The Credit Crunch and Social Capital – 4 Personal Branding Tips

How’s your personal Google rank these days? Is your personal brand showing up where you want it to (hint, a majority of links in the top 10 results, if not the top 4)?

## 0. Google Result item promotion ##
After [googling myself](http://www.google.com/search?q=Jeff+McNeill) today, I made a few discoveries, that seem interesting to share. The first discovery is that you can promote result items as well as remove them (see the little gray buttons to the right of each search result title link). Turns out promoting and removing items can make a difference on subsequent search results.

## 1. Use Identi.ca as you primary microblogging tool ##
My [Identi.ca](http://identi.ca/jeffmcneill) search result was the fourth result item (the first two are my blog and the third is a different Jeff McNeill). Twitter isn’t even in the top 100 results. This is a new development.

Use [Identi.ca](http://identi.ca/jeffmcneill) as your primary microblogging tool and set it up to [forward dents to Twitter](http://identi.ca/settings/twitter) (as well as subscribe to Twitter friends on Identi.ca). If you use a tool such as [Twhirl](http://www.twhirl.org/) it is possible to be logged into multiple sites and have a window into each of them, including identi.ca, friendfeed, and twitter.

## 2. Create evaluations and lists on Amazon.com (and make them public) ##
My [Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp2/profile/A3GPL1KOIQ25CH) profile and Amazon lists page are respectively the 5th and 6th result in the Google search. This requires more than just creating a profile. It is important to [review Amazon items](http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A3GPL1KOIQ25CH) (and receive good relevance feedback) and create [a set of thematic product lists](http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/byauthor/A3GPL1KOIQ25CH).

## 3. Create a full profile on Linked In (and make it public) ##
[Linkedin](http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffmcneill) is the 7th result item. Create an account, link to friends, fill out the profile, and enable the public profile setting. This is likely the best online resume you will have so people, use a photograph that is “interview-worthy”. No sunglasses or muscle shirts. LinkedIn is not MySpace.

## 4. Enable a public profile on Facebook ##
[Facebook has public profiles](http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-McNeill/19510068), which need to be enabled and configured. It is not even possible to make a lot of information available, but these public profiles do turn up in search results. I found that out by discovering that someone else with my same name was turning up in the top 50 Google results a month or so ago. After enabling my public profile, it is now coming up to the top and is now the 8th result item for searching on my name.

## Extra credit ##
* [Friendfeed](http://friendfeed.com/jeffmcneill) is somewhere in the top 20 Google search results as well. Set up Friendfeed to import the various information streams from Identi.ca, Flickr, Amazon wish list, etc. This is automated and only needs to be done once, unless you want to engage in Friendfeed commenting, which can be entertaining. As mentioned above, Twhirl is a great client for FF.

* [Flickr](http://flickr.com/people/jeffmcneill) is in the top 20 Google search results as well. Use Flickr as your photo sharing site. Be sure to make friends and configure the profile page to encourage linking and friending activity.

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