Have you Googled yourself recently?

Studies reveal half us have sought information about ourself on a major search engine in the last year. More interestingly is the number of us who have gone looking for information about other people (approximately 1 in 3) and the trend continues.

— Turnabout is Fair Play

Businesses and recruiters now regular “look you up online” to see if you are the kind of person they want to work with. That’s correct, it’s not just people vetting businesses anymore, the proverbial worm has turned and now those businesses are looking back at us.

If you aren’t already actively managing your Internet digital footprint you really should because many North American companies now have online personal presentation polices. A shocking number of businesses are now policing how you present yourself on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even your personal blog.

— Share With Care

Choose the pictures you share with care, be mindful of the videos, audio and blog posts you share with the world because it can have consequences. Remember, what you blog about today can last a lifetime – literally. So what you say on your blog about your favourite religion, political party du jour, or some other seemingly innocuous subject could quite literally cost you your job!

— Damage Control is Too Late

And if there’s nothing bad out there about you right now, and you think you can ignore this – think again. You need to begin proactively publishing your own “approved” content because when someone steps forward after an issue they have less credibility – it’s reactionary not preemptive. The same happens online – if you are no where to be found until someone says something you dislike, you lose credibility.

— Getting an Accidental Brand

There are many ways to become infamous on the Internet, too many to list here, however be careful of mischievous teenagers wielding video cell phones. In 2007 a video of a drunk David Hasselhoff, sprawled on the floor eating a burger, became hot news when his daughter allegedly published it to YouTube for all the world to see. Type David Hasselhoff into Google and that infamous video is still in the top 10 list (10 years later!)

— Ignorance Is Not Bliss

As the saying goes, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!” Whenever a new frontier opens there are winners and losers, online reputation and personal branding is no exception. For example, if someone spent about 30 minutes being mischievous they could cause you some serious damage to your reputation. The current market rate for reputation repair on the Internet is about $10,000.

REMEMBER … Blogging and writing about yourself is free. *hint hint*

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