The power of a personal Internet presence was the subject of a conversation I had with a colleague the other day. He was trying to understand what the value of a personal Internet presence was to a non-executive.
I asked him if he saw value in other industry colleagues, peers, co-workers, subordinates, superiors, existing or prospective customers, media or trade-show personal, fellow industry association members, et al. being able to learn more about who he is as a person, a professional and/or his subject matter expertise and abilities. Notice I didn’t even mention – recruiters.
I then suggested if he believed there to be tangible value in the above, then having the ability to simply say, “If you’d like to know a little more about me, just Google me” is an extremely powerful statement. I also told him he’d really know how powerful this is when after saying this to someone they respond with, “I already Googled you; that’s why I contacted you.”
In the business world, we are all pressed for time, and most of us have far too many people asking for our time. Not only does having visible information on-line anyone can find by doing a simple “Google me” search help you when deciding whether or not to consent to a meeting with someone else, it can also help those who want to meet with you have a more aligned and productive conversation with you. This says nothing about the increased exposure it gives you in the business world to opportunities to share your subject matter expertise through speaking engagements, publications, forums, etc. Notice I didn’t even mention – career opportunities.
The key concept many people fail to understand is the following:
It is one thing to have content floating around the Internet pertaining to you. It is an entirely different thing to have content visible on the first page of hits when someone does Google you.
So how do you go about proactively not only building a personal Internet presence, but also building a visible Internet presence by driving content in your control to the first page of Google? Start writing. It’s that simple.
What do you write about? Write about the problems you solve everyday. Write about the systemic problems and/or issues you address everyday and how you address them based on your unique perspective and subject matter expertise. You don’t have to give away the farm. Simply speak about situations and solutions in more general terms.
This also begs the question: Where do I publish what I write? There are all kinds of places to publish content, but the media you’ll most likely want to publish in are blogs and articles. This content will typically become more visible (i.e., rank higher) in search engines faster than general personal or corporate website content you might publish. That said, all blogs and article sites are not created equal. There are many, many, places to publish content, but you want to publish content in places which will result in high ranking content that will ultimately show up on the first page of Google.
So how do you identify the “right” places to publish your content? Look for sites that have a lot of traffic combined with also having a lot of changing or new content. Sites that have these two elements going for them will typically result in content that ranks higher faster in the search engines. Sites combining a lot of traffic with blogging or article content are typically the best. On-line networking sites such as Ecademy combine a lot of traffic with constantly changing new blogging content. Article sites such as EzineArticles combine a lot of traffic with constantly changing new article content. You can also create even more exposure for the content you create by leveraging sites like ArticleMarketer that broadcast your article content to even more article, blog, newsletter, etc. publishing sites.
Here is the key: the power of leveraging sites such as Ecademy, EzineArticles, et al. comes from using them to point to other web content you’ve created and/or already exists that you want to drive higher in ranking in the search engines. You benefit from “guilt by association” as a result of hyperlinking to other content. When search engines like Google scan your content on sites like Ecademy and EzineArticles and find hyperlinks to other content, they give preferential ranking to the hyperlinked content.
With a little effort, and by leveraging the power of sites like I’ve mentioned above, you can build a visible personal Internet presence in as little as a couple of months. You will then be able to benefit from the power of being able to say, “If you’d like to know a little more about me, just Google me.”