Your Online Presence
This is particularly exciting because we're going to be talking about your online reputation your online portfolio earlier this morning we actually were getting questions about how I handle my my online reputation particularly if it doesn't necessarily reflect what I wanted to bay and so this this is the place where we're going to be talking about that today so I wanted to start out a little bit but just by, you know, taking a step back and talking about your online reputation why that matters I actually did a piece about maybe a year ago for forbes called read your resume two point oh, maybe three point we might be on three point oh, now, but you know it's the basic idea is that your resume to sort of paper thing you create it really doesn't have very much value anymore now because if someone receives your resume you know what's gonna happen the minute they're interested in you they're going to google you anyway and pretty soon I predict resumes themselves you know where we're sort of...
crafting you know the and polishing the's words on a page that's going to go away because it's far too easy for people to check you out on google and so google becomes your resume the problem without, of course, is that you don't have control over google the way you have control of on your resume you can't spend you know, ten hours sort of you know, editing which verb forms you're going to use or whatever it is what it is and you but there is at a macro level ways that you can influence what is about you on google you can't do it by editing or changing fonts the way you can honor resume but you you have to change and control what you put out into the world about yourself that's a bigger project but it's also a more meaningful project so it's kind of powerful so you know the reason why google is so useful from a recruit a prospective client perspective is that you know you can kind of write whatever you want on your resume I mean of course you're supposed to tell the truth on it but as as we know a lot of people unfortunately don't they're not necessarily a scrupulous as we are and so consequently as a result, many people discredit what is on a resume google on the other hand it actually means certainly they're they're fabricated things on the internet I'm not saying there aren't but if you say that you work for a certain institution and then they go to that institutions website and you're on that that website they're going to say ok, that that is verified by a third party if you say well, you know I'm I'm knowledgeable about, you know, x y z you know let's say search engine optimization or you know, whatever your things I'm knowledgeable about wedding photography well, if they go to your website and they see a portfolio with tons of wedding photographs that's proof that you really are or if you go to a blawg and you've written one hundred articles about search engine optimization that's proof that you actually do you know I have thought about this and know what you're talking about so that's where its powerful is that it's the ability to not just claim like you can on a resume but to prove s so if we can really leverage the full value of that, that could be amazing. Um I you know, I'll just mention really briefly some of you guys may be familiar with a website clout with a k k o ut and you know, cloud so some people rag on it a little bit on they say, oh, you know it's it's so inaccurate because there was a time early in its history when the clouds score of tim berners lee who invented the world wide web it was something really lame like forty five and people who are like, look that dude didn't, you know, practically invented the internet and and he's got this pathetic clouds score, but you know, so it's not always the most accurate necessarily but here's the thing cloud is getting better every day at what it does it measures your online influence, and so certainly some people can be influential without necessarily being influential online that's one thing, but day after day it is it is really refining how they view things, and so I will say, you know, whether whether cloud or, you know, it's it's competitors like pierre index and credited those were some of the people who are playing in the same space, whether one or the other of them will end up prospering over the long term, who knows? But I guarantee you that the concept that they stand for, which is, how do you quantify someone's influence online? That is a valuable concept that people are going to continue to really check in on. And so if you, you know, it's kind of an interesting, you know, not really a reality check we can say we don't reality check home, but because who knows? But it's an interesting baseline if you're curious to type yourself in on cloud and to see what your ranking is, but over time, you know, it is important to get a sense if, well, how active are you compared to other people online and what you know, if you know cloud can tell you like what you're considered knowledgeable in what fields and and what have you that's a useful thing? So I'm not saying it's the be all and end all but it is it is interesting and useful, so as we're thinking about this, what does a great brand look online? You know, what does that look like? So one of the first things that I really want to drive home is that you control the narrative. This is the baseline that we've been talking about kind of a through line of our conversation over the past day is that for personal branding were in trouble if somebody else is dictating