I know it's a tongue twister. Forget trying to say it three times. I want to know what happens when you do it one time. What comes up? What's the 411 on you? If someone were to type your name in the world's most famous search engine, would they be blown away by the results?
Ten years ago when you wanted to know more information about someone, you simply asked around: What do you know about so and so? Should I hire/do business/date this person? Sure, you could do a web search (Google was founded in 1997), but things weren't nearly as comprehensive as they are now. Today, pretty much everything you do leaves and imprint on the web, and that's both good and bad news for us all.
The good news is, in a little over a decade Google has pretty much been able to do the unthinkable...level the playing field. Anyone can take the steps to position themselves as an "expert." Everyone now has global access and with just a click of the mouse, you can do business with, investigate or contact anyone, anywhere.
Now the bad news. Too many women ignore the amazing technology they have at their finger tips. They don't take ownership of their online brand, many don't give it a second thought.
Proper online branding has the potential to catapult your status into the stratosphere. Where do you think publishers, producers and clients go when they are looking for industry experts---online!
As a serious entrepreneur, it is your absolute responsibility to take control of your brand online. There are so many people who believe you don't even exist if you don't have a virtual presence.
Here's why it matters:
· Clients, colleagues, executive recruiters and hiring managers all use the Internet to determine your level of knowledge
·  23% of people Google business associates or colleagues before meeting them
· 77% of recruiters Google candidates-and 35% eliminate them, based on what they find
Accenture included the total number of relevant Google results as one of the three measures they used to develop a list of the Top 50 Business Gurus.

So let me ask you again, what does your online profile say about you? Starting today, make a conscious effort to build your personal brand on- and offline.

Did you know that a professional with 5-10 years of industry experience should have between 50-500 quality results? And a person with more than 10 years of experience should have 500-5,000 results?

Action Steps for this week:

1.  Start acting as your own Brand Manager: Google yourself at least once a week and stay on top of the results. Put your name in quotes for the most accurate returns.
2. Set up your name in "Google Alerts" so when your name is mentioned anywhere on the web, you will know about it.
3. Clean up your image if you aren't happy with it. Reputation Defender is a top company that specializes in reputation management on the web.
 ©2010 Jennifer Ransaw Smith

Author's Bio: 

IF YOU WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR WEBSITE OR IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, BE MY GUEST! Simply include the following blurb: Jennifer Ransaw Smith is a dynamic personal brand strategist, speaker and coach. She is the CEO of ROAR Coaching and Consulting (www.womenwhoroar.net), a personal branding company that empowers women entrepreneurs by giving them the tools they need to take their business to the next level, and co-founder of Brand id (http://www.yourbrandid.com) a marketing communications agency.