Curb appeal. The art of making the outside of your home look so good that potential buyers can’t wait to see what’s inside. We know we need to weed and prune our frontage (so to speak) to give that all important first impression. But I heard a property expert recently say that curb appeal now extends to a property’s online listing. If we don’t show great pictures and give the right level of information on sites such as Zoopla, Right Move, etc., we’re not even going to get our audience sufficiently interested to reach our curb.
And how true this is for our personal brands. Often the first time a business associate – a potential employer, new colleague, client, etc., – ‘meets’ you is via a Google search. It’s what they find online about you that will create their first impression and help them to decide whether they want to take ‘it’ to the next level.
So how can you ensure that your personal brand has great curb appeal? There are some key steps to follow, but the first thing I absolutely recommend you do is to Google Yourself. You need to see what other people see when they search on your name, so that you can take steps, if necessary, to improve how you come across. Things you might find:
- Do you have a namesake that people think could be you? Or, is your name so popular that you’re not showing up at-all and you’re lost in the sea of other John Smith’s?
- Can people get straight into your Facebook profile? You’d think that by now everyone would know to alter their settings so random viewers can’t see what you did on Saturday night; yet I still hear recruiters say they use Facebook to get a glimpse into the ‘real’ person and often it can be enough to discount them out of the recruitment process.
- Are there random pictures of you in Google images? Don’t forget to check in there to see where you’ve been tagged in recent years.
- Does your LinkedIn profile come up? It should, as this is where you want to direct your professional audience to learn more about you. But once they’re in your page, are you showing yourself in the best light? We’ll cover this in more in another blog.
- Can people get straight into your personal/rant Twitter account? Are you happy that an interviewer/new client will have looked at what you’ve been saying just before you walk through the door?
Simply, the more control you take of your online profile, the more control you’ll have over your personal brand. So do a Google search on your name, and variations of it, maybe adding the company you work for (think of the search terms people might use to find you), and see what other people see when they’re looking at you.
So take a look at what other people see when they land on your curb, and take the necessary steps to ensure that you make a great first impression.
By Christine Jones, Tiger Mouth