsel have the chance to find you.
Additionally, when it comes to the foundational phase of law firm branding strategy, we highly recommend that lawyers and law firms establish themselves on sites like:
And other review sites
Not only do these kinds of sites garner a lot of traffic, but there’s a good chance a basic profile has already been automatically generated for you there. That means that the information there is likely sparse or inaccurate, and people seeking legal counsel are not seeing a very polished version of you. That’s why it’s up to you to manage and monitor how you look on these kinds of sites.
Once you’ve established a strong foundation with this lawyer branding strategy, it’s time to move on to Pillar 2.
Pillar 2: Build credibility & an audience
Whether you are building this professional brand as an individual attorney or as part of a law firm, online branding can reinforce your credibility and cultivate a broader audience (which ultimately leads to more clients).
Great ways to strengthen your credibility online include:
Writing strategic content on the platforms and in the communities where interested parties will find it.
Getting third-party placement through pitching and syndication on trusted sites that speak directly to your desired audience.
Use data to your advantage by tracking how your content performs on different platforms and reverse engineering the most successful cases
Use social media management tools to stay organized and help you publish high-quality original content consistently.
Tips for building the right audience:
Identify the gatekeepers of the audience and opportunities you want to reach.
Start building out your audience with people in your own network who are likely interested in what you’ll publish and would likely share your content with relevant communities.
Connect with gatekeepers & influencers via social media & strategic publications to better understand how they execute their own branding strategies, and engage with their audience.
Do your homework on attorneys and lawyers who are well-known or considered thought-leaders in your field. While you don’t need to copy their branding strategies, this is a great way to get inspiration for tactics that might work for you. They may also give you some ideas or even a direct in on connecting with your target audience to increase your client pool.
Pillar 3: Target opportunities
Landing new clients and enhancing the experience of existing clients probably top your list of objectives with brand building. And once you start to see the fruits of your labor from phases 1 and 2, it’s time to leverage that work to target more professional opportunities that encourage client growth and retention. As you become more visible online, accept and cultivate offers for opportunities like:
Speaking gigs with reputable programs or institutions
Blog exchanges with reputable content creators in your field
Interviews with trusted news outlets, academic institutions or content creators
Mentorships from respected leaders in your field, or the opportunity to mentor others starting out in your field
While there’s a real chance that these sorts of opportunities will just come to you, and you’ll have to weed through a bunch of offers, that’s not always how it works. Typically you’ll need to use some advanced audience building techniques to find and shape these opportunities with members of your network and audience.
Strategically work with your audience through:
Outreach & Networking – Make sure that people know your value and what it is that you’re looking for. Be specific in what you ask for and who you’re trying to meet.
Ongoing content creation and engagement – Stay active on social media and on your website to ensure continued growth and maintenance of your audience. Remember to engage with prominent people and news sources in your industry in addition to interacting with your growing audience. Demonstrate that you are active in the conversations in your industry to prove your credibility and ultimately encourage more potential for new opportunities.
Link building – Seek out targeted link building opportunities to improve the visibility and credibility of your online brand and ultimately find more opportunities. Link building is a search engine optimization tactic where you try to earn links to your website or social media profile from a high-quality site.
Advanced keyword strategy – This is another SEO tactic to make sure that people looking for you and your content find it when they search online. Use free tools like Google Adwords and Keyword Planner to create a list of words related to your personal brand and industry. Create high-quality content that ranks well for these searches to ensure continued growth with your desired audience.
What does the ideal personal brand for lawyers look like?
Counsel to the New York City Bar Association – Neysa Alsina
Below, you’ll see page one of Neysa Alsina’s Google search results which includes a combination of personal social media profiles, positive third-party news articles and her biographical information on the New York City Bar Association’s website.
All of this serves to create a credible, informative and compelling personal brand.
Attorney General of New York – Eric Schneiderman
Below we’ve included Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman’s current Google Search Results. We consider his online brand to be a strong example of attorney branding.
The combination of his well-managed social media accounts, personal website, Wikipedia page and respected news outlets make for a strong first page of results.
Lawyer and Managing partner at Rosenberg & Estis – Luise Barrack
The first page of search results for Managing Partner, Luise Barrack includes a combination of lawyer branding must-haves.
When it comes to hiring, tons of resources go into finding the right person for the job, and employment screeners are a given. HR typically teams up with the department manager and direct supervisor of the desired position in order to find the best fit possible. And inevitably that means devoting lots of time to extensive employment screeners and screening interviews.
Estimates for the cost of hiring a new employee range from $1,000 to the equivalent of up to 9 months’ salary of said employee (according to SHRM), or more. And it typically takes about 42 days to fill a position.
Regardless of the position, company or industry, everyone agrees that hiring the right employee doesn’t come for free. With that in mind, screening interviews are a must-have at every level.
Ace the employment screening process.
Our free software will scan and help you clean up your online presence so you can be prepared when employers look you up online.
Hiring the right employee requires time and money, and it’s even more costly to hire the wrong person. That’s why companies are (or should be) comfortable investing in appropriate employment screener tactics when it comes to hiring.
Employment screeners typically refer to the software, interviews, third-party hires and other people and processes put in place to ensure that a new hire is the best possible fit for both the company and the position itself.
Pre-employment screening processes are typically more extensive the more demanding or visible the role.
Below we’ve included the best ways to prepare for a pre screening interview and what to expect during screening interviews.
Part I. How to prepare for your pre screening interview
Before you submit yourself to the pre employment screening process and various screening interviews, there are certain steps that you can take to improve your chances of passing and landing this job. Below we’ve highlighted some of the most important actions you can possibly take.
1. Update all properties that you control or have access to and make sure that the following is relevant and accurate for employment screeners:
Work and academic history
Review your LinkedIn page, website biography or any other places online that include your biographical information. Make sure that the information shared there is as up to date as possible. And if you are applying to the same kinds of jobs across the board, make sure to feature the most relevant and impressive professional and academic experiences first.
Similarly, your contact information needs to be up to date in order for potential employers to get in touch with you. Review all sites and profiles that you have access to and make sure that this information is accurate.
In addition to updating your contact information as well as your work and academic histories, you also need to make sure that your professional objectives are as clear and cohesive as possible across the board. Whether a hiring manager looks at the CV that you emailed them, or reviews your Twitter account, your core professional goals and successes should be pretty clear.
2. Screen your online presence for any potentially damaging or irrelevant content before an employment screener does.
Hopefully you already did this before you started the job application process, but if not, it’s time to get started now! Employment screenings are all about finding reinforcing positive factors (that bolster the right candidate) and rejecting candidates that display red flag behavior.
That’s why you have to screen yourself and get rid of (or bury) any content that could damage your professional prospects.
Your best bet is to use software that scans the current search results for your name, and scans your social media accounts for posts, status updates, comments, images and anything else that could get you rejected during the employment screening process.
At BrandYourself, we’ve built online screening software to help job applicants improve their online reputation before a hiring manager finds a red flag – for more on red flags and positive reinforcing factors, skip ahead to Part II.
Common red flags include examples of the following:
Unprofessional Communication Style
Excessive Drinking or Drug Use
Criminal Behavior of any kind
Polarizing Views – particularly those related to politics, religion, race and gender.
Sexually Explicit Content
Violence or Bullying
In addition to avoiding examples of red flag behavior during employment screenings, you must build up a personal brand online that highlights your assets and encourages hiring managers to see you as the strongest candidate. Think about it, 86% of US recruiters and HR professionals say that a “positive online reputation” influences their hiring decisions.
Common Reinforcing factors include:
Concrete examples of you behaving in a professional manner
Ability to communicate professionally
Examples of work appropriate images, photos and videos
A trail of appropriate engagement online
Evidence of a life and hobbies outside of work
With this research in hand, we built an entire platform that detects and flags this kind of information and walks users through the process of enhancing their personal brand. This makes passing employment screenings a cinch for our users.
Once you’ve signed up for BrandYourself’s free or Premium DIY online reputation management software, let our technology help you get your online personal brand up to speed in preparation of this employment screener.
Start with the low-hanging fruit by using our software to scan your social media accounts for red flags. Get rid of damaging content that you control using BrandYourself’s SocialScan and CleanImage Technology.
Navigate to the Risk Factors section of the Reputation Builder, and make sure to connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts. After you’ve connected your accounts, BrandYourself’s technology instantly scans these accounts for comments, posts, updates, images, etc that could make you fail an employment screening.
After you’ve cleaned up your social media accounts using BrandYourself’s software, review your personalized Reputation Report to find out how much your online presence is helping or hurting you. Simply click the “Get Your Free Reputation Report” button at sign-up, or navigate to the “Reputation Report” button on your dashboard once you’ve created an account.
Your Reputation Report identifies your:
This number ranges from 0-800 or “Very Poor to Excellent”. Think of this like a credit score for your online reputation.We’ve spent thousands of hours identifying and researching all of the factors that go into a successful online brand that passes employment screenings and wins other professional and personal opportunities. To learn more about the Reputation Score, visit this post.
BrandYourself’s software currently scans and flags potential risk factors from your search results, social posts and social images. And soon our software will also include exposed private information in this section.
This part of your Reputation Report analyzes the effectiveness of your current personal brand based on the number of quality properties that you control and how updated they are. This is a great indicator of how you’ll do during the employment screening process.
Your Reputation Report then analyzes the first three pages of Google results that come up for your name. This section identifies Positive, Negative, “Not Me” and unlabeled search results.
This section of your Reputation Report alerts you to who has been looking you up online (based on visits to your BrandYourself profile). This will be a helpful tool during the employment screening process as you’ll likely be able to tell when hiring teams look you up online.
Estimated Impact and where you stand
Here our software shows you the amount of money that you are earning or losing annually based on your online reputation. The technology also calculates how your personal brand stacks up in comparison to other people using BrandYourself’s platform. Both of these numbers should give you incentive to not only improve your personal brand for your upcoming employment screenings, but for meeting your professional and personal goals past landing a job too!
Over time your Reputation Report’s findings will change as you actively take control of your personal brand and follow the recommended high-impact steps in your Action Plan.
3. Build online properties that represent you accurately and professionally
Hopefully you will have begun the process of building out your personal brand before applying to jobs and dealing with employment screeners. But if not, don’t worry. Now is the perfect time to start. Once you’ve cleaned up any red flags that you control, get started building sites and profiles that you want people to find. In order to ensure this, ideally you’ll start with 10-12 properties, but if that’s too overwhelming, at least start with the Big Four.
This includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google plus… and don’t forget to add a personal website to the mix too!
Follow best practices for both SEO (search engine optimization) and user experience when it comes to building these properties. If you already own some or all of these properties, make sure to review and improve them with the objective of representing yourself in an accurate and professional way. That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your personality, but you do want to showcase all of your reinforcing positive factors whenever possible.
4. Study your own CV and any supporting documentation or portfolios
Think about it, this is what the hiring manager knows about you so far. Take a look at all of this information critically so that you can anticipate likely questions and re-familiarize yourself with that first job you had out of college if you haven’t thought about it in a while. You should be able to quickly explain each company, role, value you added and skill set associated with the items of on your CV. Look for any gaps in your resume or choices that you made that may not seem like they lead directly to your current position or stated career objectives. You shouldn’t have to spend much time on this, and make sure you can clearly relate these experiences to the job that you’re applying for.
5. Review the job description
Make sure to review the actual description of the job before employment screeners even enter the picture. Link your past professional and academic experiences and accomplishments to the core requirements of this position. Make it easy for the hiring manager to see the connection, and reinforce that you are a strong candidate.
6. Familiarize yourself with the company
In addition to really understanding the role that you’re going for, show the hiring manager or employment screener your enthusiasm for and understanding of their company. By devoting some time to this during your research, you’ll be able to ask specific questions and make well-informed connections between you and the company because of this.
