How to Rock Your Personal Brand – The Start of Your Influence

If you have ever received a referral for a job or new business, you know how critical your online personal brand can be. People are only one click away from choosing you or moving on, and many times you will never even know. In our Social Jack Influencer Development Classes we teach the fundamentals to make that shift to be found and chosen first by your network. Let’s cover some of the core principals.

In our 8 step process, we start with a core story to build your personal brand. We first want to make sure we understand the desired outcome of our professional. Everything should drive to that destination or outcome.

Know or Define Your Authentic Self (Your Story)

We want to know the “what” our professional subject is going for and “why” being known is so important. We want this information as part of their story and to begin the creation of their persona and personal brand. Sometimes we have professionals and executives who are working on their career, so they may want to get to a certain level of career advancement or promotion. Some are looking for executive presence and thought leadership. Whatever goals you are wanting to accomplish, it is important to know this before you begin to work on yourself or with someone like us.

Know or Define Your Authentic Self (Your Story)

Knowing your story is critical, but it is perfectly okay to start with a draft and adjust along the way.  Some people wait years to even begin writing their story; the key is to pick a point and simply begin. Find trusted allies that will provide feedback, and even some subject matter, and experts to help you as well. Generally speaking, people are very willing to help. You may also have colleagues you work with that might have gone before you. Ask yourself this question: “What do you want to be known for?” Use your answer to craft a short narrative, typically 300-500 words. Catch yourself: you will want to tack things on as you go, which is fine, but make sure they are relevant. Stay targeted. Keep your focus.

Watch our latest class on establishing your personal brand HERE

Identify Relevant Keywords that will represent you

When writing and building profiles and bios we look at the story as a whole, analyze the target audience, and determine which words people will use to find you on the internet and how you want to be found. Sometimes the keywords are not always what you would choose, however, they are what people would use to find you. Keywords and phrases are typically made up of 1 to 3 words and the ideal profile has 10 keyword phrases. If that seems like a lot right now, start small- itt is okay to start with 5 and add from there. Once you have your keywords, weave them into your story. You should do this AFTER you draft your story so you can flow with your ideas before worrying about keywords. If you need more help with keywords, we have a whole course you can reference in our Basic Social Jack Account.

Know Your Ideal Target

Think about your ideal audience: these are the people you want to attract and who you ideally want to do business with. You should be able to identify your ideal target at a very specific level: industry, title, type of company, geographic locations, size of organization, years in business, whatever matters most to you. Narrowing it down can be tough for many of us as we sometimes want to keep adding, however, the tighter you make your ideal target the better your story will be.  Plus, it will take less effort to generate new business or advance your career when your story is concrete and your target is narrow.

Update All Online Profiles and Websites

Even if you do not go into social selling, you should do this next step at least once a month for your own protection. First, Google your name and any variations. This could look like your name + your company name, your job title, etc. When you Google your name, you are looking for things that you are NOT aware of and making sure that all your Social Media profiles, websites and content are in alignment with your new brand (story). Look over at least the first two pages of your search results. The first things that should appear are any Social Network accounts, websites and high-traction videos. You can simply replace your old profiles with your newest profiles or update the information across platforms, but you absolutely want to delete any old, invalid profiles.

Next, set up Google Alerts with your name, brand names, company names, etc. With this free tool, you can have Google alert you at the frequency you desire (we recommend daily) any time your name pops up on the internet. I actually do this for my entire family! You will need a Gmail account to set this up, but that is also free.

Access our slide deck HERE

Engage In Relevant Online Conversations

Anywhere online — blogs, video, pod casts, Social Media sites, online news articles, etc. — make sure you get your name and your brand attached to the content that’s most relevant to your story and that fits the keywords you want to be known for. This will take some practice. You can also engage (like, comment, share, retweet, etc.) with the content of other thought leaders. This will give you reach and visibility into their Social network, which can only be good for you. See the 7 likes and 3 comments on the post below. On average, this would reach thousands of views in news feeds as people keep engaging. Keep playing with this and have fun; it’s networking right from your smartphone.

In Summary

It might seem like you have a long way to go, but remember you can start right now with these first few steps. It only takes a few hours to make basic changes and get out of the gate. If you don’t like where you’re starting from, you can make simple adjustments as you grow.  Just remember any time you make changes to one profile you should make the same changes across your other profiles, too. Also, remember to do this with others! Our goal is that you take what you have learned and someone else; you are never alone- nor should you be! If you need further resources, check out our Free Resource Center at Social Jack. You can access our Free Resource Center by signing up for a Basic Social Jack Account plus browse the worksheets and classes currently available.

