Whether it be for you the professional, or your business, knowing your online image (what people see if they search for you online) is extremely important. Here are some tips for controlling and monitoring your image:
1) Start a website. The easiest way to control your online image/message is to post the message. Having your own site ensures that your message is in the top tier of search results. And it gives you a chance to tell your story.
2) Get a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a social networking tool used by many professionals to track their network of contacts. It does not have the image of MySpace, and the profiles almost always show up in the top tier of a Google search.
Here’s the link to find out more and start your profile: www.linkedin.com
3) Write articles on your area of expertise. Then post these articles on a publishing site such as www.associatedcontent.com or www.searchwarp.com. These articles, along with your byline, provide dual benefits. In addition to it showing up in a web search, it provides an opportunity for you to become known as an expert by offering free advice in your field.
4) Once you have done these things, it is a good idea to monitor what others are saying. I recommend Google alerts; they are extremely efficient, easy to set-up and FREE. Once you have created an alert (it takes less than a minute!), Google will send you an email, along with the abbreviated link to the posting, each time your query is mentioned. You decide how often you get the alerts, one a week, once a day, or as it happens.
Here’s the link to find out more and set up your alert: www.google.com/alerts
Towanda Long, aka The Café Lady