7. Get to know the executive team, the department you’re applying to and the hiring team
Again, you don’t have to be creepy about the extent of your prep work during the screening interview. But by learning more about the company and the potential team you’ll be working with, you have the opportunity to ask unique pointed questions that demonstrate your interest. It’s also always a good idea to have a sense of who’s who during the interview process – whether you’re doing a screening phone call or are going through round 3 of in-office interviews.
8. Ask for insights from anyone you know who works at the company
If you know anyone who works at the company, ask them some questions about their experience, the company culture and any other tips that may help you decide if you really want to work there. Ask your friend or acquaintance their thoughts on questions you should ask the hiring manager when given the chance. While their experience may be completely different from yours, it could be very helpful to get an inside perspective from someone who already works at your desired company.
9. Keep up with industry news
By keeping up with relevant industry resources and stories, you demonstrate that you are passionate and well-informed about your field as it exists today. Make sure to keep tabs on the most popular sites or sections of respected journals relevant to your field. Additionally, make a point to follow relevant sources, influencers and thought leaders on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter. This is something that you should already be doing so that you’re as informed as possible about the current conversations going on in your industry. But this is especially important during the interview process as it makes you more attractive as a candidate, and gives you even more to talk about.
Part II. What is a screening?
While the specifics of an employment screening can vary by employer and position, there are typically some common factors that go into weeding out the wrong candidates in order to find the best possible fit.
Usually there are multiple rounds and approaches to screening a candidate for a job.
The first round of employer screening typically involves just the HR department – specifically an entry-level screener, weeding out obvious no’s.
No-no’s during round 1 with employment screeners include:
Lack of experience
If your past work, training or volunteer experiences do not meet the requirements of the employer, then HR will immediately scrap your application. Keep in mind that this also means it’s up to you to clearly translate your past experiences into qualified support for the job that you’re applying for. Even if you don’t have the exact experience outlined in the job description, you may still be able to frame your work/volunteer/extracurricular history as qualifying support for this job. Whether your past experiences clearly lead to the job you’re applying to or not, make sure to clarify that you are uniquely qualified for this position.
Lack of keywords related directly to this position
Similar to a lack of experience or lack of connection between past experiences and this job, an absence of “the right” keywords typically disqualifies candidates during early employment screenings. Entry-level human screeners and algorithms alike use a particular set of keywords in order to find and screen candidates. If you’re not sure what these keywords are, pay close attention to the job description itself, as well as the language used in descriptions of similar jobs at comparable companies. What words are typically used to describe the desired qualifications, skills and past experiences of desired candidates? Make a list when comparing a handful of these descriptions. Include this kind of language on your LinkedIn account, in your CV and cover letter.
Poor communication skills
Employment screeners are looking at how well you’re able to communicate your past experiences and how you communicate in general. If your spelling and grammar are wrong (in terms of your CV, supporting documents, email communication, etc) or you use lots of slang and informal language, they’ll doubt your ability to communicate in a professional setting.
Whether you work primarily alone or on a team, some part of the job will depend on communicating clearly and effectively with others. If you show clear signs that you suffer from poor communication skills from the get-go, pre-screenings will weed you out pretty quickly.
Inattention to detail
When applying to jobs, once you get through the obvious prep work, it’s time to focus on the details. Think of the volume of applications that your potential employer is reviewing. Inattention to detail will get your application thrown in the no – pile immediately. Attention to detail will only strengthen your application. Inattention to details like spelling errors, poor formatting, cover letters addressed to the wrong person, etc will make you stand out for the wrong reasons. Take your time to review any content from you that your potential employer will see.
Suspicious work or academic history
When skimming your CV, employment screeners look for information that seems falsified. If the dates don’t line up, or the information on the CV that you emailed them differs from what’s on your LinkedIn differs from what you say in the bio section on your website – screeners are going to notice. Don’t lie about your professional or academic accomplishments or experiences. Also, make sure that the information is up to date – not just on what you send directly to a potential employer, but that this information is up to date on other online hubs of yours. This will prevent your application from warranting a red flag. Employment screeners will also flag any..
Whether you like it or not, people are screening you online. Because of this, the team at BrandYourself designed new software to calculate your Reputation Score. Your Reputation Score shows you whether your online reputation is helping you or hurting you (more on that later). From potential employers, to clients, to admissions officers to first dates, there’s a good chance that somebody is googling your name online. 75% of HR departments are required to look up candidates online. While this may not come as a surprise exactly, it’s important to note that your personal brand can have a significant impact on your life!
Wait, what’s a Reputation Score?
Your Reputation Score tells you whether your online presence is helping or hurting your career. It lets you know if you would:
Pass an online/social media background check
Fail an online/social media background check
Excel in an online/social media background check
BrandYourself’s Reputation Score is the only technology that accurately scours the entire web to match your images, social media updates, Google results, and more against a known database of red flags and reinforcing factors that employers use to screen you. Your Reputation Score is like a credit score for your digital footprint.
Similar to a credit score, your Reputation Score can range from “Very Poor” to “Excellent”. Your actual score tops out at a maximum of 800 points. People with higher scores are statistically more likely to win career opportunities than those who have lower scores.
How our software calculates your Reputation Score
At BrandYourself, we’ve developed an algorithm that quantifies just how much your online presence is helping you or hurting you. BrandYourself’s developers spent thousands of hours designing software that recognizes online content associated with your name that will likely damage your reputation. By “damage your reputation” we mean get you fired, passed over for a promotion, rejected from a job, school, scholarship, business partnership, etc.
Find out what your reputation score is right now.
Let our free tool figure out your score in 60 seconds.
BrandYourself’s developers spent hours researching the most common red flag factors and positive reinforcing factors that hiring officers typically identify as reasons to pass over or hire prospective candidates.
Brandyourself’s Reputation Score technology identifies the number and severity of negative search results in comparison to the quality and volume of positive search results for your name.
This technology pulls from the latest data and research available by industry to then quantify how much these factors are impacting your earning potential. The software looks at your Google Reputation Score, social Reputation Score and other factors to come up with the all-encompassing Reputation Score.
Remember, the higher your Reputation Score, the greater your chances at winning professional opportunities.
Determine whether this number means that your current online reputation is helping you or hurting you, that will be a good indicator of how much work you have in front of you. For the most part, a Reputation Score of “Good” or better means that your online reputation is working in your favor. However, even if that’s the case, there’s always room for improvement. If you’re Reputation Score pegs you at anything less than “Good”, get to work immediately, you’re losing out on opportunities that you don’t even know about.
No matter where you are, start by following the prompts. The technology used to calculate your “Reputation Score” uses your social Reputation Score and Google Reputation Score to come up with that overall number. Mark the first 100 search results that came up for your name as “Positive”, “Negative” or “Neutral”. That will give our software the best information possible to calculate your Reputation Score and report as accurately as possible.
From here make sure to connect and scan your Facebook and Twitter profiles to our SocialScanner and ImageScanner. Our software will scan both of these accounts to identify more potentially damaging content. This process is critical to our technology getting an accurate read on your social Reputation Score.
In minutes, our software retrieves any questionable content linked to your account, and gives you the option to delete it or ignore it. Review each flagged item and delete or ignore it, depending on what makes the most sense for your situation. Remember, how you mark each of these flagged items will contribute to your social Reputation Score.
Once you’ve marked all search results, and reviewed all flagged posts and images, it’s time to get to work.
The easiest way to improve your social Reputation Score and maximize your earning potential is to minimize current or future risk factors and follow your customized Action Plan in the BrandYourself dashboard.
Your customized Action Plan identifies the next actions you can take that will yield the greatest impact on your Reputation Score (and more importantly, your online reputation). In addition to these steps, make sure to connect, build or optimize relevant websites and social medias on your Properties page.
No matter what your current Reputation Score is, it can always be better. By regularly following the steps in BrandYourself’s dashboard over time, you’ll create the kind of online reputation (and earn the Reputation Score) that you deserve.
About those red flags and your Reputation Score
As mentioned earlier, your social Reputation Score and Google Reputation Score are used along with data attached to common “red flag” content to come up with your overall Reputation Score. Our technology focuses on damaging content that tends to keep people from working with you, hiring you, dating you, etc. While the list below is by no means exhaustive, this should give you a good idea of what most employers will consider a fireable/non-promotable/un-hireable offense:
1. Unprofessional Behavior
Forget about tanking your Reputation Score (don’t actually) – unprofessional behavior online keeps you from getting hired. Think about it, if someone from HR is trying to decide whether or not you’d be a good fit for their company, they need to make sure that there’s no obvious evidence that you’re unprofessional. If there is information out there that suggests this, then they’re liable if you repeat that sort of action once hired. “Unprofessional” can mean a variety of different things depending on who you ask.
There are some obvious examples of unprofessional behavior like publicly complaining about co-workers, bosses, past employers, etc. But then there are other behaviors that may not be quite as obvious to some. For example, mentions of skipping or showing up late for school or work can come off as extremely unprofessional, even if these kinds of comments are just said in jest. Additionally, if you post online about something that you did when you should have been at work or school, you’re flaunting that you lied, and don’t actually care about your job or school. Demonstrating that you don’t care about your education or career (with your words, original posts or shared content) is extremely unprofessional. Not only with this adversely impact your Reputation Score, but future employers will take note of this and any other behavior that could be perceived as questionable in the workplace.
2. Unprofessional Communication Style
Whether you’re trying to win clients or get into your dream college, how you communicate can have a serious effect on the outcome of your online screening (and your Reputation Score). At BrandYourself, we want to make sure that our clients and subscribers have the best chance at succeeding at their goals. And according to our research, “unprofessional communication style” is a surprisingly common reason why people get rejected after undergoing an online screening. It’s easy to overlook this when posting or commenting on your social media – you’re talking to your friends. Unfortunately, that relaxed attitude can hurt when it comes time for any important online screenings. Use of swear words or profanity is quickly flagged as a potential dealbreaker.
And poor grammar or spelling also incites concern since “professional communication” is integral in so many work environments. So the next time you post something, imagine that a future boss is trying to decide whether or not you have a “demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in professional settings”.
3. Drinking or Drug Use
While there are of course some exceptions to this (ie you’re a sommelier and took pictures during a company wine-tasting trip to a vineyard), it’s best to avoid sharing content that features you drinking or engaging in recreational drug use.
Again, some pictures (sipping a glass of wine on vacation) may be fairly tame, but even those can get you fired depending on your job. If you don’t want to delete all photos where you’re drinking, just make sure that those that you keep don’t feature you drinking excessively, or completely wasted.
Avoid posting photos of chugging beer, doing keg stands, recklessly partying, or anything else that would make your mother cringe. Even if you weren’t completely wasted when the photos were taken, you’re effectively guilty by association in the eyes of anyone screening you.
And when it comes to drugs or illegal substance, avoid posting pictures, videos, comments, song lyrics, etc that reference this kind of lifestyle. This applies to illegal drugs or prescription drugs. Either way, your future employer will likely red flag this sort of content and your Reputation Score will take a hit.
4. Criminal Behavior
While this may seem pretty straightforward, it bears repeating when considering your Reputation Score and job prospects. Avoid posting, sharing or making any comments that suggest admission of guilt of an illegal behavior or activity. Even if you don’t say something explicitly, there are typically enough context clues that aren’t that hard to fill in if someone is scrutinizing your online presence.
People often run into trouble with this when alluding to underage drinking, taking drugs and “pranks”. Things that are often labeled as “pranks” online are actually just misdemeanors – or even felonies, depending on the situation.
Refrain from admission of any illegal behavior like shoplifting, breaking and entering, theft, vandalism, etc.
5. Polarizing Views
This can be a bit tricky depending on how outspoken you like to be, where you work and what you do. However, typically, we suggest that users avoid making extreme statements about hot topics like religion, politics, etc. The reason we say this is because most people evolve over time, and extreme viewpoints (especially if they don’t align with the values of your potential employer) are flagged.