from the outside, what are personal brand is if we let other people control that story for us, we've kind of lost the game because odds are whatever their story is about us is not going to be as accurate, probably not gonna be as flattering as our story. We want to be able to tell our story, so when we do, you know, an online, you know what our google searches or the things that people find about us online it's really important to engage because if we're putting stuff out there, it makes it far more likely that our story is what people are hearing not these, you know, random ingredients that are out there s o something is powerful if when you look at your groom, your google search this stuff comes up that you want to come up, you look at it and say, yeah, I'm glad that's there I wanted that to be there that's that's I think a sign of a really good personal brand online and also, you know, we hear a lot too about damage control and, you know, people may have questions about I'm glad to answer that that's important if there's bad stuff about you online, of course, you want to find ways to mitigate against it, but it's not just about making sure there's not terrible things about you online. It's also, is there good stuff about you online? Because for many people, there might not be some awful thing, but there might not be something that sets you apart and what I would wish for all of us, we think about our online reputation is how do we make sure that we distinguish ourselves, that we find ways to get things out online so that when people search for us, they say ho that's so interesting, you know, I really want to learn more about her services. That's pretty cool, eh? So for me, that's that's what looks great? A za great online brand. So when we think about online reputation management, I wanted to start with a story, actually picture it, it was it was during during the presidential election where where rick santorum was was running I'm time is warping, so I was at two thousand eight was the two thousand twelve who knows, anyway, when rick santorum was running in the republican primary, there was there was a thing that was going on, and in fact, npr interviewed me about this poor rick santorum, this was stuff he hey had what was known in the press, popularly as rick santorum's google problem, and his problem was as follows, which is that he was a pretty conservative guy and dan savage, he was a gay blogger took issue with his views on gay rights, and so as is kind of kind of a praying, you know, not not a not an illegal prank, a totally upfront white hat kind of prank. Dan savage created a website, and it was about a website about rick santorum, and it was creating what dan savage put forward as a different definition, an obscene definition for the word santorum and so he did this and dan savage, you know, lots of people listen to him he's very popular, the webs they got, lots of hits got lost, a lynx, and so consequently, when you googled rick santorum first thing came up with his presidential campaign site the second thing that came up was dan savages have seen sight, and so that is certainly kind of a branding problem. And so rick santorum's response was he called google and said google fix it now, as you may well know, but rick santorum apparently did not that's not our works. You can't call google and say google fixit dan savage was not breaking any laws, he had done it totally the legitimate way and there's really nothing they could do so you can't just erase something from the internet. Now, my my asterisk on this, my caveat, is it actually, if you live in europe there there was a european finding just within the past couple of weeks about the call the right to be forgot and in this right to be forgotten, there's actually a finding where people actually can demand for things to be taken down online. That being said, I'm not really sure how exactly that's gonna work, since you know, the internet is international and places outside europe don't have this law, so, you know, it may not really be definitive. Eso perhaps you have a better chance if you're european of telling google to take things down, but for the rest of us, we really don't have that option, and so we've got to figure out a better way. Of doing it. So how do you do it? Um, so okay, number one we must realize the bad stuff. It never really goes away, you know? Probably even if you're in europe, you can find it. If you go somewhere else in google, it right never really goes away. So what do you do? Um, you know, even even if it's technically down there's, probably some little trace of it. So the one thing, if you take one thing away from this it is this the way to effectively take bad stuff down? Even if it's still lurking in some corner of the internet is to drive it down in the search rankings, right? Because unless you are applying for a job with the fbi, no one is going to go to page sixty four of your search results, okay? Unless they're literally gonna marry you or hire you for the fbi. No one's going to look that far, which you want to do your mission. If there's something about you online, you don't want you want it off page one you wanted off page too. If you could do that, you have effectively one. So how do you drive things down in google search results? Well, what you khun dio is create more new content that google thinks is better and more relevant that is the secret and so google will pryor prioritize that rather than the bad stuff and we do that we're going to be talking a little bit later about