We will see you (and your story) online!

We hope to see you in one of our next classes!

Join us for our next Online Flash Class: Personal Branding and Storytelling – How to Rock Your Digital Presence

Register HERE

Notice I titled this ‘Social Influencer’, not ‘Social Media Influencer’. In our Social Influencer Marketing programs, we believe that it is our job to have our clients become Influencers in their world, and Social Media is one vehicle for making that happen. Let’s see if you agree or disagree with me after this article…!

First, a definition: an influencer is, simply put, someone who carries influence over others. An influencer on social media wields influence through social media. You probably know that word-of-mouth is one of the valuable forms of marketing; in our digital age, word of mouth goes way beyond what friends and family recommend to you, and that’s where influencers come in. No matter who you are, if you’re a thought leader in your network, people think of you and come to you first.

Becoming a thought leader in your network is a process, and our standard plan for our clients has about 20 steps, but here, I want to give you the top five things that could give you a head start down this path, something to think about and gain some traction. Even if you do nothing more than this, you will be further ahead than when you started.

Even if you’re not aiming to be a solution provider, becoming a social influencer can help you advance your career; we actually teach this as part of our career advance program in universities. On a corporate level, showcasing a company’s culture on social media can build the company’s reputation. Even more, employees can become corporate advocates – you can empower staff members to share their own insights about their work on their own social media feeds!

#1 – Pick your niche or focus

To be an influencer people need to really be able to easily digest what you can and will do for them — how you will serve them and solve their problems. You are most likely a solution provider of some sort. If you can clearly address a need that your target audience has, and match the skills you have to what you can provide, then you’re well on your way. Make sure your solution speaks directly to their need so that you are addressing the lowest common denominator of the problem at hand.


Say you’re an accountant. There are thousands of accountants, what makes you different, what is your niche in this very crowded world? I have a friend who over the years has forged his reputation in property tax savings. He completed his law degree and represents his clients from both an accounting and legal perspective. While he has enough knowledge to do your taxes and many other services, he decided over 20 years ago to pick a specialty and maintain that position. He is now one of the most recognized property tax attorneys in Chicago and has a limitless flow of referrals. We are now looking at how to add the social media component to take him to the next level. You might be this same position. Once you know your focus, you’re ready to move to the next step.

#2 – Subscribe and Monitor The Competition

While you may not think there is any, there is always competition. How to find them? Simply Google search either by need or solution discussed previously, then look for blogs, webcasts, podcasts, and other sources of information. This will give you a perspective on how to either refine your message or, if nothing else, what to do better or what not do. This will only make you better. You can also set up Google Alerts with those words of ‘need’ or ‘solution’ as mentioned earlier, names of competitors, even your own name(s).

To setup a Google Alert you will need a gmail account and be logged into google, then simply go to: , add as many words or phrases as mentioned above, define the frequency, and you’ll be alerted when this news hits the Internet.

Once you do find competitors or colleagues, make sure you subscribe to them and block out regular time to review the information you glean. This will only make you better.

#3 – Define Your Social Channels

You will never master all channels, so you need to really think of where your ideal target spends the most of their time, and decide what you can manage. We manage channels for many clients who want to be influencers and don’t have the time to make that happen, so you can consider that as well – hire and pay for assistance or find a volunteer help to build and manage. You can also reference our slide deck listed below.

Remember when doing this: one tip is to simply ask your clients where they spend their time on social media. This will give you a great start to making that choice.

#4 – Look like a thought leader (a.k.a. Social Influencer)

Please reference one of my last blog posts on Personal Branding, this is the critical next step. Google yourself and see how your digital footprint represents your position in the market place. Most likely, social media sites like LinkedIn, videos and personal websites with your name will be at the top. You’ll want to make sure the first two pages identify that ‘solution’ niche you selected in step one. Be sure to update all your profiles and remove or rename any content that is not relevant. Your past will catch you up here, so be sure to search, scan and clean it up! Mark your calendars at the first of the month as a reminder to yourself to do this on a regular basis; we create more social profiles by accident than we know!

 #5 – Turn on your content machine – remember your focus!

Okay, don’t get overwhelmed here, but you’ll need to schedule and start posting relevant content about your niche, your focus. This can consist of videos, blog posts, podcasts, interviews, slide decks (like we have done above), photos, articles you write or are featured in, and anything else that can live on the internet. Remember, when you are posting any content, tie it back to your social media sites and websites, and always make sure you include client’s need and the solution you provide. One of the simplest tips here is that you can add videos, slides or articles to your LinkedIn profile. If you author something, make sure to claim it, add it to your profiles, websites, and then post about it on your social media channels. And if you do work with a partner like us, make sure you communicate to your partners and trusted allies that you are posting and want their support to jump into the conversion online with you.