Also, you may not be able to walk back polarizing statements you share publicly today if your views change in the future. Additionally, a lot of nuances can be lost online, and something you discussed with friends in real life over a 4-hour dinner may not translate to a 140 character tweet. Furthermore, you may not want to lead with your most controversial views when applying for jobs. In other cases, polarizing views may be unavoidable. For example, if you are a politician or social activist there’s a good chance that some of your views are polarizing.
So choose whether or not to take up extreme positions on controversial current events and issues based on your particular situation. And remember that this can impact your Reputation Score.
6. Sexually Explicit Content
Unless you work in an industry that encourages frank discussion about sex (sex education, sex therapy or adult entertainment), avoid sexually explicit content at all costs. This includes posting about sexual behavior, genitals, porn, etc. And definitely avoid posting sexually provocative photos or videos.
Make a point to avoid any other sexually charged content that could make someone feel uncomfortable. Again, HR will pay particular attention to this kind of content as a potential liability – as will your Reputation Score. So why risk it, especially if it has no relevance to your professional life?
7. Violence or Bullying
At baseline, employers are interested in cultivating a safe work environment that lets employees be as efficient at their jobs as possible. Most employees take a zero-tolerance approach to anyone who ruins that with the threat of violence or bullying. Not only does it reduce productivity in employees and sour the company culture, it’s also a huge liability. Employers can’t knowingly hire people who demonstrate these kinds of attitudes or behaviors. This means that you should avoid using hostile speech online. And never hurl hateful insults or threats online. Even if this was empty, taken out of context or “just a joke”, employers will look at it as a red flag reason to not hire you.
There are other more subtle examples of this kind of behavior like photos or footage of you giving the middle finger or flashing other lewd gestures. Even if you were just kidding around with friends when this was taken, this type of content has the ability to reduce your Reputation Score and ruin your chances at landing that job. Another behavior that employers are very sensitive to is people who talk excessively about using weapons, showing off their armory, or threatening/fantasizing about hurting others with real or imagined weapons.
8. Bigoted Behavior
When it comes to screening you online, the person looking you up online will immediately be turned off by examples of bigoted behavior. Discriminatory remarks toward race, gender, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, or any other indication of intolerance toward groups of people will not serve you. This is a HUGE red flag. Not only does it show that you will create an uncomfortable or unsafe environment at work, but you are also a walking liability. If anyone of your co-workers, or an external source discovers your online presence, your employer’s reputation will also suffer.
And if you don’t view yourself as a bigoted person, reconsider what it is that you’re posting, sharing and how you’re engaging online. Maybe certain things that you consider to be jokes are actually hurtful and offensive to other people. Or maybe something isn’t getting translated properly through the online medium.
Avoid the red flags listed above, because these are the behaviors most likely to get you booted from consideration for your next professional opportunity and decrease your Reputation Score. More importantly, if you notice any trends when reviewing your online presence (like you only post about your sword collection, have to delete 50 pictures of you drinking straight bottles of whiskey, or apparently post a lot of bigoted content) take some time to reflect on this. Is that who you are? Do you have a problem that you need to get help for? Do you just need to diversify what you post about? Whatever it is, make a note of this as it will help determine the direction of your branding strategy going forward. It may also help you grow as a person.
Increase your Reputation Score and professional prospects with positive reinforcing factors
Actively building your personal brand is a must if you want a better Reputation Score and to land that next professional opportunity. Getting rid of damaging search results is only part of the process of improving your Google Reputation Score and social Reputation Scores. And remember, there’s no need to dwell on negative content about you that you can’t control. Focus on accentuating the positive, and building up the assets that make up your personal brand.
During this building phase you need to cultivate a brand that demonstrates “positive reinforcing factors”. In addition to researching what online factors instantly discourage employers from hiring people, our developers researched content that attracts employers. After scouring through existing studies, reviewing trends in our own user-generated data, and more – we’ve identified the most important positive reinforcing factors.
While the following list does not include everything that you can do to increase the likelihood of an employer hiring you or a college accepting you, this is the most effective place to start.
1. Concrete examples of your professional behavior
Just as “unprofessional behavior” is a top red flag, clear examples of your professionalism make you a more desirable candidate. So how exactly can you show “professionalism” when building your own brand? There are very concrete ways to show the caliber of your professionalism, but there are also more subtle ways that your personal brand can demonstrate this too. In terms of the obvious examples, make sure to highlight your leadership experience and skills. Whether you stepped up to lead your team at work when your supervisor was ill, headed a professional development group with co-workers or have demonstrated leadership skills outside of the office – showcase it. In addition to making sure that you feature this in your bio and on your LinkedIn account, work to incorporate this into your content strategy if possible. Share the most recent presentation you made to your group of mentees, write a post about what it felt like to take on more responsibility, start a Facebook group dedicated to your professional development pursuits. What’s most important is that you share this side of yourself with the people who are screening you online.
While mentioned briefly above, remember that LinkedIn is the go-to professional networking site.
That means it’s in your best interest to pay particular attention to keeping your presence there up to date, active, thoughtful and polished (according to a small study). By focusing your efforts on how you look on LinkedIn, you have a great platform to really highlight your strengths and experiences with leadership.
In addition to incorporating your leadership activities into your social presence, and staying active on LinkedIn, you’ve also go to present any awards or recognition that you’ve received. This serves as an additional form of validating that you behave professionally.
And don’t forget to include descriptions of yourself, your skills, your past experiences and your future goals in ways that directly relate to the qualifications necessary for the job you’re applying for. This shows that you are not only capable for the job, but that you also did your homework and highlighted what will work best for this future employer. This makes the review process that much easier for the hiring manager. It will also increase your social Reputation Score, Google Reputation Score and overall Reputation Score.
2. Ability to Communicate Professionally
While we touched on what unprofessional communication looks like in the red flags section, let’s consider what it looks like to communicate professionally – according to hiring officers and employers. When a potential employer looks you up online, they want to find language that is free of spelling & grammatical errors. They’re looking for language that is “appropriate” for the workplace. But most importantly, they want proof that you are invested in your industry. This facet of professional communication means that you are writing, posting, and sharing about information that is relevant to your industry. It doesn’t matter if you work in..
“Personal branding” typically refers to the process of establishing and promoting what you stand for. A strong personal brand showcases your assets, cultivates your network and audience, attracts new people to your business and helps you pass online screenings. As an investor, think of your personal brand as the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you unique and differentiate you from comparable professionals in your industry.
Why is personal branding important for investors?
Warren Buffett defines investing as, “… the process of laying out money now to receive more money in the future.” That may be simplifying the process, but the overall strategy of putting your money into one or more opportunities with the plan to grow it over time is standard in private equity, hedge funds, venture capital and more.
Whether you work as an individual or part of a larger investing team, this probably sums up your philosophy. At BrandYourself, we’re proud to work with a number of investors looking to enhance their online presence.
The reality is that most investors dread the idea of establishing themselves online. There’s the misconception out there that it requires learning how to code, build a website and/or hire an expensive web designer.
Building a website and complete online presence can be time-consuming, and unfortunately this deters many investors from establishing a sufficient web presence.
However, by ignoring their online reputation, many investors are essentially blocking themselves from upping their earning potential for themselves and their companies.
When discussing strategy behind personal branding, it comes as no surprise that the first question from our investor clients has to do with ROI.
“What’s the return on the time and money that goes into building a strong personal brand online? How will this affect my bottom line?” These are both reasonable questions that we explore below.
Personal branding creates and strengthens opportunities for investors
An effective online presence strengthens your:
Credibility: No matter where you are in your career, or how you approach your work as an investor, your reputation and credibility will determine the scope of your next opportunity. By building a polished reputation online, you’re showing others the best sides of yourself. A well-curated reputation online demonstrates that you are more than capable at what you do, engaged in the current conversations in your field and a thought leader. This sort of personal brand not only encourages new opportunities with people you haven’t met yet, but it reinforces the perception that people that you already know have of you. Credibility is a must in any field, and investing is no different. By putting your best foot forward, you open yourself up to new opportunities just from credibility.
Network: As an investor, your network can potentially make or break your new ventures. Who you know is just as important as what you know when it comes to identifying and vetting investment opportunities, raising funds, getting advice and much more. Personal branding is an invaluable asset when it comes to cultivating and maintaining your professional ties.
Visibility: An effective personal brand not only highlights your successes, but it gets you in front of more people. By building out your personal brand online, your name and your work are essentially exposed to a broader audience. Exposure is a must when it comes to increasing your opportunities.
Fund-raising: If you are looking to recruit other investors for a potential project, your personal brand not only ensures them that you’re credible, but it also provides you a bigger pool of people to work with. By building an audience online, you are expanding your network and potential points of contact for new partners.
Lessons about personal branding from well-known investors
No matter your area of specialty when it comes to investments, there are certain people in the broader field that are worth exploring. While the specifics vary by person, we’ve found that the following individuals are great examples of investors who are capitalizing on their successes by building impressive online brands. Even if you are not currently as experienced or visible as the following investors, there’s a lot to learn from how they represent themselves online.
Abigail Pierrepont Johnson
Abigail Pierrepont Johnson is an American businesswoman who has led Fidelity Investments as President and CEO since 2014. What jumps out when you google Abigail is that there are a number of positive articles about her and choices she’s made in how she leads her business. Additionally, you quickly see biographies about her on sites like Wikipedia, Crunchbase and Bloomberg.
When building your brand, you have the opportunity to take control of properties like these – even if they initially appear without your influence. If you’re a highly visible figure like Abigail Johnson, there’s a good chance that someone else will generate a biography or profile for you. That’s why it’s essential to take stock of what properties exist out there about you when you first start the process of building out your personal brand.
Alfred Lin is an American venture capitalist. He’s currently a partner at Sequoia Capital, but was the COO, CFO, and Chairman of Zappos.com until 2010. If you google “Alfred Lin”, you’re met with a gold star personal brand. His top search results include profiles he controls like Twitter and Crunchbase, as well as news stories and bios about him from highly reputable new sources like Forbes and TechCrunch.
While Mr. Lin’s first page of search results doesn’t feature a personal website, his top result comes from his biography page at Sequoia. This page combines the personal brand with the professional brand by including direct links to Mr. Lin’s personal Linkedin and Twitter accounts.
David (Dave) Tepper is known for his work as an investor, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. He is the founder and current president of global hedge fund, Appaloosa Management. When searching for Mr. Tepper online, the first search result is his Wikipedia page. When building your personal brand, you must make sure that the top-ranking properties for your name are up-to-date, accurate and showcase your successes.
Wikipedia authors will create pages about prominent figures (like David Tepper) with or without direct input from the subject, and Wikipedia pages tend to rank very well. That’s why it’s important to ensure that this information is accurate. In addition to biographies, social media profiles and websites that you’re in charge of, page one of search results should also have credible articles about you.
What is the most effective way to build a successful brand?
At BrandYourself, we’ve dedicated thousands of hours to identifying the most effective ways to build brands for our clients. For investors looking to enhance their earning potential and increase their opportunities, we suggest following these 3 pillars:
Pillar 1: Building a basic brand
Successful brand-building requires a lot of time and energy up front so that you start with a strong-foundation for your online presence. This phase includes identifying your personal mission, scanning your search results and existing profiles for damaging or irrelevant content and building your profiles and a website that highlights your professional wins.
Pillar 2: Develop credibility and your audience
Once you’ve created a foundation of informative, engaging, well-optimized properties, it’s time to focus on cultivating your credibility and your audience. This requires a combination of tracking and analyzing data related to user engagement with your properties, soliciting help from other influencers in your industry, and getting your content in front of new users likely interested in learning about your work. Remember, 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands, so make sure that you are identifying individuals to lend you credibility.