content creation but the basic idea you take control of your brand by saying things a boat yourself that is the secret so what I'd like to do with you guys now is to do a little experiment right? We're gonna look online we're going to do some googling and uh and see what comes up and parse it a little bit so I will start first because it is only fair for me to be the guinea pig and uh and then we can switch over and, uh and work with you guys but so I'm going teo google myself here we'll see what comes up right? So I also want to see the home audience it is not that I am a super megalomaniac it is that, you know, like, oh my my website is you know, my web prisons is perfect, that is not it at all. There are things that can certainly be improved, but we're doing this because I you know, I want to put myself out there since I'm going to make you guys put yourself out there and also because I don't want to be picking on some random person that's not here and then have them be mad at us so? So I'll pick on myself. Incidentally, for all the stalkers out there, I no longer live at that address, so tore it. Sorry I'm not there s o okay, so what comes up when we googled ori? So okay, uh, I'm gonna scroll down here and manipulating this from afar. Ok, sir. Number one, this is pretty good. This is kind of what we want, right? Number one, when you search for me, is my website that's pretty good because it means that I am. I am at least for that controlling the dialogue around it. Number two is my bio also on my website. So that's that's handy. Google loves images. This is an important thing to note if you have pictures of yourself that you have on your website or maybe that you put up on sites like flickr or picasso whatever it's useful to have sights of your pictures of yourself up there like pictures you want not. You notice? Surely vacation photos. But you have professional photos of yourself that's. Good. Because google's always gonna have a line of pictures. You wanted to be the pictures that you like to get out there s o what else comes up? So my forbes site that I blogged for that comes up next is my twitter that I do my linked in profile there's amazon because I wrote a book reinventing you that's my blog's for harvard business review by blogger for huffington post my facebook page and pot o matic that is my my podcast and then this last one here is my latest post that I wrote for forbes so the upshot of this is that on the first page every single thing on here is something that I wrote are created so this is my way of you know again I'm not perfect I'm not like the definitive but my effort that I am making is to try to control the narrative around my own brand by creating enough content so that when people are looking for information about me it is you know, number one they can really see how I think and, you know, see the kinds of stuff that I d'oh but number two it means that presumably the right kind of information at least from my perspective is getting through about me because it's all stuff that I created so that's that's the idea there and you know what I'm you know, kind of pushing for you guys why why? I think the content creation is a cool thing to dio so I would love to grab one of one of my fearless students up here on you know, do a do a google search for you so anyway I know everybody's everybody shy so anyway barbara I'm gonna pick on you will you come join us please thank you so much I appreciate it all right so we're going to see what comes up here so okay barn name is very common yeah so this is this is the thing that we get remind me what's your last name works schwartz c h w a r z z okay great so here we go so you can look up here walk me through it here we've got barbara shorts and I'm gonna move that she's like the third one is a famous tennis player oh, your mess yes so so are you are you here you an american abstract artist that's probably not you rightly I could be you could be for sure it's not have but no so so there's a trick yes. Oh, okay, so there's view the profiles of professionals named barbara schwartz so it means there's many here s o this is euro right zoom design good yes, you're coming up pretty right and like that the screen so okay, so you're not barbara schwartz the tennis player there you are neither the dead artist nor the tennis player. Okay, barbara schwartz in new york yeah, it looks like there's a barbara schwartz who's a lawyer so okay, so you you are on the first page but other people are as well, so it is it is tricky here, so if we have a situation like that because you hear from a lot of people, I mean, I'm sort of lucky being adoree clark like there's there's a few there's a few of us, but I've mostly vanquished them online tried, yeah, there's a quilter of kind of kind of got her down there was one for a while, there was this guy dori clark, and he had an art. This is bad for me. He had an article written that quoted him in yusa today and when it came out, that was like whoa, top of the top of the rankings, but that was a while ago now, and he hasn't really made much of a move, so I think I've been able to outpace him, but for many people it's more in the barber schwartz camper there's a lot because you know your parents. Unfortunately, we're just not thoughtful enough to predict the internet when you were born and so did not give you a search engine friendly name. But so so what do we do in this situation? So I could have changed in my husband's name, which was whoah check there's none of those that I didn't do that know no it's