In all my presentations the subject of Google comes up. I usually ask the question;
"Who Goggled me before they came today?"
A few hands usually get raised. Then I ask;
"How many people here have Googled themselves?"
Invariably almost the whole room lifts their arms. I joke that it is called ego-surfing.
But beyond the immediate fun and frivolity it is a serious situation. If you do not know what is being said about you online then people may be drawing the wrong conclusions. Or worse they do not find you at all.
So what do you need to do to ensure you are the master of your own domain? Here are some first steps;
- Own your own domain. Go to Hover.com and check out what is available with your name and buy it – NOW! (I have an affiliate discount so if you use 'copcutt' in the coupon area you will get 10% off) If you have a common name the chances are high that someone else already has it so you might have to be a little creative in getting yours. Using your middle initial might be a solution – but remember you then have to use it in all forms of communicating your online brand.
- Determine what you want to be known for. Keep it simple one or two themes only. Set out a plan to communicate that theme in many of your online interactions. It does not have to be all of them but remain focused and consistent. Figure out how you are going to use that newly purchased web address to communicate this.
- Ensure that your LinkedIn profile reflects who you are and what you want to be known for. Does the short form description after your name say it? Does the longer professional summary capture who you are and what you do? Do your recommedations support all this?
If you are going to do one thing today make sure it is taking that step to own your domain. The future suggests that more and more emphasis will be placed on checking your online profile. Better that you have some control.