Pillar 3: Target new opportunities
By regularly creating and sharing high-quality content with your ever-growing audience, you are likely cultivating opportunities without even realizing it. Pay attention to key players in your audience and extended network and identify opportunities that are mutually beneficial. In addition to opportunities directly related to your work as an investor, you’ll also likely come across opportunities for public speaking, partners, content exchanges, interviews and much more. These kinds of opportunities up your visibility, help expand your network, reinforce your credibility and ultimately lead to more business.
How an investor’s personal brand can help their company
If you work at an investment firm, your personal brand not only helps you as an individual, but it can directly impact your company’s prospects.
Your own personal brand can serve as a support to your company’s business development and marketing strategies. When potential investment partners research your firm, what they find online has the potential to influence their decision. By creating a solid online presence for yourself, you’re a positive reflection of your company. Additionally, if you are active on social media, there’s also a pretty good chance that you have a better chance of getting engagement for your company through personal accounts than your company’s accounts. Think about it, brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when posted by an employee instead of the brand’s social media channels.
Meet the expectations of existing investment partners. Partners expect that the companies they work with are not only great at what they do, but well-received externally. That means that the company and the people who represent it need to present a polished, professional and engaging version of themselves online!
Beat the competition. When it comes to differentiating your company from the competition, your personal brand gives your firm an edge. People would rather work with a company that’s made up of find-able investors with polished personal brands than a company with employees that may or may not exist. Your personal brand gives you the opportunity to differentiate your firm from others because an authentic and professional version of you puts a face on your business. Additionally 41% of respondents who experienced a reputation risk event say loss of revenue was the biggest impact. If your personal online reputation is underdeveloped or negative, you are losing revenue for yourself and the company that you represent.
Capture contact info for new opportunities. As an investor, having a website and well-optimized social media profiles make it easy to collect contact information for people that could represent new opportunities and funds. Electronic newsletters that you attach to your site are also a great way to cultivate and reach people interested in your work. This sort of mailing list can be a valuable group of people that you ultimately direct to your company.
Regardless of industry, level of experience, or professional objectives, we all share something in common when it comes to our careers. And that is, a desire to improve and grow professionally. While the specifics of that look different for everyone, that drive to get better is pretty common! We are all constantly looking for a great opportunity to grow professionally.
Promotions, increased responsibility, recognition, better paychecks and more autonomy are all desirable side effects of professional growth. But where’s the best place to start? Perhaps it’s obvious, but you already have a great opportunity to grow professionally wherever you are working, whatever you’re doing.
By polishing your natural talents, committing to hard-work and seeking out new responsibilities you’re creating a strong base to grow professionally. You naturally create opportunity to grow professionally by improving your own skills through doing. Unfortunately, hard work alone doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the recognition and momentum that you need to continue to grow professionally.
While the hope is that you’ll get rewarded for your efforts, the truth is that sometimes you have to shine a spotlight on your accomplishments and amplify the voices of the people who speak highly of you and your work. That’s where personal branding comes in.
A strong personal brand lets you showcase your accomplishments and attract opportunity to grow professionally. This two-fold approach is the most efficient way to grow professionally today.
By building an effective personal brand, you open the door to expanding your network, cultivating mentors, earning consulting jobs, positioning yourself as a thought leader, landing new training opportunities and much more. Before getting carried away with all of the ways that a personal brand can help you grow professionally, let’s clarify what we mean when talking about your “personal brand”.
What is your “personal brand”?
We define personal branding as the process of, “establishing and promoting what you stand for”. This means that your personal brand is that unique blend of experiences, skills, beliefs and goals that make you distinctive from others.
This means that your personal brand will (and should) look and feel different from your coworkers’. However, feel free to get inspired by the personal brands of people you know in real life or strictly online. As you start to research how other people that you admire look online, make note of things that you like (or don’t). Think of this as a reference library for building your own brand that will lead to new opportunity to grow professionally.
How to grow professionally using your personal brand
There are many answers when it comes to figuring out how to grow professionally using your personal brand. There is no singular right or wrong answer. That’s why we came up with this list of options. Hopefully, you’ll find one or some options that work for your particular situation as you figure out how to grow professionally in your own life. Personal branding can be used in concert with training, volunteering, mentorship, job-seeking, promotions, expanding your network, and more when it comes to answering the question of how to grow professionally. Learn more about these ways to grow professionally below:
Admission to training, certification, and/or academic programs
When it comes to professional growth and skill-building, on the ground experience and training should be your go-to. However, everyone has gaps in understanding of their job or their industry. Luckily, these gaps provide a very clear opportunity to grow professionally. And in many cases, additional training is necessary to improve your work in your current position or to prep for your next role.
By developing a strong personal brand online, you create a platform to show admissions officers that you are truly passionate about your field. This will likely improve your chances of acceptance. If you think admissions officers won’t even see your personal brand, you’re wrong. 40% of college admissions officers view the social pages of applicants, so there’s a good chance that the admissions team will do the same to you.
And once you complete your training, your personal brand can reflect this accomplishment and publicize the fact that you are consistently sharpening your skills. Who doesn’t want to work with someone like you who is dedicated to improving, growing and actively filling in their own gaps in understanding? Academic and hands-on training provides an easy opportunity to grow professionally.
Volunteer in something relevant to your hobbies and/or career
Whether you are preparing to take a professional leap, or just feel compelled to give back, volunteering can serve a number of functions. If a professional transition is coming up, volunteering lets you test the waters of a new career and gives you a risk-free opportunity to grow professionally.
Volunteering can also provide an avenue for getting back in touch with your passions, or even just give you a direct way to help somebody else. Whatever your intentions behind your volunteer work, your personal brand can aid in this endeavor in a number of ways. It’s easy to find and connect with charitable organizations through social media and demonstrate to them that you would be a great addition to their team as a volunteer.
Once you start volunteering, you can showcase this work on different channels that make up your personal brand to share a more rounded look at who you are. At minimum, you are sharing another side of yourself with people who look you up online by incorporating this into your personal brand. In other cases, your volunteer work will showcase additional talents and interests relevant to your career.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for a new job, volunteering boosts your chances. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, jobless people who volunteer have a 27% better chance of finding a job than those who don’t (according to their study). Volunteering to help others is an inherently rewarding act, it also happens to be an easily-overlooked opportunity to grow professionally.
Finding and keeping a mentor
Mentorship is usually touted as one of the top ways to grow professionally. Mentors come in many forms, and you don’t need to just have one in order to succeed. Some may come in a more traditional form of a college professor or a family friend in your industry, others may be thought leaders that you follow on social media – or all of the above! Finding a mentor (or mentors) is key in getting ahead and can provide a huge opportunity to grow professionally. You have the chance to learn directly from someone who’s been there before, while your mentor gets to see their industry through fresh eyes and reflect on their own experiences.
By developing a strong personal brand you have that many more ways to connect with your mentor(s) and engage with them outside of a set place and time. Your personal brand also demonstrates why you are worth their time. Mentors want to spend their energy on up-and-comers who are passionate and full of potential, but just need a little bit of direction. Use your personal brand to showcase your experiences and skills, to identify your goals and highlight that you’re excited about what you’re doing.
Once you’ve reached a certain level in your career, it’s time to give back. One of the best ways to do this is through mentoring newcomers to your industry. Whether you go through a formalized program, or newbies just keep seeking out your advice, there will come a time when you mentor. If you’re at that point in your career, personal branding can help you find strong candidates deserving of your time. Use your personal brand to find a mentee that might not have otherwise come to you through the traditional channels.
And it may not seem like it, but being a mentor is one of the top ways to grow professionally. By developing a strong personal brand online you also have the opportunity to reach a greater number of people. By sharing your experiences, insights, and opinions on your website and via social media you give others the opportunity to grow professionally. Opening up this broader dialogue through your personal brand also lets you grow professionally through the valuable discussions shared with “virtual mentees”.
Getting the job or promotion that you deserve
If you are currently in the process of looking for a job, then you probably already know the importance of your personal brand. How you look online is both your first impression and your statement of support! Think about it, 87% of recruiters use social media just to find candidates. So get an edge over your competition by curating your online presence well. Your personal brand gives you a chance to showcase your work, your experience and who you are. By devoting time to developing this, you’re giving hiring teams a three-dimensional look at who you are – this is more than they could hope to learn from just your CV and cover letter.
If you’re already employed, but angling for a promotion – your personal brand may be just the boost that you need. A well-developed personal brand gives your employer a better sense of how you are proactively cultivating your skills and taking on new responsibilities related to your current job. In some cases, it’s also a way to demonstrate your value in bringing your following into the ecosystem of your business. Can you quantify the number of leads or deals that have come from your personal following? If so, make sure to bring that up when talking with your supervisor.
Your personal brand lets you show your employer that you’re passionate about what you do and that you are an interesting person outside of work too. Your personal brand makes all of this come to life and support your case for promotion.
Landing a new job and winning a promotion are only two ways to grow professionally, but they are both very concrete examples of this. Use your personal brand to find more ways to grow professionally below.
Expanding your network and finding new opportunities
Networking with peers and respected players in your industry is key when looking for ways to grow professionally. From mentorship to advocates, partners, employers, employees, clients, and all kinds of other leads – you’re doing yourself a favor by developing your own professional network. On a practical level, your personal brand provides an easy way to stay in touch with people that fall into this category.
Your professional network provides countless ways to grow professionally – and you probably don’t even realize it yet. As you actively expand your network, make sure to include people in your industry as well as people outside of your immediate field because you never know how you’ll be able to help each other. Developing your network is a must for anyone looking for ways to grow professionally – regardless of where they are in their careers.
Ways to grow professionally from increased visibility in your industry
As you embark on the journey towards continued professional growth, keep in mind that your personal brand has the power to speed up the volume and quality of opportunities easily available to you. As your personal brand becomes more and more visible in your field, you’ll start to notice more offers coming your way.
This will range from speaking gigs to publishing opportunities, to interviews, consulting gigs and much more. Some of these will come directly to you as a result of your personal brand. In other cases, you should reach out to people that can make this happen, and your personal brand will help you find an in. Regardless of the approach, a strong personal brand can help you in finding and securing opportunities that will naturally help you grow professionally.
How to build a brand that helps you grow professionally
When it comes to building the brand that will help you grow professionally, BrandYourself wrote the book! Now that you understand numerous ways to grow professionally, we strongly encourage you to start with our guide on personal branding. The main takeaways are that effective personal branding can be broken down into the following 3 Phases:
Pillar 1: Build your brand
Pillar one of personal branding is the concrete part of the process where you: scan for existing information that’s already out there about you online, get rid of anything negative that you control, create social media profiles and a personal website. The work that you do during this foundational stage will determine the success of your personal branding efforts in the second and third phases. As you build your brand, your personal mission statement should tie your properties together, and this foundation should reinforce your qualifications and credibility when anyone looks you up online.
Pillar 2: Build credibility and an audience
Once you’ve started publishing content and engaging with others in your industry online, you need to make an active push towards building your own credibility to attract new members to your audience. One way to enhance your credibility is through third-party placements or content exchanges with relevant publications. There are tons of ways to grow professionally as a result of expanding your audience, so get started with this process ASAP. Start small if you’re not ready for major publications, but just make sure that the publications that you pitch to are credible (regardless of the audience size). Otherwise you run the risk of damaging your reputation by association.
Pillar 3: Target opportunities
As your audience grows, so will the number of ways to grow professionally. Take advantage of valid opportunities that come your way as a result of your personal brand’s growing visibility. And never be afraid to target specific people in your audience and reach out to them if you see a mutually beneficial opportunity.
How to grow professionally with BrandYourself
All of this may seem like a lot of work. And in truth, figuring out how to grow professionally does take a lot of time and energy. But it’s manageable once you identify the effect that this could potentially have on your earned income. In addition to the resources here on our blog, BrandYourself offers DIY online reputation management software that scans your current search results and tells you how you look online by calculating your Reputation Score. The software flags damaging search results and shows you how to improve your score step by step.
The DIY software also features a social scanner that lets you connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts then flags posts, comments, images and other content that’s damaging your online reputation.
