It is my pleasure to introduce you to Glenn Raines, founder of the consulting firm Social Media Moves and one of Chicago's premier resources for Social media advice. I asked him to prepare an article about using Google Profiles and how they can assist with networking as a guest. Glenn argues that if you are not on Google, it is arguable whether or not you exist on the web, and he defines critical differences between the Google Profile and other social media properties. Below in italics is his article as a guest bresponse:
Increase Your Findability With A Google Profile
Over a year ago I discovered the “Google Profile.” Not many people know about it or know how it can dramatically increase one’s “findability” on the web. People often ask me if they need a Google Profile when they already have a LinkedIn Profile. I emphatically answer, “Yes!”
While LinkedIn helps you build a quality network of contacts, referrals and connections, a Google Profile helps you get found on the web.
Whether you’re an executive in career transition or embarking on a whole new second career, prospective business partners and employers now Google you to make their initial assessment of your experience, credentials and unique value. Equally important, a Google Profile lets others know you’re forward thinking and adopting the new channels of communications.
We can’t control everywhere we appear on a search result, but we can control our personal branding and reputation management plan that includes; creating, managing and distributing links to our professional profiles on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Adding a Google Profile to the mix not only lets you create and manage your personal branding message, but it also allows you to leverage the reach and power of Google to deliver a link to your profile on the first page of the Google search results.
Creating a Google Profile requires you to have a Google account. If you already use Google Gmail, Google Reader or other Google applications, just use your current Google email and password to access the Google Profile setup page. Otherwise you’ll need to register as a new user.
The format structure of a Google Profile features three primary components: content, images and links. The content section includes your short profile descriptor and bio. Unlike LinkedIn that limits you to 2,000 characters in its Summary section, Google Profile allows unlimited area to pen your narrative. This is a huge advantage of the Google Profile since it gives you maximum flexibility to format your bio to include a brief introduction, subheads with bulleted copy points and testimonials from clients and peers. Images are another plus of a Google Profile. In LinkedIn, you can add just a single bio picture. Google Profile, on the other hand, uses a “film strip” format which lets you add multiple images to tell your story. And finally, adding links to your other places on the web is unlimited with a Google Profile. Google lets you add links in two areas: 1) Embedded in your content narrative, and, 2) In the right sidebar where you can build a list of links to create your “social graph.”
When you feel your Google Profile is ready for primetime, promoting its existence is next. Feature a link to your Google Profile in your LinkedIn Profile, on your resume, in your email signature, and even on your business card. Include a link to your Google Profile in every valuable touchpoint you have with prospective employers, referrals and business partners.
For executives in transition or seeking a second career, creating a personal brand for social networking is no longer an option. It’s an imperative for the way business and career opportunities now come together. When you already have the experience, credentials and proven value under your belt, conveying them through these new social channels is a must. That’s where the eyeballs you really care about are looking.
By Glenn Raines
Revealer of Value
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