In an earlier post I included a link to the Online Identity Calculator, a tool developed by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson to measure the strength of your online brand. However, there is one question that keeps coming up…
Clients inevitably ask me why the assessment is based on their name. "After all," they say "I want people to find me when they search for (say) intellectual property lawyers. They won’t be searching for me by name".
Well, the answer is in two parts. First, the assessment is about evaluating what people will find when they look for you by name, say in advance of a meeting with you. At that point, they’re not looking for someone who does the same as you – they’re looking for you specifically. Online branding isn’t about search engine optimisation, though SEO is part of what needs to be done. It’s about taking control of what the Internet says about you, so that when people come looking you know what they’ll find.
Second, though (and just as importantly in my mind), if you’re managing your personal brand properly, then people aren’t going to be searching for any old IP lawyer (or whatever field you’re in): they will be searching for you by name, because they will have already heard about you from lots of trusted sources and know you’re the one they need to hire.
That’s the power (and the beauty) of a strong personal brand.