In Summary – you are an influencer – time for the next level!

You are all influencers; sometimes, as we develop and migrate, we get lost in the shuffle of our business or lives, and we need to regroup, focus, reclaim our position, and tell the world. The great news is that Social Media allows us to do this faster and more efficiently than ever before. There are also millions of other people trying the same thing. The important thought to remember is to not get overwhelmed, start with these simple steps, and if you need help, ask those around you for support. If you would like to have a conversion with us, just email me and let’s set something up, you might be closer than you think.

To hear more on this subject, you can listen to a recent podcast where I was interviewed on Influencer Marketing: “Turn Attendees Into Super Fans Using Influencer Marketing with Dean DeLisle


Social Jack™ is also a proud sponsor of the Virtual Event: Best Practices in Influencer Marketing, which will be taking place on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017.


Can’t wait to see you looking good as a social influencer online soon! – Dean

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Google Sends Warnings to Mobile-Unfriendly Sites

Get a mobile plan today — leave your competition behind tomorrow!

Last week, Google sent tons of warnings to websites that have “critical mobile usability errors”.

Although these were just warnings and they don’t mean a penalty, it may be high time to refresh your knowledge of what makes for a mobile-friendly site and get a mobile plan before Google gets more serious about it (before it adds more weight to the mobile-friendliness ranking factor).

Why is mobile so important to Google?

Over the recent years, it has become obvious that the multi-screen Web will be the future (that is, the average Internet surfer will use several devices to complete a goal).

For Google, nearly 50% of all traffic is now mobile
This holiday season, 22.5% of all online sales were conducted on mobile devices
Over 80% of Americans second-screen using smartphones/tablets while watching TV
90% of users move between devices to accomplish a goal (which is mostly shopping)
Is mobile-friendliness affecting Google ranking yet?

No doubt, Google is deeply invested in motivating webmasters to step up their mobile optimization efforts.

  • Google now labels mobile-optimized sites “mobile-friendly” in mobile SERPs
  • “Mobile-friendly” sites get a slight ranking boost (Google is believed to be testing this now)
  • Google said they were ready to downgrade sites misconfigured for smartphones

So, why wait? With all these signals coming straight from Google, it’s best to get a mobile strategy now — and stay ahead of the curve in the future!

5 Steps to making your site mobile-friendly

Here are the steps to take to ensure your site is free of serious mobile issues and that you have a clear strategy to execute long-term.

1. Learn where you stand in terms of mobile

Test your site using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. There, you may get one of the following 2 results:

  • Your site is mobile-friendly
    Which means that you probably have a mobile plan already and have nothing to worry about.

  • Your site fails the mobile-friendliness test
    Quite often, the reasons for this are:
    – Text too small to read
    – Links too close together
    – Mobile viewport not set Learn more

By default, smartphone browsers lay out a page as if you were viewing it on a desktop monitor. This way you end up with the scaled-down version of a page that’s hard to read without zooming in. In order to get the browser to render your page at a more readable scale, you need to use the viewport meta element:

<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″>

More information on this can be found here.

So, if your site fails to pass Google’s mobile-friendly test, move on to the next step.

2. Choose your mobile solution (if you don’t have one yet)

When you decide on a long-term mobile plan, there are several options you get.

Easy to
You content is consistent across all devices Cost-effective Easy to provide a custom experience for mobile users
*Responsive web design (recommended by Google)
The same website is served on all devices, but the page adapts its layout to each device.Although this is considered the most elegant solution these days, it may be not your best bet if your site was built before the iPhone era — in this case it might be easier to set up a mobile site from scratch.
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Dynamic serving
The user’s device is detected and one is presented with a custom page created specifically for that device.
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A separate site for mobile users
Mobile users are redirected to another, mobile-specific URL. Tablet users are shown the desktop site.
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A mobile app
A separate application is created for mobile users. This option is often used in combination with any of the above.The mobile app is a total usability winner: 89% of mobile media time is spent on apps, and 11% – on the mobile web.
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3. Adhere to mobile optimization best practices

Remember the “mobile-friendly” label that appears in mobile SERPs? For your website to be eligible for it, it has to meet the following criteria (as detected by Googlebot):

Your site avoids software not common on mobile, like Flash The majority of mobile browsers do not render content that uses Flash. Here’s what you could use instead.
You use text that’s readable without zooming First, configure a viewport to make sure fonts are scaled as expected across various devices. Once you’ve done that, implement the additional recommendations regarding fonts on this page.
Your page sizes content to the screen so users don’t have to scroll horizontally Create content that flows in the viewpoint so that your visitors don’t have to scroll horizontally to see the entire content. You can do this by sizing content to viewpoint.
You place links far enough apart to aid tapping Avoid cramming too many touch elements into one page segment or making them too small. Google recommends a minimum tap target size of roughly 7mm, or 48 CSS pixels on a site with a properly-set mobile viewport.

