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- Meet Chris Ducker, the Virtual CEO
- #1 Tool for ‘owning your space’: your website
- How important are third party references for personal branding?
- Personal branding: it starts with switching your mindset
- Written books, a misunderstood brand building tool
- Podcast exclusive: How do you handle a business without a spokesperson?
The easiest way to do SEO is to not do SEO. Especially when personal branding is involved in the equation. When you want to build a brand around your name or your business, the focus shouldn’t be showing up on the front page of Google; you need to switch your mindset entirely.
“I have done zero SEO on my websites and online platforms, but I still rank well on them because of the fact that I focused on content, providing value, answering questions.” – Chris Ducker
Meet Chris Ducker, the “Virtual CEO”:
I am very honored to have Chris Ducker as a guest on the Word of the Week podcast. There are a lot to be said about him, as he is a highly successful British businessman…
- He is the founder and CEO of Virtual Staff Finder, he’s known around the world as “The Virtual CEO”
- He was featured 3 times on Forbes.com and 4 times on Entrepreneur.com magazine
- He was also featured on Ink Magazine, Business Insider, Huffington Post and major publications around the world
- Chris is constantly invited as a keynote speaker at some of the world’s top business events
- In April 2014 Chris published his first written book, “Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff And Buy More Time, Become More Productive, And Build Your Dream Business”, which soon became a top Amazon seller and #1 bestseller in 3 business categories
But what’s most impressive about Chris is his online presence: he practically OWNS the space for his name and company.
#1 Tool for ‘owning your space’: your website
The first thing I wanted to talk to Chris was the fact that he owns his space on Google search results.
“Q: What it takes to go and own that brand space as far as Google is concerned?
A: Your brand. You want it to become synonymous with what you want to be known for. Your brand is what people say about you when you are not around.”
It all begins with having your own website and writing on it regularly. Then, you need to ask yourself the following questions when building your brand:
- What do I want people to talk about me when I’m not around?
- What do I want to be known for?
- What do I want people to say about me at conferences/ business meetings/ etc?
Pay attention to the search results that come up when people google your name or your business name. Personal branding is making sure that, apart from your website, the search results are full of relevant, positive information about you and your brand.
For example, Google might display websites that you don’t own. Some results positions might include websites owned by other people, where they talk about you and your business. What are those people saying about you?
The ‘searchability’ trio: social media, Wikipedia, your personal blog
If you want to improve your ‘searchability’, social media is an easy escape door. Use your social media profiles regularly and properly so they can come up on the first page of search results.
- Perhaps one of the most relevant platform for SEO at this moment is Google Plus; but Facebook is a giant you simply cannot ignore. Make sure to have a presence on LinkedIn and Twitter too. Update these platforms at least once a week, preferably more often.
- Then, there’s this platform that is almost impossible to beat in terms of SEO: Wikipedia. If you own a page on Wikipedia for your name or your business, that is personal branding at its best.
- Thirdly, it’s not enough to have a website, and I talked about this in previous videos. You should also have a blog, and update it regularly with fresh, relevant content.
How important are third party references for personal branding?
The good news about online personal branding is that you can control approximately 50% of the first page results for your name or business. You can also control the other 50% by being seen and heard on other people’s websites: get featured on interviews, do some guest blog posting, etc.
Personal branding: it starts with switching your mindset
A lot of people don’t focus on owning that first page results on Google because they think it is going to be hard work. A little bit of elbow grease is required, yes, but it is not going to take that long to own the 1st page in Google if you put it as a genuine focusing goal.
The true honor of having a world-built personal brand is having other people talk about it. Your focus shouldn’t necessarily be showing up on the front page of Google. You need to switch your mindset entirely.
“I would much rather have 1,000 visitors click over to my website via a podcast interview that I’ve done on someone else’s website than have 1,000 search result visitors from Google. Anyday.” – Chris Ducker
I can totally understand Chris. Having website visitors from other people’s websites where you are featured as a case study or an expert… that’s going to get you a sky-high relevancy factor. These people are warm leads; a 3rd party referral is almost as powerful as word-of-mouth advertising (the two are actually not that different if you think about it). 3rd party references give you a LOT of authority.
Written books, a misunderstood personal branding tool:
So apart from third party references, what else is there that can give you the same authority for your personal branding? So far we’ve talked about Wikipedia, social platforms, owning a blog, and getting featured on other people’s websites.
The last ace up our sleeves is publishing a written book. Now, a written book doesn’t get you rich; it gets you busy.
Think about a written book as a $20 business card: it’s a door opener, and once you’ve published your own book (and marketed it properly), it becomes a magnet for opportunities.
Podcast Bonus: How do you handle a business without a spokesperson?
Listen to the podcast interview to find out how you can manage your online business and your reputation on your own, without needing a spokesperson to do the talking for you.
Share the wisdom:
There are a few quotes Chris shared during our interview that I absolutely loved. You can share the ones you like with your friends and business colleagues:
Now is your turn…
- What business people do you know who own their business brand & name in search results?
- Would you hire people who are better than you are in a certain field just to take your business further?
- What is the top problem your customers have that you managed to solve on your website?
- How do you build & maintain business relationships with other business people?