If people were to search your brand on Google right now, what would they see?
Would they know exactly what you do, how you do it, and whether you can be trusted with their business? Or would they see blog posts, profiles, and pictures from a variety of sources on 1,000 topics and wonder who you really are?
Having a Google+ profile means if someone types your name into search, they can instantly see who you are, what you look like, what your dog looks like, what you do, who your friends are, and how many of their friends have recommended your service or shared your content.
Google+ allows you to build brand trust with your customers, peers, and competition in ways you could previously only imagine.
With Google+, your brand has access to the best specialists, advisors, promoters, and providers in the world. Better than that, Google+ gives you access to the best customers —customers who are engaged, enthusiastic, discerning, and, above all, loyal. Imagine the impact on your brand when these customers start promoting you.
This week’s featured Social Caffeine ebook is 10 Commandments for Building a Brand on Google+. Inside, you’ll find must have tips and tricks for storming your brand on one of the Internet’s most important social networks.
After March 1, the book will go back to its regular price of $2.99.
Just in case you’d like to try before you “buy”, here’s an excerpt:
How to Optimize Your Google+ Profile
Your Google+ profile is your introduction and first impression, wrapped in an elevator pitch. It’s your chance to tell the world who you are, what you do, and how you intend to do it, using as few words as possible. This is where brand building begins.
Your profile lies at the outskirts of your sales funnel. It’s the place people visit when they want to know more about you or your brand. This is your opportunity to grab their attention and make them fall in love with you instantly.
You can do so in three ways:
1 – Be Interesting
Your profile blurb is your elevator pitch. This defines your brand, tells readers where you fit into the scheme of the world, and why your brand is different. It should be original, short, and above all else, interesting. It should make your readers want to know more about you.
Which personal profile do you think your readers would be more interested in?
“I design lights for any occasion and home. Whether you want formal, casual, inside or outside, portable or permanent. I am a master lighting expert with 20 years’ experience.”
“Let there be light! You imagine it; we’ll create it. From crystal candelabra to colored LED ceiling lights, desk lamps to floating fairies, let your imagination loose and let us worry about the details. To see our gallery, go to let-there-be-light.com.”
2 – Be Seen
Your brand picture is your calling card.
McDonald’s has golden arches and Nike has their swoosh — you need an image that is instantly recognizable, powerful, and bold enough to be iconic.
Your Google+ profile picture will follow you around the web as you +1, recommend, post, share, and update content. When readers do a search, they will see by your image which sites you have seen and recommended — thus, they’ll be more likely to click on this result rather than other results on the same page. When they look through their Google streams, they will see the content you recommended and shared, and if they trust you, they will trust your endorsement.
The Internet is endless, and getting lost in the wilderness is easy. Your online image ties your brand together and acts as a road map for them to follow. If you are a freelancer, use a real photo of yourself; if many people are involved in your business, a simple logo will have the same effect.
Your picture hits the heart of your reader as they dip their buckets in a bottomless well of information. They will recognize your brand and follow it with confidence.
3 – Make Your Profile Complete
Google+ gives you many options to organize your About page and show readers who you are and what you are capable of. Introduce yourself and your brand to your readers. Your About page isn’t a place to ramble about your life; it is a place to specifically tell your readers how you will help them.
Stick to the life experiences and qualifications that are relevant to your customers. Connect with them at their hearts. Readers should finish your About page excited about working with, buying from, or following you, and have all the information they need to make an informed decision.
Tell your customers where you have worked before and what makes you qualified to take on their jobs. You can also tell them what others have said about your work. You have a section for bragging rights — tell your customers what makes your brand so special.
This is the place for the social media expert to brag about having a KLOUT score of 95 — can they imagine how great it would be having someone with that amount of reach handling their social media account?
Customers also like to know that others like you, so include your People’s Choice Award for Best Customer Service four years running. You may have progressed to the top 25 on American Idol, or gained selection over hundreds of other applicants for a project.
Your profile About page is the place to let others know how great you are — a short resume celebrating your successes, guiding them toward the real resume of your website and other places where they can easily connect with you.
Profile Page or Brand Page?
You may be familiar with Facebook’s member profile page versus their business page. Google+ has a similar setup.
Having an extension of your Google+ account used exclusively for business allows you to easily separate personal and business interaction. This is great for large business and corporations, yet you still need a personal profile page before you can set up a brand page, so why should you even consider it?
Brand pages are fantastic for SEO, and evidence suggests that a brand page will outrank a personal profile page in search. They have a +1 button so customers can show their approval and your page can be shared with other users. The downside is that brand pages come with limited functionality.
You cannot host Hangouts from a brand page, add people to your circles, or add other administrators, meaning that as of now, you can only edit and maintain your brand pages.
If you are just starting up your business, creating a brand page as well as a profile page may be doubling your work for little reward. If you are an established brand or have a segregated focus, having separate Google+ brand pages is a great idea.
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