If you don’t have time to grow professionally by developing your personal brand, we also offer a host of in-house managed services where our experts will do the work for you. Give us a call at (646)-863-8226, or schedule a complimentary consultation with a Reputation Advisor today.
What differentiates your personal brand from your company’s brand?
As a real estate investor, your focus is on your work. So it may seem like a waste of time or even redundant to develop your own personal brand – especially if you already have a profile on your company’s website. Unfortunately, by ignoring your personal brand, you’re leaving countless opportunities on the table.
Your network and your reputation are two of your most valuable assets; successful personal branding enhances both. And this is true for both established real estate investors like Donald Bren and up-and-comers like Kate Rumson. To learn more about their branding strategies skip ahead to the section, “Examples of personal brands from successful real estate investors”.
By revealing the individual behind the business, you showcase your accomplishments, highlight your knowledge, directly engage in your industry all while appearing accessible. Insight into who you are as a person engenders trust with potential clients, buyers, partners – and anyone else who looks you up. By curating your own polished personal brand, you make your business look great too!
Why your personal brand is important as a real estate investor
Today, personal branding is important for everyone. 70% of employers conduct online screenings before making hiring decisions – and that’s just employers. Potential clients, partners, customers, etc are doing their due diligence with online search tools to determine whether or not they will work with an individual or a business. As a real estate investor, personal branding should be part of a winning marketing strategy that advances your career and actively grows your business.
As a real estate investor, not only should you be aware of the history, trends and current dialogue in your industry, but you should also be highly tuned in to the local markets that you serve. Personal branding lets you do all of this. As a real estate investor, you have to do more than just the research and work of purchasing, improving, managing and selling properties. You need to show your credible track-record while you continue to develop mutually beneficial relationships within the industry.
A strong personal brand lets you connect with allies and opportunities that ultimately turn into deals that continue to build your business. An effective personal brand not only lets people into who you are as a person, but it shows your credibility and accessibility. Your unique voice should differentiate you from your competition.
What is the objective of your personal brand?
Your personal brand is important as a real estate investor for the reasons mentioned above and more. But as the architect of your personal brand, you get to decide what to prioritize as the most important. That can be a little bit overwhelming, so just start writing.
While personal branding doesn’t have to be a back-breaking endeavor, it will require some time and thought, so what is it that you want to get out of it the most? Try to be specific. Have you dedicated your career to rehabs and now you want to get into wholesale properties? Your personal brand should be committed to this new transition in your career.
If you’ve done long-term buy and holds for your whole career, that’s fine too – maybe you’re starting to look into new geographic locations and you want your personal brand to help. Whatever it is that you currently do as a real estate investor (or hope to do), your personal brand should reflect that. Make it very clear to yourself upfront what your primary objectives are with your personal brand. This will make it easier to come up with the most effective strategies for connecting with your audience.
Your personal brand should speak directly to your target audience. But you won’t be able to figure out who that is if you’re unclear about your professional goals.
After you’ve identified what you do and who this speaks to, start thinking about what it is that makes you different from your competitors. Your past experiences, interests, hobbies, personal story make you unique. Don’t try to shoe-horn yourself into the mold of someone else who is successful in your industry. Instead, hone in on what makes you special and figure out how that can translate into your personal brand. And feel free to borrow strategies from other visible professionals – if that aligns with who you are and your goals.
If the objective of your brand is to enhance your business prospects, you need to show people what makes you different from the 20 other real estate investors that came up during their Google search. Being true to your own voice and experience is the best way to accomplish this.
We’ve included a few more questions to ask yourself in the “How to build your personal brand” section below.
How to build your personal brand as a real estate investor
When it comes to actually building your personal brand, we suggest that you approach it in 3 phases instead of trying to do everything all at once. Try to remember that this is an ongoing process, so take a deep breath and focus on building a strong foundation.
Pillar 1: Building a basic brand
Before you can reap the benefits of a strong personal brand that generates opportunities or helps raise funds, you need to start with an effective foundation. That means that you need to run some diagnostics on your current online reputation, define the brand you want to build, and then start optimizing your properties. To break it down a bit farther, we recommend that you start with the following in Phase 1:
Audit your search results: Whether you opt to use software or undergo the process manually, you need to know what’s out there. What are the first 100 search results that people find when they look you up online? Start by searching your name on Google in an incognito window. How many search results that show up on the first three pages are actually relevant to the work you’re doing? Are these results actually enhancing your professional opportunities? Take note. But also make sure to identify search results that are not you, irrelevant, damaging, or too personal. Feel free to do a few searches that include your name and other keywords like [the name of your company], [your location] or [“real estate investor” or your current title].
Define yourself and your personal brand: You’ve already started thinking about what it is that makes you different from your competitors, and what your goals are when it comes to building your personal brand. But now it’s time to get even more specific and strategic.
Start with some of the following questions:
What are you most passionate about in life?
What niches interest you the most in all of the work that you’ve done?
What areas are you interested in exploring that you haven’t yet within your industry?
What have been your most successful investments to date? What made them so successful (in addition to ROI)?
What were you most excited about when you first started in the industry?
There are about a million more questions that you could ask yourself as you try to figure out the core of your personal brand. If you’re getting stuck, check out our tips on writing your personal mission statement to really get at the center of who you are and what you want to project with your personal brand online.
Clean up any content that doesn’t fit your desired image: Once you’ve identified all of the search results that don’t fit with the brand that you’re trying to build, remove them! Common red flags that deter people from working with you include: content that suggests unprofessional behavior, unprofessional communication style, drinking or drug use, criminal behavior, polarizing views, sexually explicit content and violence, bullying or bigoted behavior. Take any steps that you can to delete this kind of content that you control. If you don’t control the content, take a look at our suggestions for dealing with negative search results. BrandYourself’s DIY online reputation management software also lets you connect your social media accounts, then our SocialScan and Clean Image technologies automatically flag potentially damaging content.
Build an online presence that reflects your brand and expertise: Start with creating and optimizing a personal website and high ranking social media profiles like Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Google plus. Once you’ve built and optimized these properties, focus on the ongoing strategy.
Follow a personal branding strategy and stick to timelines: Regardless of how much time you choose to devote to your personal brand, make sure that you always circle back to your priorities, and that your strategies support those overarching goals. Hold yourself accountable for regularly devoting time to the process. And give yourself time to see changes in search result rankings before giving up on a strategy.
Pillar 2: Building credibility & an audience
Optimizing your properties and creating content that you’re proud of is only half of the battle when it comes to successful personal branding. You need to make sure that people actually find what you’ve published! In addition to the right audience finding you, once they do find you, your brand needs to be viewed as credible.
The easiest way to grow your audience (in addition to creating engaging and valuable content) is through exposure. Find third-party publications willing to publish your content, and do content exchanges with bloggers who have followers likely to be interested in what you have to say. Remember to track the content that you share, and review engagement. Try to recreate successes by keeping tabs of data associated with these posts and reverse engineering them.
In addition to getting your work in front of other established audiences, take a targeted approach in your own audience building. Really identify the gatekeepers in your industry, and figure out how to work with them or at least get noticed by them.
And don’t forget to take advantage of your existing networks. Get active on building your social networks with people that you already know in real life. You likely have more support than you even realize. Pay particular attention to existing ties that you already have within the industry, as well as particularly influential people in their respective fields. Connecting with visible, credible people in your field not only opens up direct opportunities for you, but it makes you look good to your audience by association.
Pillar 3: Targeting Opportunities
As your audience and visibility grow, you’ll start to notice more opportunities coming your way. We suggest that you consider these carefully as the right ones have the potential to further your overarching branding goals. From speaking gigs to partnerships, interviews and more, exposure from effective personal branding can create some serious momentum in your career.
Examples of personal brands from successful real estate investors
Donald Bren is perhaps one of the best known real estate investors in the US since he is the wealthiest as the Chairman and sole owner of the Irvine Company. Bren’s been active in the industry for decades – even before Google searches were ubiquitous. Even so, he has a well-managed personal brand if you look him up online.
Donald Bren’s first page of search results also features an informative Wikipedia page, positive press mentions, links to his company site and third-party thought leadership features.
And if you take a look at Bren’s top-ranked personal website, you’ll find tons of useful information about him including causes he cares about, a thorough bio and news.
This is the kind of well-curated search results page and personal website that we would expect for such a high-profile individual. This also mimics the kind of work that our in-house managed services team provides for highly-visible clients.
In terms of real estate investors who are starting to make a name for themselves, consider someone like Kate Rumson. Kate is an interior designer, real estate developer, real estate investor and construction expert. She also has recently started to actively manage a personal brand that is distinct from her professional brand, “The Real Houses”.
While there is overlap in the aesthetic (and location) of the two brands, Kate is clearly putting in the time to curate her own personal brand.
Kate’s personal Instagram has fewer followers than her real_houses_of_ig account, but it still acts as one more lead magnet to her business and lets fans connect with the human in charge of the beloved “Real Houses” Instagram account.
How to maintain your personal brand
Unfortunately, personal branding is not a one and done situation. You need to regularly ensure that the information about you online is current and relevant. You also need to demonstrate that you are involved with the current conversations within your industry online. That means that you should be tuned in to what’s happening in real estate and sharing your thoughts when appropriate. If you don’t keep your profiles up to date, this suggests that you’re inaccessible, disconnected and/or uninformed. Stay current with your personal brand by budgeting time to refresh your website and social media profiles regularly.
Monitor search results for your name using software or a manual system. Most importantly, write thought pieces, comment on topics relevant to your markets, publish engaging images, videos and longer posts regularly. And regularly review data and engagement metrics attached to what it is that you’re publishing. There’s no reason to publish blindly once you’ve gathered some data.
Make sure that you identify the best way for people to contact you online, and come up with a system for reviewing and responding to requests.
Stay up-to-date with best practices in Search Engine Optimization, and always consider the user experience when updating site design and content.
How Brandyourself can help you build an effective personal brand
Successful personal branding for a real estate investor won’t happen overnight, but we’re happy to provide you with the information that you need to build this over time. At BrandYourself we offer DIY online reputation management software as well as in-house managed services where we do the work for you. We understand how challenging this process can be, so please give us a call at (646)-863-8226 or schedule a complimentary consultation with a Reputation Advisor.
To fully understand why you need to optimize your Linkedin profile, first consider the power of Linkedin. Currently there are over 500 million users on Linkedin – over 133 million of these users are based in the US (Source: Linkedin).
But just because millions of people own profiles on this network doesn’t mean that they’re active – nor does this mean that this network is for you. However, in the case of Linkedin, roughly 40% of users (Source: Omnicore) interact with this platform on a daily basis. And in terms of quality, Linkedin is the most-used social media platform amongst Fortune 500 companies (Source: Statista). And that’s just step one in understanding why it’s important to optimize your Linkedin profile.
Linkedin is one of the best networks to choose when connecting with other professionals, clients, employees, partners, customers and employers. That’s why it’s in your best interest to optimize your Linkedin profile – whether you’re a recent grad or a CEO.
Top 5 things to remember, before you get started with Linkedin optimization:
Fill out each section thoroughly
Be honest when it comes to the information you share
Ask for endorsements and testimonials from people you’ve worked with
Reciprocate asks when appropriate
Publish regularly and responsibly
How to optimize your Linkedin account:
So what do we mean by “optimize your Linkedin account”? Linkedin optimization is about taking steps to up your Linkedin account’s ranking in search engine results for your name. The goal behind this process is also to increase your visibility in searches performed on Linkedin. In addition to increasing your online visibility, Linkedin optimization also requires you to create an engaging and useful profile experience for the people who find it! Luckily, there’s a lot of overlap when it comes to addressing these three aspects of Linkedin optimization.
