Advertising
Advertising

Your Personal Brand is Equal to Your Google Results

Your Personal Brand is Equal to Your Google Results

Your Personal Brand is Equal to Your Google Results

    People you know or have never met yet are googl’ing you. Let’s face it, you’re even google’ing yourself! At the end of

    Advertising

      2007, the Pew Internet Research Team found that 47% of people search for information about themselves online (Self-Googling), which was more than double 5 years ago. It’s a pretty safe bet that percentage has climbed to over 50 or 60% by this year.

      Some people might can it ego-surfing, but it’s actually a good practice to see what results come up for your name. Your teachers, friends, family, boyfriends and girlfriends and coworkers are google’ing you either for fun or because they want to learn more about you. Hiring managers want to see if you have a clean record in Google, which is your permanent record because every move you make (yes even a blog comment) is stored there forever. Before I went on a second date once, the girl Google’ed me. If she hadn’t liked what she saw, the second date wouldn’t have happened. Try doing it right now and see what you get.

      Advertising

      There is no hiding from Google!

        Google keeps track of just about everything you do on the internet. It patrols and captures your online behavior, such as when you post on your blog, tweet using Twitter, join social networks, comment on other blogs, write articles for online news sources and more. Aside from the content you create and distribute over the internet, other people are talking about you, which means that Google has a complete picture (almost like an autobiography) of your life. In the digital age, Google is your resume, your permanent record and a journal of your life. Your children and children’s children will be able to find out everything about you when they grow older. “Mom, look what I just found out about Dad in Google.” Your personal brand can’t hide from Google. There is one major exception to this though.

        Common names

        If your name is common, such as Mike Smith, then it will be very hard to own your Google results. There are over 54 million results for “Mike Smith” in Google. You won’t be able to compete with the athletes and musicians on the first few pages. If your life goal is to rank in the top ten results, that may be achievable, if you either become very famous or work extremely hard at building content each and every day for your entire life. At the age of sixty you might find out that Google changed their algorithm and you’ll lose all that hard work. The point being is that you’ll have to differentiate your name in order to rank high. I typically recommend you use your middle name or a nickname in this case. The worst case scenario is that you change your name completely ;).

        Advertising

        Celebrity names

        Celebrities are very fortunate because they get mass media attention, which means traditional media sources (NY Times, ABC News) write articles about them. These sources rank extremely high in Google. We’re talking Google PageRank’s of eight and higher! Your blog posts about these celebrities will never end up on the top twenty results for their name unless you are Perez Hilton. If your name is the same as a celebrities, you are in big trouble. Try searching for Christina Aquilera (21 million results), Britney Spears (88 million), Lil Wayne (40 million) and other major celebrities. Personally, I don’t have any friends with these names, but even with C-level celebrities, you don’t stand a chance. If you are stuck with a celebrity name, I suggest that you build your brand around an area of your expertise or interest and connect it to your brand name.

        Unique names

        While growing up, you might have been made fun of people of your unique name because it was “different.” Although you were ostracized and made fun of, right now you get to laugh at everyone else! With a distinct name, you are able to easily manipulate the results for your name on search engines. When you go to your high school reunion and see your friends, you’ll get the last laugh because you can be visible and control perceptions, while they simply cannot. When you Google your name, whether you have results that reflect your brand, you’ll see how hard it will be to rank high for it or not. Depending on the competition, it may take you a few days or a few months. Over time, if you work very hard, you’ll own the top ten results for your name.

        Advertising

        In my next post, I’ll talk about what you can do to gain control over your Google results and let your personal brand shine through.

        More by this author

        Personal Branding Basics 3 Areas You Must Invest in During an Economic Recession Your Personal Brand is Equal to Your Google Results Command and Control Your Google Results 5 Things to Do Before You Build Your Personal Brand

        Trending in Work

        1 7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success 2 The Savvy Employees Guide to Asking for a Raise 3 How to Master the Art of Stress Free Work 4 23 Things to Keep in Mind When Preparing for an Interview 5 20 Critical Skills to Add to Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on December 3, 2019

        7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

        7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

        I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

        It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

        A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

        1. Define Career Success for Yourself

        Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

        What does career success mean to you?

        This is about defining your career success:

        • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
        • Not what people may think of you
        • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
        • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

        “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

        When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

        There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

        Advertising

        • Work-life balance
        • Opportunities for growth and advancement
        • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

        Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

        • What do you mean by work-life balance?
        • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
        • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

        Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

        • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
        • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
        • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

        Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

        • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
        • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
        • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

        Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

        Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

        What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

        2. Know Your Values

        Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

        There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

        Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

        Advertising

        • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
        • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
        • Put the words on your fridge
        • Add the words on your vision board

        Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

        3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

        When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

        How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

        Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

        • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
        • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
        • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
        • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
        • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
        • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

        Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

        • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
        • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
        • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
        • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

        Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

        By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

        4. Determine Your Top Talents

        What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

        What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

        Advertising

        What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

        What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

        What do you notice?

        5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

        Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

        I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

        Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

        Keep these words visible too!

        Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

        6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

        Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

        Advertising

        Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

        “These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

        7. Manage Your Own Career

        Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

        Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

        Summing Up

        For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

        Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

        Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

        1. Define Career Success for Yourself
        2. Know Your Values
        3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
        4. Determine Your Top Talents
        5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
        6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
        7. Manage Your Own Career

        “When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

        Good luck and best wishes always!

        More Tips on Advancing Your Career

        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next