“… Certainly personal branding isn’t a new concept, but the future of personal branding could be in at your fingertips—with a blog. One of the first steps in creating a brand for yourself is to make your blog visible. Post meaningful entries, comment on your industry’s top blogs, or simply gain a regular readership. “Visibility creates opportunities,” says Schawbel, a social media specialist at EMC Corporation. He believes that when you brand yourself, the competition becomes irrelevant. “The goal of personal branding is to be recruited based on your brand, not applying for jobs,” Schawbel says. …”
Many brand monitoring startups are helping big companies keep track of what their (potential) customers have to say about them or their products. While the space of corporate brand monitoring is fiercely competed, one area that is overlooked is that of "personal branding" tools. Most of us are highly interested in knowing what is said about us online. As the TechCareers blog points out:
“You are the chief marketing officer for the brand called you, but what others say about your brand is more impactful than what you say about yourself,” says Schawbel.
Keeping an eye on what others have to say about you is not always easy. I started thinking about these issues and outlined how I try to keep up with this information. Here is my "Personal Brand Monitoring Toolbox":
- Search Engines: The typical way for me to keep tabs on this is by setting up Google alerts for my name, projects, organization (University/workplace) etc. In addition, I frequently perform "ego searches" to forage for mentions of my name.
- Statistics and Tools: One very interesting tool that I have found useful is Lijit. It provides you stats on who is searching for you, what keywords were used to reach your blog, etc. In addition I use Google Analytics to know more information about my visitors, most visited pages and time they spent on my site. If you are an academic like me, you would like to know who has cited your papers recently (Google Scholar) and the number of downloads, who has linked to your paper (Google link: search) and/or your blog posts (Technorati searches). Yessss! I admit! I have become a total statoholic! :-)
- Comments and Scraps: Twitter is another important tool in our arsenal for personal branding and your replies say something interesting about you. Finally, the comments on my blog, Facebook messages, scraps and photos are all part of my "brand" and I take interest in replying to them just like I would to an email.
As our information spaces diversify, monitoring "your brand" becomes a part of the everyday online activity. I dont think we have exactly cracked the nut yet -- keeping track of your profile and "your brand " is a highly addictive activity and I think that the tool(s) that make it fun and exciting will enjoy a great deal of popularity.