If you didn’t know already – we are living in a reputation economy. And Google has become the new background check. Everyone is googling, all the time – to find information, opinions, background info, but also checking out people. Did you know that 80% of people will google you before they decide to meet you? Asking themselves: Who is the person I’m meeting? What makes him or her tick? What does he or she do outside their job? Where are they heading for in life?
Questions that Google can easily answer by showing what’s being posted online. On all social media channels, just recently or maybe some time back. If nothing fresh is being posted, this keeps popping up and you might not like it. Basically, you are who Google says you are. My question to you: is your online reputation in line with you are?
The index (10 hits each page) is based on available online content and is taken from websites and blogs, but also articles, news and social media posts. And this picture drawn on Google page 1 will determine whether people choose to do business with you, or go elsewhere. You might never know why you missed the much needed investment, got skipped for the new job or that board position you pitched for. It’s just inevitable: Google has become the first stage of the background check and the first elimination point.
My advice would be to start producing new, or re-purposing older, content. This will help to get your ‘online-me’ in sync with your ‘offline-me’. Uploading good content (including photos and videos) improves your chances of being found online. And remember that in order to rank on search engines, you need to have fresh content that is relevant to your audience. Google not only indexes your page based on keywords, but also the relevancy of a page’s semantic relevance and back links to credible websites.
Key to all this: a strong online reputation will help generate more business opportunities. And who doesn’t want that?
We are living in a ‘reputation economy’ where people are ‘googling’ all the time. Google has in fact become the new background check, not only for products and services, but also for people. People are just googling all the time and actually making critical decisions based on what they find. What will they find about you?
For many people, you are who Google says you are. Isn’t that scary!
Google and other search engines are primarily text based, their algorithm programmed to find text and pictures based on tags and keywords. Indexes (to fill the 10 slots or hits on each page) are made not only on keywords but also based on the relevancy of the page’s semantics and back links. So it’s adamant you publish fresh, short bits of content regularly, relevant to your audience, illustrating who you really are and what you stand for. People will read and link to your (WordPress) home page and website.
Start making sure you are being found online. Google page1 will then soon read like a personal brand story. With the right tags in text and images, and back links, you will boost your online reputation and eventually create more business opportunities.
But the next step in your online reputation building is video content. YouTube, owned by Google, is the second largest search engine in the world. While people are watching videos on YouTube, they will use it as their new search engine. So whenever possible, check if a video was made during your performance and ask for footage when you give a presentation or interview. Add it to your online presence and show what you are made of!
It really came up as a practical solution. The manager I met the other day realized he needed to produce social content in order to contribute to his industry and to attract more customers at the same time. But he simply had no time. Or wasn’t particularly good at writing, but didn’t want to admit it. I believed it to be a mix of both.
I suggested I would write a draft text of 300-400 words and he would finish it. Tune it to his own ‘voice’ and swap certain words he would not use for his own ‘lingo’. This could be done in less than 30 minutes. I contributed with a relevant topic-of-the-week, an easy to read piece of content and a good header. And provided a planning for 10 weeks ahead. He happily agreed and it worked really well for as long as he was in the position of manager.
Mind you, I wasn’t running his social accounts. We agreed he would still read other people’s postings, give likes and leave comments. And he would respond to questions or comments by himself. Learning about some ghostwriting horror stories, I realized the potential negative implications of being in control of his social accounts. Imagine the manager having conversions with people he would have met in real life and me handling them in social media. Or I could (in theory) be tempted and reply to heated conversations with an opinion that he doesn’t share. Or I could be contradicting something he has said somewhere else. Too risky. And easy to find out.
An alternative way of getting personal and relevant content out is in the form of an interview. This way, there is a natural encounter and quotes can easily be used on other social media channels like Twitter. Is social ghostwriting an idea worth considering for you? Let’s talk!