Bold statement? If you look at your options for managing your online reputation, you wouldn’t think so.
Brandyourself.com is the only free solution available to systematically reclaiming your Google search.
When co-founder Peter Kistler was looking for an internship as an undergrad at Syracuse University, he watched all of his friends get hired, while he lagged behind.
So he decided to Google himself and found another Peter Kistler showing up in search results with a criminal record.
His options were limited to hundreds of dollars on professional reputation services or doing it himself, but he didn’t have the skills (that’s where the other co-founder comes in).
As a technology blogger, I’d been following BrandYourself for the last two years; in fact, they even won a place in my book, “Job Searching With Social Media For Dummies”.
But looking at their market position again, now that they’ve re-launched with an attractive new user interface, I finally see how ahead of their times they were two years ago. Their platform, in fact their vision, is one of many new technology companies putting once complicated systems into the hands of the end-user, a movement coined, “The Consumerization of Technology”.
Where once SEO and personal reputation management required specialized skills or lots of money, now you just need to follow an online wizard.
The Consumerization of Reputation Management and SEO
Brandyourself.com leverages the principles of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, to help individuals align with the search engines in order to regain control over the results.
Here’s the problem Brandyourself solves. We know that anywhere between 70-85% of hiring managers are going to Google candidates going for jobs (depending on what study you read). And I’m guessing it’s more like 90% based on conversations I’ve had with hiring managers who deny that they Google candidates, but have told me stories of when they Google candidates (don’t ask!).
Those results that Google shows these hiring managers are, for the most part, outside of the control of most lay-people. Unless you are knowledgeable about SEO (or have read that chapter in my book), you probably feel quite helpless in changing these results.
Reputation.com offers a great service, but their prices are aimed primarily at mid-market managers or private practice lawyers, starting at $300 and going up into the thousands.
The rest of us have to hope that we might get a manager in that 10% group that doesn’t Google candidates. But hope is not a strategy.
In comes Brandyourself.com, starting at free and going all the way up to $9.99/month. Can someone say, “online reputation management for all!” Even with their free subscription, you’ll be able to make significant changes in how your profiles are set up to better influence the search engines.
It Does What it Says on the Tin
The new user interface for Brandyourself.com is easier than ever. It took me 10 minutes to optimize my LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles so that they are more likely to rank; then another 10 minutes to build my own website pre-built with all of the SEO bells and whistles that might cost you thousands of dollars to get done professionally.
As an experiment, I wasn’t able to see any immediate changes to my Google results; but how can you make perfect better! Ok, that was cocky, I know. But since I do already dominate my Google Search after four years of effort there really isn’t much more that can happen. So, I’m curious to see some real results from Brandyourself.com (and I’m sure they would love the case studies as well) from people who are unhappy with what Google shows about them (or their name).
So I would like to offer a little something to my loyal readers. The guys over at Brandyourself have offered you, my readers, a three month premium membership, for the first five of you to retweet this article and @reply @brandyourself, and 15% off premium membership for all runners up, this offer will run through the end of April.
In exchange, I want you to take a screenshot of your Google search results before you sign up, and then again at the end of 30 days. Email me both screenshots and you may win a chance to get featured on the Brandyourself blog (how’s that for building your personal brand!).
ps. if you don’t have my email address, it’s because you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter yet. Tisk Tisk.