Are You and Your Personal Brand Digitally Distinct?

Have you Googled yourself lately? Are you in the habit of routinely Googling "your name" to see how the results stack up? You should be.
When it comes to promoting your services online, it is critical to have accurate, on-brand search results associated with your name. Potential clients rely on online searches to learn more about you and make a decision about whether to make contact with you.

If they can't find you online, they may never find you, and you may never get the chance to be considered by your prospective clients.

On the other hand, if they find anything to discredit you, you're probably in trouble as well. It's not the end of the world though. You can always work to build up more flattering results which will push the less impressive ones down to page 3, 4, or lower of results for your name - effectively eliminating their value. Of course nothing on the Web is ever permanently deleted...
The book 'Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand' presents 5 different levels of personal brand effectiveness online:

Digitally disguised
Your vanity search does not match any web pages. There is absolutely nothing about you on the Web - you have no online identity. You’re hidden from those who may be looking for you.

Digitally dissed
There is little on the Web about you, and what is there is either negative or inconsistent with how you want to be known – your personal brand.

Digitally disastrous
You have plenty of search results, but they have little relevance to what you want to express about yourself. Results for others sharing your name may be in the mix, too.

Digitally dabbling
There are some on-brand results for you. Even though there aren’t many results, the information about you is relevant and on-brand - nothing negative. From here, you can easily move to the next level.

Digitally distinct
There are lots of results about you that reinforce your brand – the right message about you is out there. You’re among or approaching the superstars in the world of online identity. But your work isn't done. Google results can (and do) change overnight. You need to keep an eye on your online identity and keep building up the good stuff. There’s always room for improvement.

To quickly run your own digital check-up, try the Reach Personal Branding’s Online Identity Calculator. It’s a pretty cool little tool to assess how strong your online presence is.

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