This is the sixth installment of a 7-part series.
Read the entire series:
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Personal Branding + Platform
Part 3: Unique Positioning
Part 4: Content Strategy
Part 5: Media
Part 6: Monitoring + Promoting Your Brand
Part 7: Conclusion–Putting it all Together
Protecting and promoting your personal brand, to better your position as a thought leader, is critical. It requires proactivity, with ongoing monitoring of your good name and reputation—you must always have your ear to the ground.
Essentially, to ensure your information and content is in all the right places you need to employ the most appropriate tools to efficiently and consistently get the job done.
As the old saw goes, your best defense is a solid offense. To accomplish the latter objective your measures must include that YOU (not others such as competition, media, or critics) control and shape your online reputation, and that if YOU direct your standing as an integrative health thought leader.
Here are 6 proven brand monitors, promotional tools and platforms that can be actively utilized as part of your ongoing thought leadership development efforts.
1. Google Alerts
I’ve used Google Alerts (GA) for years. Its timely updates on current activities specific to my business and personal interests make for a powerful tool. Incredibly easy to use, you simply enter keywords or key phrases into the intuitive platform and input your email address.
GA allows you to choose how often you would like to receive email updates from the latest activity that matches your search criteria. The default setting is ‘all’ relevant content, but you can choose options such as news, blogs, video, discussions, or books.
It’s imperative that you include your own name and that of any enterprise with which you’re closely associated so that you can monitor web activity for the keywords (and names) most important to your interests.
Hootsuite is an exceptionally productive tool that allows you to post messages across various social media networks with one log-in—without reposting individually to each platform. The software allows for easy scheduling of posts with its ‘Bulk Scheduling Tool’, and it also features built-in analytics.
Cost: Pro plan starts at $9.99/month (free 30 day trial)
Every integrative health and medicine professional requires a well-crafted, comprehensive LinkedIn profile. It’s the only social media site included here, and for good reason: LinkedIn is the largest professional social network on the planet, and represents a phenomenal opportunity to build a network to strengthen your personal brand and extend thought leadership. Its robust publishing features allow you to post long-form articles that are displayed on your profile, and which are accessible to both connections and all LinkedIn members.
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Top influencers publish on LinkedIn. If you truly desire to establish or reinforce your personal brand and industry thought leadership, LinkedIn is the perfect platform to realize success. Make sure to join up to your limit of 50 LinkedIn Groups (join FON’s group here) to engage members around integrative health topics and discussion. You can drive meaningful traffic to your website by engaging group members and linking back to relevant, useful articles on your website.
LinkedIn professional profiles rank high in Google search, sometimes higher than one’s personal website. So high are LinkedIn’s rankings that searches return other sites connected to one’s current professional and/or business associations. For this reason you need to be on LinkedIn with a comprehensive profile.
Yes, you will still need to utilize select social media networks to listen to, and engage and share with consumers, but put simply, LinkedIn rocks to reach integrative health professionals across the globe.
Cost: Free and paid programs
According to About.me:
“We believe that you should own your own identity. That your identity should be both projected and protected. It should encompass the different facets of your life. It should be portable and universally accessible. And most importantly, it should be easy to create and manage.”
Like LinkedIn, About.me profiles rank high on Google search. Even if you don’t immediately upload your image and complete your profile, it’s a smart move to sign up and grab your name.
Wikipedia is a must-have page for public figures and key opinion leaders. It adds prestige, authenticity, and credibility to your personal brand persona.
Its stringent criteria—submission, vetting, and acceptance— elevates and benefits bona fide public figures or entities by including them in Wikipedia’s high search rank.
Though you can personally craft and upload an entry, it’s often tricky to maintain a neutral point of view; therefore, it’s advisable to hire a firm or individual with Wikipedia experience to pen your personal profile.
6. Yelp + Other Reputation Websites
Depending upon your target market, what you are actually ‘selling’ (services, products, or influence as a thought leader), and to whom—ratings sites like Yelp can make or break one’s personal brand, business, or clinic.
You may not offer retail products or services—which makes many of these sites less applicable to your particular situation—but if you are a solo practitioner, part of a clinic or center, or another related business, developing an independent voice and positioning yourself as a thought leader you need to pay attention to shaping your online (and offline) reputation.
Start by entering your name in Google, Bing, and Yahoo!—the top three search engines (not including YouTube)—to see what others see when searching ‘you’. Do this no less than once every quarter, and respond appropriately and quickly to any negative reviews. This quarterly exercise, in addition to using Google Alerts (with your name as a search term), comprises a thorough monitoring system to help guard your good name.
There are scores of monitoring systems, all-in-one social media distribution tools, and approaches to promote your work and protect your brand as a key opinion leader. I personally use or have carefully researched these six. While tools and platforms constantly change, I can comfortably recommend this particular set as an intelligent and manageable baseline monitoring and promotion program.
There is only one YOU. The accuracy of how various platforms capture and promote your statements and activities is directly tied to your proactive investment in the process of monitoring and promoting your brand, thus greatly elevating your status as a thought leader.
FON creates thought leadership and personal branding strategy for those aspiring to differentiate and hone their message, and propagate their integrative health mission. Contact us today to schedule a call or Skype to learn how FON can help you achieve your professional goals.