Fill out each section thoroughly
If you want to optimize your Linkedin account, make sure that you’re thorough in the information that you share. You don’t need to use up every single possible character that’s available to you. Instead of writing for writing’s sake, just take advantage of the character allowances so that you can tell your story in a thorough and engaging way. When it comes to describing past job positions, make sure that your role is described clearly. But more importantly, talk about what you brought to the table. Use any data and supporting documents that help tell your story. Try to quantify your value with the data that you include in descriptions of each section.
In terms of the sections that you will be filling out, start with the basic and build up from there. Start by uploading the following information when you begin Linkedin optimization:
Your current job: Stick with your current job title here. If you are in the midst of changing careers or are currently unemployed, you can get a little bit creative with your title. Consider listing your current job title as “Consultant”. This should be true as you ought to be open to freelance opportunities as you transition into your next role. There’s no need to lie here, but “Consultant” or “Freelancer” is much more active than “Unemployed”. If you are employed, list your current job as your headline or choose something a bit broader outside of your present title – whatever works for you. This is step one if you want to effectively optimize your Linkedin profile.
At least two previous positions: This is to strengthen your professional narrative. By providing at least two previous positions you show people your track record, your skill set and your growth. If you’re applying for your first full-time job out of college, you can still list part-time work, internships, volunteering or extracurriculars as part of your past experiences in detail if they relate to the jobs you’re applying to.
Your academic achievements, and any additional training or certification: List any academic institutions that you attended and what you studied as you optimize your Linkedin profile. Make a point to include information about additional training or certifications that you’ve obtained outside of your degrees as well. If you didn’t collect a degree – definitely don’t pretend that you did. However, feel free to list institutions that you attended or include any programs that you were enrolled in.
Your profile summary: Here you have the chance to really get at the heart of who you are, what you’ve done and where you’re going. If your past jobs don’t naturally fit with what you’re doing now, you have a chance to make the connection for people. You also get a chance to highlight accomplishments that you’re proud of, and show what it is that makes you unique. This is like a mini guided-tour of who you are as a professional that makes it plain why people want to work with you.
A high-quality photo: While it may seem obvious to include a good picture of yourself, you may be surprised to see what kinds of pictures people upload to their LinkedIn profile. Again, keep it simple. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a professional photo shoot. Instead just get a friend to snap a clear headshot of you. Pay attention to elements like lighting (go for natural), background (keep it plain) and focus (you should look like yourself in this photo). Avoid taking a selfie, and try not to be overly-done up, or unprofessional. Make sure that you are the only subject of the photo when it’s taken – not you and your friends. It looks unprofessional when you’ve cropped your friends out of an image. Additionally, adhere to the requirements for the size of the image. You don’t want your image to have a poor resolution, or be too huge that the file won’t upload.
Informative descriptions in the Background, Skills and Accomplishments sections: This can get a little bit overwhelming of course, but fill out as many sections here as possible when they apply to your professional background. Stick to the most recent experiences and work backwards if you don’t have very much time to devote to optimizing your LinkedIn page to start. Make sure to pay special attention to the skills section. Not only is this an invaluable section for you to show off the scope of your talents, but filling out 5 or more skills gets you in front of significantly more people than if you don’t. By sharing your skills, you add more depth to your professional snapshot, and alert employers to your potential. This is also a chance for you to make Linkedin keywords work for you. By identifying Linkedin keywords that are in line with the next job or opportunity that you’re looking for, you increase your chances of a recruiter, partner or client finding you. Avoid using Linkedin keywords that don’t actually reflect your experiences or skill level, but be conscious of the language that you use on Linkedin.
At least three recommendations: Asking for recommendations is challenging, but just do it. Whether you ask someone to endorse your skills or write out a recommendation, go for it. Ask people from different areas of your professional life. Go for at least three so that people get a good sense of what you’re good at and who you’ve worked with.
LinkedIn profile optimization
When it comes to your basic profile, keep Linkedin profile optimization simple. Use your professional name, where you live (or where you’d like to live if you’re applying for a new job), your current title and your 1 line explainer. Simple, right? When working on Linkedin profile optimization,capturing the attention of your audience as quickly as possible is part of the strategy. That means that you need to be direct, succinct and enticing.
Be honest when it comes to the information you share: Start with the big picture when figuring out how to optimize your Linkedin profile. Begin the process from a point of honesty. Unfortunately, people tend to massage the truth or even flat out lie when it comes to their resumes. But that won’t really fly here. Honesty is key once you start your Linkedin profile optimization. What makes Linkedin different from your standard resume is that your former coworkers, classmates, professors and supervisors can see it! Because Linkedin is a social network, people that you have worked with in the past can easily call your bluff. And even if no one confronts you about dishonesty on your resume, people who know the truth will seriously question your credibility if you choose to lie. Linkedin also makes it super easy for future employers to check your references. Instead of risking your reputation, keep it simple by being honest. And remember that if you didn’t receive a certificate or diploma, you can still include any partial training that you did. You don’t have to say explicitly “incomplete”, just don’t include the certification if you never received it. And remember, if you’ve put in hard work, it’s not about exaggerating your accomplishments, instead, focus on finding ways to showcase what you’ve done.
Ask for endorsements and testimonials from people you’ve worked with: Sometimes this can feel a little bit awkward. But don’t let that stop you. Endorsements and testimonials are key if you want to optimize your Linkedin profile. And remember, if you’re working hard with your teammates and supervisor, they will be more than happy to endorse you and support you in this way. But before you ask everyone you’ve ever known to endorse your skills, or write longer testimonials for you, pause and reflect. Do you actually have a good working relationship with this person? If so, are they really the best person who can speak to your skills and abilities? When getting started with Linkedin optimization, try not to get overwhelmed by quantity. Instead, focus on the quality of what people say about you.
Reciprocate asks when appropriate: This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when figuring out how to optimize your linkedin profile. But be willing to endorse people that you’ve asked to endorse you if you have worked with them. When it comes to networking, avoid the one-sided asks, it should be mutually beneficial. Now don’t endorse someone if you haven’t actually been exposed to them in a professional capacity, but definitely support people when you’ve seen the caliber of their work up close. And always consider offering to endorse people who are at an earlier stage of their career. They may be too shy to ask for your help, or unaware of how much this could help them.
Publish regularly and responsibly: Linkedin is as professional as it gets. So when it comes to Linkedin profile optimization, the ongoing element requires you to keep your profile up to date and polished. One great way to do this is by publishing original thought pieces relevant to your industry. While you don’t have to be extremely formal, keep in mind that your boss or employees will be able to see what it is that you’re publishing. So put some thought into what you’re writing and sharing. This shouldn’t intimidate you into silence, but consider adopting the mantra, “Pause before you post”. Is what you’re publishing relevant to you and/or your industry? Does it show that you’re an expert in your field or aware of current trends in your niche? Does this piece add value? These are the questions to ask yourself before publishing.
Stay active: After you’ve undergone your foundational Linkedin optimization steps, you have to stay active on the platform in order to maintain and improve your profile’s position in search results. You also need to stay active in order to maintain relevance in searches on Linkedin. Use the momentum you’ve just generated in the first phase of Linkedin optimization. Maintaining relevance on Linkedin looks different for everyone, but it’s a must. For some people, scheduling a detailed description of their Linkedin time in their calendars is the best way to keep up. For others, they’ll naturally check in for shorter blocks of time pretty frequently. Whatever is best for you, the important thing is to keep connecting, following, publishing, commenting, etc. Staying active on Linkedin is part of keeping your profile optimized, but it’s also an essential part of maintaining professional ties and showing your stuff! Over time, you’ll figure out what tools and systems do (and do not) work for you.
This is how to optimize your Linkedin profile. Updating and optimizing your Linkedin profile doesn’t have to be a chore that just eats away all of your non-existent free-time. Instead, approach Linkedin optimization with a focused strategy to make sure that the right people will find current information about you online that’s in-line with your professional brand. And make sure that you follow the initial Linkedin optimization steps as well as our 5 tips on best practices listed above once you’re ready to take full advantage of everything Linkedin has to offer.
To learn more about how to optimize your Linkedin profile, sign up for BrandYourself’s free DIY online reputation management software. BrandYourself’s online platform will walk you through the entire process of optimizing your Linkedin profile, and remind you to keep it fresh. If you don’t have time to optimize and maintain your Linkedin profile, BrandYourself also offers managed services where our in-house team of experts does the work for you. Give us a call today at (646)-863-8226, or schedule a free consultation with a Reputation Advisor so we can find the best reputation management solution for you.
Think doctors don’t need personal brands? Think again. We spoke with Kris Ruby, founder of Ruby Media Group, a NY PR and social media agency for physicians. Kris Ruby answers your top questions on why it’s so important for doctors to have personal brands, how to best market yourself online as a doctor, and her top tips for establishing a personal brand to distinguish your medical practice.
Why is it critical for doctors to establish a personal brand?
Kris Ruby: In today’s environment, the competition in the medical field is fiercely competitive. It is not enough to create a website, place some directory listings and hope that people will magically find your practice. If you want to establish trust with patients before they ever come in, building a personal brand is a great way to do that. There are numerous benefits for doctors to invest time and resources in building a personal brand. For starters, it leads to more qualified prospective patients before they come in. It creates a relationship with patients and opens up a 2-way dialogue well before they ever visit your office. It can also cut down on incoming call volume of potential patients asking the same questions over and over again—another perk of content marketing (will get to that later!).
What are some successful marketing strategies for medical practices you would recommend?
Kris Ruby: The best marketing strategy for a medical practice includes a heavy focus on content marketing. Although it takes a lot of time to sit down and write these articles, it is instrumentally helpful for building your practice. If you successfully implement a content marketing strategy for your practice, you are creating a resource library of educational content for prospective patients. This content will give patients a real understanding of your deep knowledge base in a specific area. The first place potential patients go to when visiting a site is typically the medical practice’s blog—if you don’t have any information on it, you are missing out on a prime opportunity. The bounce rates are also typically higher for medical practice websites that lack strong content. Investing time and resources in targeting landing pages on service offerings, optimizing your site and investing time in content marketing would be the first place to start if you are serious about marketing your medical practice.
Why should a doctor hire a public relations firm for their medical practice? What is the benefit? Can’t they just do it themselves?
Kris Ruby: Public Relations builds trust- and when deciding what physician to see, trust is one of the top factors. People want to see a waiting office (or a web site) filled with “As Seen In” plaques of media outlets you have been featured in from third-party sources. Subconsciously, this makes them feel more comfortable with you and builds trust. However, even if you have top tier media mentions but poor Google Reviews, there will still be inherent trust issues that a long-term reputation management strategy would be more likely to remedy.
Is HARO (Help a reporter out) a replacement for PR and personal branding for doctors?
Kris Ruby: Haro is a great resource for doctors to build media mentions. However, responding to haro queries is not a comprehensive public relations campaign for your practice. Also, if you are looking to build referrals with other physicians, conferences and events may be a more suitable approach to achieve that goal. Also, there is an art to pitching and crafting good responses for HARO. Some doctors may be more likely to craft responses back to these queries in medical jargon, which is not necessarily what a reporter is looking for if they are writing a consumer piece. Having a Public Relations consultant who specializes in the medical field would be ideal. If you are just starting your practice, then Haro is one of many great tools to keep in your arsenal.
Why is content marketing crucial for medical practices?
Kris Ruby: Patient needs have infinitely changed. Unfortunately, they expect a steady flow of information coming from your practice. If they look up a medical practice that has no content or strong referring backlinks to their site, this is troublesome. Or perhaps a Facebook page for the practice that has never once been updated. All of these are red flags to the social media savvy millennial consumer today when searching for a doctor.
What are some benefits to social media marketing for medical practices? Will it drive new patients?
