Measuring Your Online Personal Brand

Ever Googled yourself? If you haven’t, don’t get all high and mighty, thinking that only narcissistic people would do such a thing. Today, you need to be aware of your online presence, and your ability to be found. I strongly suggest that everybody be highly aware of their personal brand, but things rings especially true if you have any interest in being a thought leader in your industry. When somebody searches for your name, what kind of information do they find first? That helps dictate your personal brand. When somebody searches for the kind of things you know about, will they find you? You should want them to.

Google is the best search engine to use when evaluating your ability to be found online. Why? They dominate the world of search. According to Hitwise, Google occupies approximately 72% of searches in the United States (although most stats I see put them in the 60-70% range). Yahoo is second with about 17%. There isn’t much else to go around after that. Google gets several hundred million searches each day. You need to have a presence.

We can talk a little bit more in another post/conversation about how to increase the chances you have of showing up on these Google search engine results (SERs), but it should be clear that your personal brand is affected by how you fare in Google SERs. 

Today, I was turned on to another evaluation tool (I know there are some people who abhor evaluation tools, but I see value in them, so deal with it). Phil Barrett wrote a post about the Online Identity Calculator – a tool that asks you a few questions (really only takes a few minutes) and then leverages Google to evaluate your online identity and measure it by placing you in one of four quadrants.

You know I like these kinds of evaluation tools – anything that you use to track/measure/evaluate your personal brand?

Here are the results of my Online Identity Calendar:

Mike McDowell's results - Digitally Distinct

Mike McDowell's results - Digitally Distinct

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Phil Barrett said,

    Mike – i totally agree with your POV. People need to manage their brand like they would others.

    One more thing about google – it never forgets… so be careful what you share online as it could devalue your personal brand down the road

  2. 2

    Ryan Jerz said,

    Nice. I’m digitally distinct also, only with less volume.

    I have one question, though. What are you looking at?

  3. 3

    Mike McDowell said,

    oh, HA HA, Jerz. I get it, the photo on the masthead on my blog is stupid. I’ll change it eventually (if I have time to sit down in front of some editing software and design something). But for now, let yourself imagine that I am looking at something cool in this photo. For you, Jerz, imagine it’s a tall can of beer.

  4. 4

    To my mind the personal brand is not only dependent on volume. I’d include how someone is introduced to you as at least one of many other strong factors in personal brand. After all, is it not the case that first impressions are powerful?

    Most of us are intentionally anonymous online. That’s not a great way to meet people or to be found. Moreover, when someone is trying to find you it is most often the case that they have meet you or know someone who as.

    Why do we depend on google so much? Why make people go searching for us? Further, once someone finds a piece of a persons online stuff it is still only a piece and usually it is a space where that person is interacting with others. Why not collect all our web stuff in one place and then share that place with people? We can help them meet us.

    I use http://www.extendr.com to help make introductions. I collected all my stuff there and many people have thanked me for giving them both easy access and the option to determine on what level they would like to interact with me.

    Yes it is great to have volume but it is all the better to have that volume consolidated and packaged in a strategy for why the volume exists at all.


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