tricky, I think I think it's totally cool even if you have a more common name there's stuff that we can do about it and so you know, here here are some thoughts that I have off the top of my head about you know what you should do if you're in a situation like this. So number one I mean good kudos for you because you were there so somebody acts knows to be looking for you. Thanks. Oh, dad to san francisco one that's no more knew I was in napa they could do barbara schwartz napa and I should come up for sure. Yes, exactly. So that's so I would say be kind to yourself if you have a common name and you don't make it your goal to be like like I have a friend his name is aaron cohen like how many aaron coin's millions of aaron coens so what you want to do is instead just limit your goal a little bit because people will get it and they'll say, ok, barbara schwartz napa aaron cohen boston you know? And so if you score well on that that's pretty good the other thing is people will search for you by profession. And so if we say barbara schwartz graphic design, you know that's a place where we want people well let's check it out because we can we can find this out here I'm gonna kick in properly get over here to the scroll bar let's see how we dio because this is really the uh you know the metric here so kate graphic design how do we do so okay multiple barbara schwartz is but look, you're you're the second one here so so ellington yes yeah, not my website no, not not here let's see if we scroll little further if we can find it there's my picture and with some sunglasses is on don underwrites nice s o we get some facebook is that you on facebook? I'm barbara schwartz whoah check all right. Okay, so so yes so it's their sister barbara shorts you want you know tio yeah, but whoa it's an interest you're thinking of murder. Okay. Wow, all kinds of all kinds of good stuff that we're finding. But so one of the antidotes we're going to talking about very soon is you know, when it comes to content creation if there are terms that you wanna optimize for I mean, some people think that this is like, you know, some crazy thing oh, how does optimize on google and they get all stressed out about it. Basically what it means is that if you really want to make sure that whenever someone says graphic design barbara schwartz that like you are there and that's what they think about what I would say is if you start blogging and if you you know if you have like the barber schwartz graphic design blogged and you know once a week you're writing an article that somehow touches on a faster that you know that you know google is going to eat that up and say whoa, okay that's super relevant and that's going to go to the top if you have a twitter account and you were you know, tweeting about it if in your profile you identify yourself barbara schwartz graphic designer napa you know, then that's something that they'll look at and will say is very significant and will rise very quickly in the rankings so I think it's it's setting the frame for yourself so that's that's really great thank you so much. Yes, exactly yeah, thank a comment for you, huh? This is actually a couple this is a common plot problem, jacobsen says. Hey dori, I've always had a problem with seo because I share a name with a famous muppet ear eyes in fact of fun fact, but it means that my name doesn't always show up at the top of searches and less accompanied by another relevant word. How can I make sure that I'm showing up in searches and branding myself correctly? What strategy would you would you give in addition to all the great advice they're teo yeah combat the muppet ear yeah it is it's tricky and you know everybody everybody has their cross to bear something some people is a muppet ear I know a guy who has the same name is a disgraced congressman so you know there's definitely I was doing a workshop in boston for a financial services company and there was a guy we didn't exercise you know everybody had you know that's a financial services company right? So they've just given everybody ipads and so and so you know his ipad and they were all doing their exercise and he googles his name and he says oh someone with my name has just been arrested in new hampshire is a sex offender s o you know you get all kinds of things so muppet ear I'm glad for you eric that's that's a good one that's totally good wait do have what I want again says of unfortunate one of the first thing that comes up is an amateur cooking video idea for contest that I don't have any control over my cow again had to drop it in the ranking well and that's what you said you said the more content you put out there the maur it goes down down down down down right so it is the key here to try to populate and just be really smart with your key words and what you're doing yeah you drown it out and I will tell you a story about this okay this is this is some metaphor folks eso here here's my story when I was like eight or nine I was really fascinated by the idea of scavenger hunts I love that and so I decided that for my mother's birthday we're down to the beach I decided I was gonna have a scavenger hunt for my mother because clearly my mother would love scavenger hunts as much as I did and so I made you know I mean you know, I spent like hours I made all the clues and I hid things and whatever and so most of them you know I mean they're pretty good they were reasonably tricky but she got all of her presidency wait a bunch of little sort of small presents for around the house and around