Kris Ruby: Social media marketing is great for maintaining a steady flow of communication with your current patient base. For example, many of the medical practice Facebook pages we manage receive consistent comments, likes and shares from their current patients. As a doctor, you may think, why am I paying a social media marketing agency to market to my existing patient base if I already have them as patients? The reason is because every time they are sharing or engaging with your content it is being promoted to their entire friend list which could be in the thousands. These are all potential new patients for you, many who are located in your geographic area. Practices that are more active on social media also have patients that feel more “connected” to the practice. Another big perk of social media marketing for practices- particularly with millennials- is that they don’t have to pick up the phone to call you. They can get their question directly answered on Facebook or Instagram through a comment thread or Direct Message. For many millennials, myself included, that would be reason in itself to choose a doctor (someone who communicates with you the way you like to be communicated with!).
What are 2 ways doctors can use content marketing to promote their practice and attract new patients?
Kris Ruby: If you have invested time and resources in a great piece of educational content, make sure it is optimized with relevant keywords. Next, promote it in the right channels. A great way to do this is through targeted Facebook ads. So, if you are a dermatologist in NYC and wrote a piece on the top 10 ways to achieve greater skincare, target the post to people in your demo by hobbies, age, location, interests. You may also consider retargeting as an additional component.
Can traditional media exposure grow your medical practice?
Kris Ruby: Absolutely! People love to see their Doctor on TV.
What exactly is medical practice public relations?
Kris Ruby: Medical Practice Public Relations is the practice of keeping a doctor in the news. Whether it is commenting on current trending health items (ex. The opiod crisis) or getting quoted in trade publications, medical PR keeps your practice visible. Another added benefit- perhaps the most overlooked benefit of medical practice public relations is the link juice you receive from high-quality media outlets every time you are quoted. All of these backlinks help build your authority over time with Google. So really, you can either hire a top PR firm, or an SEO firm- or both- but there is no avoiding that the work needs to be done for a practice to stay visible.
How can a doctor leverage social media marketing to build their personal brand?
Kris Ruby: Social media marketing is ideal for personal brand building- it gives you a platform to share your press mentions with others in your industry, which can indirectly lead to other speaking opportunities at conferences or more mentions. The social media savvy doctors on Instagram are crushing it today- they have become the new “influencers” of the medical field- and as a result of social media, many have even bypassed having to hire a traditional PR firm because the media comes to them directly (through direct message!).
What do I need to know before hiring a public relations firm to promote my practice?
Kris Ruby: The biggest thing you need to understand is the amount of time it takes to work with a healthcare public relations firm. You also need to have time in your schedule to respond to their press requests, usually on a minute’s notice. If you enjoy having a very scheduled day with no interruptions, a PR firm may not be the best approach. Doctors who get the most out of working with a PR firm answer the media immediately when they call. You also need to know that everything is a balancing act between the PR firm and the media outlet. Even if you spend two hours answering a press request and craft a one page response, only 2 sentences may be used in the article. You have to be comfortable with the inherent lack of control that comes with working with a PR firm and the media. Things often change very quickly and you need to be able to adapt to that. Also, think about what kind of media is preferable for you. For example, if you don’t have the luxury of shutting down your practice for the day when a TV producer calls and wants you on set in an hour, radio may be a better approach for your practice.
Does a doctor really need a Public Relations firm to promote their practice?
Kris Ruby: Yes, unless you are a super savvy social media influencer who has already amassed thousands of followers on your own, you should consider working with a PR firm. The majority of doctors you see quoted in the media don’t miraculously land those spots. They simply don’t have time to be pitching themselves to media or managing the tedious work of media outreach. They are focused on their practice and seeing patients. Sure, anyone could technically do PR successfully on their own if they put in the time, but from my experience, doctors have very limited time and this is not top of their list. They want to focus on practicing medicine, not on the business of medicine.
What are some critical elements of a public relations campaign for a doctor?
Kris Ruby: Getting quoted in digital outlets, feature articles on your practice in regional publications, radio appearances on trending news topics, award submission/ nominations for top doctor categories, pitching for conference speaking, promotion of conferences, coordination of marketing materials for conferences, content marketing, social media marketing, and promotion of press hits on social media. The list is pretty long…medical practice marketing and PR could be a full-time job!
Why does a practice need to be visible if they have nothing newsworthy to promote?
Kris Ruby: I constantly say that we don’t do marketing- what we do is practice communication. Doctors need practice marketing the same way they need to drink water, sleep or eat. It isn’t really up for debate. It is a critical component of the way that people communicate today. You are either in the conversation or you are completely left out of it. It is better to have a hand in mitigating risk and managing the conversation than to let angry patients trash your reputation online or make false speculations. Doctors don’t have the luxury of pausing marketing campaigns either. If they expect to build real relationships with a community over time, they can’t pause the conversations for months at a time. Imagine trying to build a relationship with someone but saying “I have nothing new to tell you so I am just not going to speak.” The details are in the daily interactions- that is the ‘life” and the pulse of a practice. Those are the patient stories people want to hear. But expecting this to be a big media blitz to start or stop is not at all what healthcare marketing is all about. To reap the benefits of it, you need to make a long-term commitment to sticking with it and understanding why you are doing it. It isn’t because you have something to promote. It is because it is what the new patient of today demands of your practice. The practices that choose to ignore this truth will lose out to the practices that are embracing this and will unfortunately become obsolete. Just look at any social media savvy practice owner and ask them how they have built their practice. The majority have done very little traditional advertising and gotten most of their referrals through patients online via social media and personal branding efforts. They would never think of pausing social media/ PR / marketing because it is so ingrained in their digital DNA. They don’t’ view any of this as marketing or PR- they view it as living and communicating.
What are some social media marketing mistakes doctors make when promoting their medical practices?
Kris Ruby: The biggest mistake doctors make is that they ask their office manager to run their social media for the practice. Another mistake is not consulting with legal counsel before launching a social media campaign for your medical practice. For example, the law can be tricky with what medical questions you answer on social media or any possible patient information that is revealed. Someone who is an office admin, or even a social media specialist, may not know the intricacies. Social Media Marketing is great for building your medical practice- but it also infinitely opens you up to legal risks if not handled properly. It is critical to invest in the right resources. Social media moves so quickly- there needs to be a plan in place for responses on behalf of the practice. Another obvious mistake is being overly self-promotional or still using social media like it is a traditional ad.
Any personal branding tips for physicians?
Kris Ruby: Think about what area of expertise you want to specialize in as a medical expert. For example, do you want to be branded as an expert in Crohns disease? As the leading spinal surgeon? Before I start any campaign, I always do a deep dive discovery session with a doctor. You need to have a personal branding strategy before you can have a larger strategy for the medical practice. If you were booked as a medical expert, what would the lower third refer to you as on screen?
Kris Ruby is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, an award winning social media marketing agency that helps medical practices leverage the power of content marketing to increase exposure. She is a seasoned social media strategist with 10+ years building successful brands. She frequently speaks on FOX News, CNBC, Good Morning America and countless other networks.
A personal mission statement could be a sentence, a paragraph or an essay that explains your purpose. A personal mission statement could also be a quote or mantra that speaks to how you want to live your life. Your personal statement should change over time, but the idea is to provide a clear description of who you are and your overarching goals.
The point of creating a mission statement for yourself is to make it easier to see if your actions are in line with your core ambitions. So what is a personal mission statement? A guiding principle that makes it easier to say no to things that don’t support it and helps you to focus your time and energy on the things that truly matter to you.
While personal mission statements are typically made solely for the eyes of the person who wrote it, sharing the statement could help others better understand the author. By publishing your personal mission statement, you provide insight into what you value and how you choose to prioritize your time and efforts. People that look up to you may be inspired to reflect on their core values and create their own personal statement. And people who want to work with you may get a better sense of projects that you would actually be interested in. No need to rush and make your personal mission statement public, but if it makes sense for you, go for it.
How to write a personal mission statement
When it comes to writing a personal mission statement, it’s easy to put it off – after all, summing up who you are and what you want out of life in a sentence or two can be a little bit intimidating. But don’t worry, personal mission statements can and should change over time as experiences shape you. So the best advice is to just get started. Here’s how to write a personal mission statement in no time.
Schedule some quiet time to just write. Do this once a day for a week. Maybe this is just for 5 minutes or you get into it and find that you need 30 minutes or more. Make sure that you schedule this time for when you aren’t rushed and can focus on just this. Write in a place that doesn’t make you tense or distracted.
Start with a question. What’s important to me? What do I want my legacy to be? What does my ideal day look like? Who would I do anything for? What am I grateful for? When do I feel the calmest? What makes me feel powerful? What makes me different from other people? When do I feel most useful? What makes me feel alive? What do I wish I made more time to do? What am I great at? What’s something I haven’t done that I want to do before I die? If I had an extra hour each day, how would I fill it? Who inspires me? Why? Who do I want to inspire? Why? What am I most proud of? The list can go on forever, and your questions can be as broad or as specific as you want. The point of this exercise is to get you to reflect on who you are now, who you want to become and what you’re willing to do to get there. Use concrete examples when you can, and don’t judge your own answers.
Review your entries after you’ve been journaling for about a week. What patterns are emerging? Is anything standing out as a top goal? How does that connect to your greater purpose? Use these entries to figure out your life’s priorities. This should be for your professional life, your personal life, and your own passions and interests. You can also name a top priority for who you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Whatever works for you.
Make a statement. Now that you’ve reviewed these entries, you should be ready to craft your own personal mission statement. According to author William Arruda, you can think of your personal mission statement as, “The value you create + who you’re creating it for + the expected outcome.” A great example of this is CEO Amanda Steinberg of Dailyworth.com. Her personal mission statement is, “To use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world.” That’s how to write a personal mission statement that recognizes your value and identifies how you intend to use those talents. If you don’t feel ready to draft your personal mission statement just yet, continue to steps 5 and 6.
Hung up on identifying “the value you create”? Just ask around. Look to people who really know you, and people who you spend a lot of time with in different contexts. Ask them what you do well. Ask for specifics, especially when it comes to less tangible skills – like charisma or creating a supportive environment.
Look to your idols. Research the people that you admire to see how they live their lives, and what practices helped them along the way. Do some detective work to find the personal mission statements of the people that you look up to. There’s a good chance that you’ll find something. There’s no reason for you to copy their mission statement word for word, but hopefully, it will inspire you to write your own.
Your personal mission statement is important, so dedicate the time that it deserves. Even if it isn’t perfect, do your best and remember that you can revise your statement as needed. To see how to write a personal mission statement up close, and for more inspiration, take a look at some of our favorite examples in the next section.
Some of our favorite personal mission statement examples
No matter the industry, successful leaders craft personal mission statements. That’s why we’ve assembled great personal mission statement examples from media, technology, education and the arts. If your field isn’t listed above do some research on your own. It’s easy to find great examples of personal mission statements if you do a quick Google search of people you admire.
Oprah Winfrey: As a media mogul and CEO of OWN, Oprah Winfrey has stated that her personal mission statement is, “to be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” While Oprah may not spend most of her time in a traditional classroom, her work as an interviewer, motivational force, and author fit into the framework of her personal mission statement.
Elon Musk: “If something’s important enough you should try. Even if the probable outcome is failure.” Tech industry heavyweight Elon Musk is known for his massive successes through innovation. Musk is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; and co-founder and CEO of Neuralink. While this quote may not showcase his own aptitudes, Musk’s personal mission statement emphasizes that risking failure is worth it when something is important to you.
Malala Yousafzai: This young Nobel Prize laureate and activist has said, “I want to serve the people. And I want every girl, every child to be educated.” Malala’s personal mission statement is broad, but her actions as an advocate, author, and activist all clearly link back to these objectives. This is how to write a personal mission statement that easily lends itself to being shared publicly as it gets at a larger vision.
Ai Weiwei: This contemporary artist has stated, “It’s not about the work, it’s about saying something.” When the artist was asked about which of his pieces he was most pleased with, this was the response. And one could argue that this covers the full body of his work as an artist/activist.
Now that’s how to write a personal mission statement!
