Google your name – it is not because I am vain that I monitor my name through Google Alert and Google my name every now and then. It is because as a marketer, I know how important it is for me to protect my reputation online. My advice to you is to do the same thing.
Why do You have to Google Your Name?
To fully illustrate this point, I will use the example of a family lawyer. You will want to monitor and Google your name on a regular basis so that you may be aware of
1. The “bad” things someone may say about you.
For every case you have won for a client, he or she is likely going to have an unhappy spouse. That spouse may say bad things about you online, on their facebook, a blog or a website that allows them to rate you as a lawyer.
2. Someone with a similar name as yours.
If that person happens to be a lawyer, except they practice Real Estate Law most of the time and family law is barely mentioned on their website. It’s just a case of mistaken identity. Your prospective client may not want to deal with someone who handles divorce part time.
3. Someone with a similar name as yours who may have done something bad.
Imagine if that person has been charged with a crime.
4. How much someone has to sift through before they will get to the real you
You may be buried into the second or third page if your name is common or if there is a famous author/sports star who has your name. Knowing this, you may want to do extra online marketing to help the real you show up higher on Google search results.
How to Monitor Your Name and Reputation for Free
You can take the following easy steps:
1. Google Your Name.
Once you Google your name, have a look at the results that show up, if any of what are described above exists, contact a marketing professional who handles online optimization and find out what they can do to help you with your situation and how much it will cost.
2. Subscribe to Google Alert.
It is free, all you have to do is go here: www.google.com/alerts. You can ask for your name to be monitored, so that when Google finds it, you can receive an email alert. You can choose how often you want the alerts – “As it happens,” “Once a day” or “Once a week.”
How to Rescue a Tarnished Online Reputation
I wrote an article for the American Bar Association Family Advocate Magazine for Family Lawyers, called “Have You Googled Your Name Lately”, it talks at greater length as to what you can and cannot do to rescue your online reputation if it is tarnished. It was republished in www.FamilyLawyerMagazine.com. You can read about it here: http://familylawyermagazine.com/articles/have-you-googled-your-name-lately.
Martha Chan is a marketing expert for family lawyers and divorce professionals. She is a co-owner and Vice President of Marketing for Family Lawyer Magazine, Divorce Magazine and Divorce Marketing Group, a marketing agency dedicated to promoting family lawyers and divorce professionals. She is the co-host of a monthly marketing teleseminar for family lawyers and co-author of She has served as a marketing consultant to many Fortune 500 companies and countless family law firms over the past 30 years. She can be reached at 866-803-6667 x 136, or firstname.lastname@example.org.