the area and but there was one that she could not figure out she could just absolutely not figure out and it took hours nope nope and so finally I had to just get it for her and really surprise on the one that she couldn't figure out that I hid you know the brilliant one so if you've got kids right this is how to psych him out uh is I got her a new book and I hit it on the bookshelf where the old books you don't you don't look when something blends in the secret is how how do you hide it in plain sight and it is exactly the same thing with online stuff if there's something that you don't want people to look at, you know, some people they overreact and you see, I don't want things about me on the internet I'm a private person and it's like, well, you know what? If you were really a private person, the worst thing you could do is like, try to keep them about yourself off the internet because there's going to be like one thing on the internet you just totally can't control and that's going to be the on ly thing, this forming people's impression of you, and so people are going to be forever more like, oh yeah, the cooking video woman and that's like the on ly thing I know about you and you don't want that what you actually want to dio is you want to hide in plain sight by creating the kind of content that you want so let's say you're a private person, you don't want people focusing on your family life create tons of professional content because they're so busy looking at that they're not gonna be worrying about your family be more specific because all he brings up a great point they want to know some other effective tips other than blogging or creating content what what are some other ways that you would put content out there that's not just blogging yeah no absolutely so there's you know there's plenty of ways to do this I mean something you know? Some people may say oh gosh, logging takes so much time you know I can't do that so okay let's you know by way of example let's say twitter twitter is eyes you know pretty fast pretty easy you can't sweet let's say you treat once a day takes like five seconds but if you create a twitter account and you put in your bio you know the thing that you want uh so that people will understand that there's an eric jacobson who's not a puppeteer and or a muppet ear for that matter and you know, you get the key words you want and then every day you just say you know what? I am going teo you have to come of your own stuff you can retweet an article about whatever topic if it's you know social change that you care about okay, I'm going to retweet some interesting social change article do that every day that will be something that will come up pretty easily let's say you say that a blawg is too tough you know, if I start my own block oh my gosh I'll have to do it every week and what if I get busy? I can't do it here's a great thing linked in has the option now for regular people not just linked in influencers two blawg on lengthen on the pro on your profile and so that's cool because number one you write this block post it goes on your profile so when people are looking you up it's sort of an extra thing that they can say oh wow she wrote this interesting thing that's fantastic so that's that's great but also it will come up in the search engine results that you wrote this interesting thing that's so onetime investment but it goes in there so there's many ways if you have a visual profession like many of the people who are probably watching this you're a graphic designer and interior decorator photographer whatever it is I mean the really visual forms of social media instagram pinterest this is made for you this is really made for you it's not made for me they made me redesign my slides brian said no sorry dori there like a ransom no, you got to do better. I know I'm not a visual person and so I had up my a game for creative live but before you guys who are creative professionals are very visual you want to show that off so finding a way to do it is great. Yeah barbara there seems to be a little bit of a pull between like if you have ah name of a company that my zoom design and barbara schwartz so do I push the barbara schwartz or the zoom designed do I geta instagram under zoom designer barbara schwartz yeah that's a really important and interesting question so partly it depends on what your goals are for yourself if your goal is that you want to build a larger company you know like let's say you want to build something and you say oh, you know in five years I want this to be a ten person shop and I want to sell it to somebody then you definitely want to do it under zoom design because you don't want it to be so tied to you that it's like oh, you could never sell it because everyone would be like, well where's barbara I only want to work with barbara so there's that if you decide however that you're just happy being a solo practitioner that's what you want then I would say do either your name or you know the two names together because ultimately like the name of your business is good it's important but it's kind of irrelevant compared teo like you you're going to be the face of it you're going to be the person they remember so mean my business amos clark strategic communications that's creative no one remembers it everybody gets it wrong you know it's just kind of like that's what's on the papers that's ok? I just want them to know who I am and that gets me. You know the business. So so that that would be. What I suggest is that makes sense, is awesome.