Writing a personal mission statement in different places
Unlike the personal mission statement examples above, remember that you don’t have to share your personal mission statement with anyone if you don’t want to. However, your statement is a useful starting point as you start to craft your “about me” sections and mini-biographies on various social media platforms and on your website. Now that you know how to write a personal mission statement, customize your bios and mission statements based on where you are sharing them. The tone will likely change, as will the length. Consider your audience and the common practices based on the profile. There should be a common thread within each bio that somehow connects to your original personal mission statement.
In addition to acting as a template for your various bios online, your personal mission statement should also figure into the execution of your overall strategy for your personal brand. Just like the examples of personal mission statements above, yours should get to the core of who you are in real life, but it should also influence the overall cohesion of your online personal brand. If you already have a presence online, consider using your personal mission statement to conduct an audit and find the connective tissue among each part. If your current online personal brand is all over the place, come up with a new strategy that centers around your personal mission statement.
Just as you’ve seen in the earlier examples of personal mission statements, the core of what you write should show up in your work, your personal life and your personal brand.
Now that you know how to write a personal mission statement, it’s time to focus on your personal brand. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been actively growing your personal brand online over the past decade or you never gave it a second thought – it’s time for an upgrade. You’ve spent time identifying your own guiding principles, now you need to make sure that your online presence reflects this accurately. Your approach in developing an effective personal brand should be the same whether you want to share your personal insights, increase your earning potential or suppress negative search results.
Pillar 1: Build your basic brand
You’ve spent time learning how to write a personal mission statement, now it’s time to create a brand that works in tandem with this. When building your personal brand, start by auditing everything that’s already out there. Scan your search results in Google, and really review what pictures, videos, posts, comments, etc are out there about you on social media. Take stock of all this and pay close attention to content that is damaging, irrelevant or personal. That’s probably not in line with your overall personal mission statement, so get rid of it. Clean up the content that doesn’t fit the professional image you’re trying to project. Once you’ve cleaned everything up, work on a regular strategy to consistently publish high-quality posts, and engage with your growing network. Put some thought behind your strategy, change it when you need to, and stick to timelines.
Pillar 2: Earn credibility & build an audience
Once you get a handle on creating and sharing content that’s in line with your personal mission statement, it’s time to kick it into high-gear. People aren’t going to read, share or engage with your personal brand if it doesn’t feel authentic and if you don’t seem credible. To earn credibility, focus on writing relevant content in respected publications and industry blogs. Also, use data to your advantage and repeat successes. Taking steps to prove your credibility is one part of building a loyal audience. You also need to expand your network and connect with gatekeepers, social influencers and strategic publications in your industry. Not only will you learn about your industry from these people, you will also learn more about your target audience. If they eventually endorse you that will also help you earn more credibility at large.
Pillar 3: Target growth opportunities
As your personal brand grows, so will your professional and personal opportunities. As these opportunities present themselves – keep your personal mission statement in mind. If they don’t align, then it’s not worth your time. Also, remember, that in some cases these things won’t just fall in your lap, they’ll require you to take steps to make it happen. New opportunities could include speaking gigs, jobs, partnerships, blog exchanges, interviews, mentorships, promotions and much more.
Your personal mission statement is central to your personal and professional growth. It reminds you of what is important to you and empowers you to prioritize your time accordingly. Identifying a clear personal statement that resonates with you is also a critical part of developing a strong personal brand online. Whether you’re having trouble finding the time, motivation or direction to figure out how to write a personal mission statement and build your brand we can help. Get in touch with one of our Reputation Advisors today to discuss how BrandYourself can help you. Give us a call at (646)-863-8226 or schedule a free consultation.
At this point, you probably have a good sense of what online reputation management is, but you may not fully understand the importance of CEO reputation management. As the CEO of a business, your reputation is linked very closely with that of your company. Because of this, managing your online presence is non-negotiable.
Why reputation management is critical for CEOs
As a CEO, “thought leader” and “industry expert” are two titles that should accurately describe you. And the best way to showcase this is through your presence online. When developing your online presence, make a point to project your expertise and leadership skills within your industry. Active CEO reputation management is the key to accelerating professional growth and opportunity for you and your business.
How CEO reputation management benefits you
As the CEO of your business, people look to you for leadership, but they also should think of you as the face of the company. This can be an asset or a liability depending on how you treat your online presence. So why not capitalize on the fact that customers, partners, clients, and media will be searching for you online? By building a strong online brand, you have the opportunity to capture organic traffic based solely on your role at the company. That means that building your personal brand is a must if you want to reap the benefits of this kind of exposure.
In addition to building something that you’re proud of, look at CEO reputation management as a way to protect yourself from current and future online attacks on your reputation.
By investing your time in CEO reputation management efforts, you prevent existing and future negative search results from ruining your name. Developing your online presence through CEO reputation management lets you take control of how others see you. Through regularly creating and publishing high-quality content and engaging with users on key platforms, you will start to see changes in search result rankings for your name.
That means that if there are existing search results that are negative or irrelevant, you have the chance to suppress them with content that accurately represents who you are.
Similarly, by using CEO reputation management now, you protect yourself from future attacks or damaging results. The work you put into building your online reputation will act as a barrier if unanticipated damaging results pop up in the future.
In addition to suppressing existing or future unflattering or irrelevant search results, your online reputation has tangible effects on how employees and customers alike view you.
How CEO reputation management benefits your company
As mentioned earlier, one of the most important aspects of CEO reputation management for your business is that it gives a face to your company. Externally, customers and clients appreciate it when a real human being is willing to stand behind (or in front of) their business. By increasing your visibility online through CEO reputation management, you show customers that you’re proud to attach yourself as an individual to your company. When you choose to humanize your company in this way it provides the following benefits for your business internally and externally:
Makes your company more accessible: Customers and partners alike want to connect with a person, not just a brand or company. By presenting who you are in a polished way online, you give customers and clients a way in.
Creates a sense of transparency: Just by showing an authentic version of yourself online through active CEO reputation management, you demonstrate that you want people to see into your world. Even if your personal brand isn’t too heavy-handed when it comes to sharing information about your company, you are choosing to let people in. That helps foster the sense of transparency that customers, clients, partners and potential employers want.
Increases the visibility of your company: As your personal brand starts to take off, you’ll notice that there will be some synergy with your company’s online presence too. Your growing online brand is a way to expand the funnel for your business. That means that people who start to engage with you will also start to engage with your company once they trust you. Trust is an invaluable component of any relationship – and the business to consumer relationship is no different. By building an authentic and trustworthy personal brand that people engage with, you automatically raise the profile of your business because it is so closely connected to you.
Your employees get a better impression of you and your company: Employees that have highly engaged CEOs have a better opinion of their CEOs than those with disengaged bosses. They believe that by being active online, social CEOs build relationships with news media, demonstrate innovation and have an overall positive impact on their company’s reputation. They also view their CEOs as being more communicative. All of these factors can lead to a higher rate of employee retention and satisfaction.
Your employees have a blueprint for responsible personal branding: By committing to CEO reputation management, you not only improve your own brand online while contributing to that of your company, you create a blueprint for your employees. Think about it, by engaging responsibly online and strategically building your own authentic personal brand, you give your employees a model that they can work from. This can lead to a domino effect. Employees at your company will see your successes in personal branding and may then feel empowered to work on their own. Proper employee branding leads to their own professional development, and much more. It amplifies the reach of your company’s brand to customers, clients, partners, investors and potential employees.
How to make CEO reputation management work for you
There is no quick fix to improving your online reputation. Following a winning strategy gives you the best chance at developing a strong presence over time is the surefire path to the online reputation that you want. At BrandYourself we follow and advocate that our clients follow best practices when it comes to Search Engine Optimization and personal branding. This combination of industry-set standards and constant monitoring of SEO practices ensure that your personal brand is working for you in both the short and long-term. CEO reputation management is a full-time job, but don’t let that discourage you from getting started. Start by identifying your personal brand. What is your personal brand? How would you describe your personal mission statement? Spend some time coming up with this and think of it as being the guiding principle or North Star for your personal brand.
From here, audit how you currently look online. Make note of all search results that are:
You can do this by googling your own name and by looking yourself up on various social media accounts. Or streamline the process by signing up for a free account with BrandYourself’s DIY reputation management software.This cutting-edge technology not only flags these kinds of search results for you, but continually tracks and monitors them over time. BrandYourself’s online platform also lets you connect your social media accounts and scan for damaging content there. The Reputation Score feature tells you how you’re doing (it’s like a credit score, but for how you look online).
Once you find search results or social media content that is damaging to your reputation, remove everything that you control, and follow our best practices for dealing with negative search results.
After you have thoroughly examined damaging or potentially damaging content about yourself online, it’s time to take your CEO reputation management to the next level.
This is where you build a branding strategy, create content that reflects your areas of expertise and engage with others in your industry.
How to maintain your online reputation as a CEO over time
Once you understand how vital it is to be engaged online as a CEO, you have to accept that it’s an ongoing process that requires consistency. You won’t suddenly have a great online reputation and then that’s it you’re done – that’s not going to happen. CEO reputation management isn’t static, this is an ongoing process that requires your constant attention and work.
Start with regular scanning and monitoring. Whether you opt to do this manually or by using BrandYourself’s free software, you need to have a system in place to monitor and track changes in search and social results for your name. That way you can respond as quickly as possible when you need to.
In addition to regularly monitoring results, the most important thing to do to maintain your online reputation is to create valuable content and engage with your audience. Consider coming up with a content calendar, and use different tools at your disposal to stay on track with the engaging content that you’re publishing.
In addition to tracking the rankings of positive and negative search results, use data analytics tools to see what content tends to perform well on different platforms. By tracking engagement data over time, you can reverse-engineer successes with more intelligent testing parameters. Take advantage of your resources as you try to figure out which aspects of your online brand resonate the most with your followers. In addition to testing the type of content that you publish, make sure to look at other factors that could affect engagement.
Remember, you should constantly look for new ways to re-engage your existing audience while finding effective ways to grow a bigger audience.
By attracting engagement from new users, you not only “improve your numbers”, but you expand your network and the potential reach of every piece of content that you publish. You also broaden your network by building up a highly engaged audience. You never know where your next professional opportunity will come from, and with CEO reputation management you increase the organic opportunities that will come your way.
Be discerning in who you follow up with, and make sure to vet people you partner with thoroughly. Also, not all opportunities will fall neatly in your lap, you will need to go after some as you see fit. So reach out to people that you’d like to exchange blog content with, ask to speak on a panel, volunteer yourself as an interviewee on a podcast that you like.
Whatever the case may be, do your homework, and be proactive – eventually someone will say yes, and that will only serve to grow your personal brand and increase your company’s audience as well.
While creating high-quality content and engaging with members of your network and audience is always valuable, so is auditing your strategy. Set aside time to review how your branding efforts are going using the quantitative and qualitative data at your disposal. A tweak here or there can make all the difference when attempting to create a formidable reputation online as a CEO. While you shouldn’t change your strategy everyday – make sure that you’re reviewing what you’re doing and how that’s performing on a monthly or quarterly basis.
In addition to reviewing your brand strategy tactics, also keep an eye on changes in Google’s search algorithms. Google and other search engines regularly update their algorithms to serve users the most useful results possible when it comes to their queries. While we promote best-practices that typically fall in line with Google’s algorithms, there’s always the chance that you may need to make a few tweaks in order to keep up with these changes. So make sure you stay up to date with these changes, or use tools that bake this directly into their software.
And finally, get in the habit of streamlining your personal branding process. While it’s worth it to avoid an overly-automated content calendar, you can use tools to help you organize, plan and execute the content that you publish to get the most bang for your buck (or time). So go ahead and try different tools that can help you create high-quality content and get it in front of the right people.
As always, when it comes to your own CEO reputation management efforts stay focused and active in order to build the presence that’s best for you and your company.
And if this seems like too much work for you, remember that BrandYourself offers free DIY online reputation management software to take you through the process step-by-step. We also offer managed services where our team will do all the CEO reputation management for you.