You could say that I am as much to blame as the next guy for not living up to the title of this post. I haven’t written in this blog in over a year, for any number of convoluted excuses I can come up with… primarily because I’ve been “too busy”. However, after a year of completely neglecting my personal brand, I’ve realized what a horrible position I’ve put myself in, and the damage I’ve done. You see, I spent years building my personal brand identity and working through every channel to enhance my presence on the major search engines. I wrote regularly, tweeted my expertise, networked on LinkedIn, became a “Platinum Author” on Ezinearticles.com (which isn’t worth anything anymore) and even nabbed the top spot on Google, Bing and Yahoo for several keywords that applied to my personal brand. The problem is the web is always moving, always changing… so if you’re not doing what it takes to maintain your personal brand, you’ll get left behind. So, what has been so important that it has distracted me from maintaining my personal brand the last year?
In short, life. I got engaged and married to a fantastic woman, started a business and became very involved with helping my family through several issues, not to mention I still work a full time job. The point is – regardless of the distractions in your life… your personal brand has never been more important. Now more than ever before, your online identity is your ticket for success. The first place people turn to when seeking out more information about you is online, and it’s becoming the only place to turn to. If you’re looking for a job, employers are looking less at resumes and more at the applicants Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook social imprint. If you’re looking to launch a business and gain traction – incubators, investors and bloggers look for “social proof”. What do you see when you type your name into Google? I have a friend who is competing with a serial killer from Massachusetts for the search result of his name and the more he gives up on the fight the harder it becomes. You need to lock down your name and your brand and you need to do it now. However, you can’t just stop there.
You have to maintain your brand every day. You need to keep blogging, keep tweeting, keep cross-promoting and keep searching. Thankfully, this blog was well indexed enough and stayed at the top of search engines for several keywords and phrases that I built my brand around. This is something you can do to further secure yourself online, don’t just brand your name… brand the keywords and phrases that best describe you. As I said earlier, I own several keywords and phrases. Here’s the real kicker… I don’t even own those particular domains. If that isn’t enough to show you how powerful branding yourself is, I don’t know what is. If you haven’t started working on securing your identity online and building a personal brand… fear not! I’ll be addressing these very things in Part 2 and Part 3 of this mini-series.
If you have already started, congratulations – the easy part is over. Hang in there, I’ll do my best to help you get started and some tips on how to keep it maintained. The best part is, I’ll be taking this journey with you as I work to rebuild my own brand.