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Analysing your brand. You may think that’s big business stuff, or it sounds kinda egotistical. However, if our brand is the image we represent online, then analysing our online identity is a very sensible and interesting thing to do. Especially considering our online identity can affect our present & future career aspirations, and our social interactions, both online and IRL. If we do not know people well in real life, our online presence is how people feel they first know us. And to a point they do know us: we are what we portray online, we are our brand. It’s our online identity.
As suggested by the CPD23 crew, I did a Google incognito search while I was logged out of my account, to get a truly objective view. I typed “dpgreen” and following is the list of hits from page one:
- My twitter account (number 1!)
- This! My blog: dpgreen.net (number 2!)
- My flickr account
- A link to a company called DP Green Inc. who specialise in custom outdoor living requirements.
- dpgreen.net on Facebook
- My vimeo account
Results 7 to 10 were other “brands,” and you can click here to see a screenshot of the results.
- Good: of the ten results on page one, five referred to my online brand.
- Better: of the first six, five were dpgreen results.
- Best: my blog was number two!
We’ve all googled ourselves (right?!) but this was the first time I’ve googled “dpgreen”. I was very pleased and very surprised by this search result. I didn’t expect to have my blog so close to the top. It’s logical to see Twitter & Facebook accounts up there – Internet behemoths that they are! – but my blog? I guess the term “dpgreen” is not super common, unlike, oh I don’t know, the term “David Green”. Which is exactly why I chose dpgreen. Not uncommon enough to still have the .com address available mind you, but I think all the ones you really want are gone, right?!
It is good practice – nay, great practice! – to use the same handle/moniker/name across as many platforms as you use, whenever possible. Why? “Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life!” (Act IV, The Crucible by Arthur Miller). Basically so you are easy to recognise & follow. Thankfully, @libsmatter put me onto the very clever namechk.com when I read this interesting post a while ago. I use the same profile pic across various networks to continue my brand. This makes finding (or avoiding!) me easier for people who I connect with online. Having – by which I mean renting – my own domain name secures me my place on the web and a real choice of email addresses. I believe ‘owning’ my domain name & using @dpgreen.net as my email host implies a professionalism & tech-competency that I’m happy for people to think I possess! I remember reading this good piece of advice a while ago from @haikugirlOz.
What I want to change & improve
Despite reading quite a bit about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) I haven’t done anything about it! I’m honestly not (that) bothered with blog traffic, I’m really in it for learning & networking, but mastering SEO would be a great skill for my workplace. I’d like to figure out how to dictate what a search result produces when the hit is dpgreen.net. Currently a “dpgreen” search reveals this:
Rather than retrieving this blog address (yay!) and a paragraph rich with the keyword “dpgreen” (boo!) I’d like to control what appears as a description. I’d like it to read as my blog tagline does: “Libraries & learning. (Occasional other loves.)” Or something from my about page perhaps, but the point is I want to learn how to do it! I also want to tidy up my brand on any rogue accounts I have and am not using, or are squatting on for later. I’m thinking of identi.ca, YouTube, etc. This exercise has also prompted me to re-think & probably update my about page, and my twitter bio.
We know marketing our workplace & the services we offer is vital. That is brand management. Analysing & controlling our own brand is important too.