Every now and then, I Google my name just to see what comes up. Just to be clear, seeing your name pop up on the World Wide Web can be an inflating or deflating experience. Yes, it’s pretty cool to see your name appear, but it has it negatives. This past week, I looked at an old review a reader had left on Amazon for my very first book. It was pretty harsh; even though this review was more than four years old, it still bothered me. It was my only one-star review and I remember reading it back then and feeling crushed. All of my other reviews earned 4 or 5 stars, so what was the deal with this lady? I decided to respond to her review and “politely” communicate to her all the great people who benefited from the book.
While Googling yourself and allowing the list of results to affect you may be a torturing practice, there’s a lesson to be learned. As authors, business owners, and all-around go-getters, our web presence matters. If you don’t create your own narrative, someone else will.
So how do you show who you are? It starts with a great website. This is where you should spend most of your time and money developing. There are lots of free and easy templates to use when you’re starting out, but if you aren’t savvy enough, hire someone to do it for you (I recommend us ☺). Once it’s done, continue to make it better. Don’t let it grow stale. Search engines thrive on fresh content and your followers want to read something new. Include a blog, Facebook, or Twitter feed. This tells the search engines that the content is fresh via an RSS feed, thereby giving you a higher search engine ranking.
This one is very important. Add at least one form of social media. Facebook and Twitter are the highest and most universal ways to engage socially with other leaders, like yourself, and customers. But, more importantly, find the platform that works to communicate your message best, whether it be Instagram, Wine, Periscope, Pinterest, YouTube, or one of the many, many others. If you decide to open an account, remember the rule of thumb—two to three posts per day. Yes, I too believe this is excessive, but people check social media at different times. Posting multiple times throughout the day gives you the best opportunity to reach more people. And you don’t have to be on all platforms to succeed. Dedicate your time to 1-3 platforms that you can manage effectively to grow your following.
Post your press release and upcoming events on Eventbrite, PRweb.com, and Eventful.com. Don’t forget to visit your local radio station’s website to post to their free online community boards.
Be creative with your time. Remember to brand yourself and create a narrative that authentically communicates exactly who you are and why we should be listening.