For those using WordPress, Joomla, etc.

If you use an out-of-the-box CMS on your site (as opposed to hand-coding it from scratch), here are some mobile optimization recommendations for sites that run on WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, vBulletin, Tumblr, DataLife Engine, Magento, Prestashop, Bitrix and Google Sites.

4. Avoid these mobile design mistakes

Once you’ve chosen the solution that best suits your goals and budget, here are some common mobile optimization mistakes to avoid.

  • Do not block JavaScript, CSS or image files
    Google has long advised SEOs against blocking these asserts (let’s say, in robots.txt), as this may result in poorer rankings for your mobile as well as your desktop site. To make sure these are not blocked, perform the Fetch as Google test in Google Webmaster Tools. Learn more
  • Avoid putting up unplayable content
    Mobile browsers may have problem with license-restricted content or content that requires Flash or an uncommon player to be installed. It’s best to avoid these to improve mobile user experience. Learn more
  • Set up your redirects properly
    In regards to mobile, faulty redirects are any redirects that point the mobile user to the wrong equivalent of the “desktop” URL. Usually these issues would be reported in Google Webmaster Tools. Learn more
  • Watch out for mobile-only 404s
    Sometimes a page that loads perfectly fine on desktop returns a 404 on mobile. The best practices is to ensure the respective mobile page is not a 404 and to always redirect mobile users to mobile equivalents of your desktop pages. Learn more
  • Don’t push users to download your app aggressively
    If you have an app you’d like to advertise to mobile users, this should not be done in such a way that it prevents users from browsing your content unless they download the app. This can cause indexing issues and cause users to have a poor experience on your site. Learn more
  • Check for irrelevant cross-links
    If you use a separate mobile site, check its internal links for consistency. Make sure those internal links go to mobile-optimized pages, not to their desktop counterparts (such as your desktop-optimized homepage, for example). Learn more
  • Make sure your page isn’t too slow
    Speed is a crucial factor on mobile (in part because mobile browsers can’t handle bulky pages as effortlessly as desktop browsers). Hence, test the speed of your site for mobile users and improve on it, if necessary. Learn more

5. Use these tools to improve your mobile rank

So, even if your site is mobile-friendly and meets Google criteria, does it mean it will automatically get top ranking in mobile search engine? Well, nope. You’d still need to optimize your mobile website/application to promote it in mobile search or in an app store.

Mobile SEO basics

In addition to covering the mobile web design basics mentioned above, pay attention to the purely SEO-pertaining optimization aspect.

  • Mobile-focused keyword research
    Perhaps you should use slightly different keywords for your mobile site/app than you use for your desktop site? Head to Google’s Keyword Planner and choose the Mobile trends view to find out:

  • Add mobile URLs to your Sitemap
    In order to indicate that some of your URLs serve mobile web content, particular syntax should be used. Please note that URLs serving multiple markup languages can be listed in a single Sitemap. After you add your mobile content, submit your Sitemap to Google as usual.
  • Track organic rankings in mobile SERPs
    Did you know Rank Tracker could track organic rankings of your site in major mobile search engines? Because the majority of mobile search activity occurs on Google anyway (yes, even on the iOS), this is often more than enough to get an idea of your site’s standing in organic mobile SERPs:

ASO (app store optimization) basics

Because 63% of app downloads come through app store search, it’s also a great idea to optimize for higher positions in either Google Play (Android) or Apple’s iTunes (iOS) app store.

  • App store optimization ranking factors
    – Keywords in app title (here’s a nice tool that pulls App Store keyword suggestions from the autocomplete)
    – Keywords in app description
    – Using a nice icon (to increase downloads, which will help ASO)
    – Use the correct type and category
    – Strive for higher ratings and better reviews
    – Try to get more downloads
    – Pro tip (HT to John Rampton): use a Google+ plugins on your app page, since +1’s help your rank in Google Play.
  • App store rank trackers

Here are some tools you can use to check where your app ranks among Android or iOS apps.


Over to you

So, are you ready for some serious mobile optimization work? Or perhaps your website is already perfectly optimized for mobile and works like a clock? Please, share your insight and experiences in the comment section below!