Last year I sat in a presentation being given by a social media expert, and I have to admit, my mind started to drift a little. I hadn’t heard of this man before, and I’m not going to be a big meanie and tell you his name, but the conference programme blurb did make him sound like a well-qualified expert and I was hoping to learn plenty during his presentation.
I tried to pay attention but after I’d realised I probably wouldn’t learn much from him, I became curious enough to google him on my smartphone. (I hoped it would just look like I was taking notes!)
Ouch. On the first page of search results, two of the top five links were to newspaper stories about him that weren’t entirely complimentary (and perhaps more worryingly were about different incidents). He didn’t have his own website, no blog or LinkedIn profile came up in the top results and other links went to obscure mentions he’d got on other sites.
For someone working in social media, he had not taken very much care of his online presence. Even me, a much smaller fish, well, I do a lot better. Go and google Amanda Kendle (or just click the link, I’ve done it for you) and unless I’ve committed some serious crime in between me writing this post and you reading it, you will see something like this:
The top few results send you to my main website (the one you’re reading this on). Then comes my travel blog, Not A Ballerina, one of my most important sites. My Facebook page and LinkedIn profile soon follow, and then some profile pages from companies and websites I work with are mixed in among these.
Fortunately, I’ve had a reasonably boring life insofar as misdemeanours or bad news stories go, so you can keep clicking through a lot of pages and still not find anything nasty about me, but you will find plenty of articles I’ve written and blog post comments I’ve made that are all not totally relevant to me as a business. So I’m glad I’ve made the effort to take care of my online presence so that the first page of results actually tells you something about me and should (hopefully) convince a prospective client that I do know something about what I say I do!
Anyway, all of this inspired me to develop a course on managing your online presence and it is running through UWA Extension in Perth in March – if you’re interested, click over to Optimising your online presence – A guide for consultants, sole traders and creative professionals and sign up. The course is designed to make sure you and your business are online in all the “right” places, so when people google you – because your prospective clients will google you – they see good stuff and want to work with you.