How to write your Google Profile

What is a Google Profile?

Do you want to increase your visibility using whatever means are available to you on the Internet? If the answer is yes, then please read on. If it is no, hit the back button. If it is maybe, go here until you decide.

I decided that I DID want to be found, but the problem was I share a name with a guy that is a Grammy winning songwriter. A formidable hurdle you might say, but I say "That ain't no hill for a climber." As you might have guessed, I've figured out how to get found anyway.

Google profiles are connected to all of your Google accounts. The information can be shared between Blogger, Analytics, YouTube and probably all of the Google Apps. If you have a Gmail account, you already have a profile, you may just not know how to edit, manage or publish it. To get started, go to www.google.com and login. Then click on +YourName, scroll over the dropdown menu on the left hand side and click profile.

Your Name

You can change your name by clicking on it on your profile page. If you click +more options, you can also change your nickname.

Your name matters. You should use your first name if possible, but don't put your first name in the First Name field if nobody knows you by that name. For example, my name is James Stanley Bush, but everyone that likes me calls me Stan. The only times I've heard "James" in my life were when:
  1. It came out of the mouth of someone who doesn't know me at all, or 
  2. My mother was really mad at me and would use my whole name. "JAMES STANLEY BUSH," she'd say, and I'd know I was in deep doo-doo. 
When I first set up my profile, I used my first name. When I finished setting up my profile, I did a search for "Stan Bush" and guess what...I was nowhere to be found. After changing my profile name to "Stan Bush", I showed up at the bottom of the first page results. This is pretty good considering I have a lot of competition on search engines when it comes to my name. Don't forget the Grammy winning songwriter/singer whose mom had the same idea as mine.

If you think people are going to look for you as pootypants051, be prepared to consider using that in the Nickname field or the Other Names field in the Basic Information section. Just don't waste it in the First Name field. I think you'll regret it.

The Basics

The following is a list of general information you should consider including in your profile. If you want, you can make a list of the information now so you can quickly enter it in when you go through your profile.

  • Work information: Let people know what you do for a living, what skills you possess and where you have worked in the past. This information is important if you want to be found by someone looking for your services. 
  • Education: What schools have you attended and what did you study? 
  • Where you grew up and where you live now: Help people make sure they've found the right person in case a Grammy winning songwriter shares your name. You can include as much or as little info as you are comfortable sharing. 
  • Birthday: If you're not sure about this one, call your mom. :-) 

A Little Personality

The Story section is a great place to introduce yourself and let some real you shine through. This is one of the most important profile sections, in my opinion.
  • Tagline: If you could describe yourself using only a short phrase, what would you say? Give this some real consideration. 
  • Introduction: Now that you've lured them in with your awesome tagline, they want to read more. You should discuss: 
    • What you do: What is it that people know you for? 
    • Who you like working with: What kind of customers do you do your best work for and what type of business do you want to do? 
    • How you do what you do: Let people know a little about your process and what it would be like to work with you. 
    • Why should people use your services? 
  • Bragging Rights: Use this field to add even more interest. You may state something you are proud of or something that is just plain interesting or fun. 
That's it! Try not to make this section too long, but make sure it is long and detailed enough that readers will think, "I need to do business with this person!" 

Links

Google has been nice enough to allow us to link to other websites that are relevant to who we are and what we do. You will definitely want to complete this section of your profile.
  • Other profiles: Use this section to link to your social media profiles, such as Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Contributor to: If you contribute to any blogs or websites, this would be a good place to include links. 
  • Links: Anything else you would like to link to can be included here. Think your website or other websites you like to frequent. 

Contact Info

This profile section is rather straight forward. All you really need to do is fill in the requested information. You have the ability to choose who you want to see your information right where you enter it in. You can choose different permissions for your home and work info.

You may choose to include home or work:
  • Phone numbers
  • Addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Cell phone numbers
  • Fax numbers
  • Pager numbers (seriously)
  • Instant messaging
    • AIM
    • Google Talk
    • ICQ
    • Jabber
    • MSN
    • NetMeeting
    • QQ
    • Skype
    • Yahoo

Photos

Last, but certainly not least...you're going to want to include some photos. A decent headshot and cover photo are essential. If you would like, you can also head to the Photos section of your profile and upload any pictures you'd like people to have access to.

Wrapping Up

It is not possible to create a one page blog on all of the best practices for setting up your Google profile. There are many more things you will need to do, including verifying your name. We may get to some of that in future articles.

From the Author
I've spent a lot of time over the last 20 years on the Internet. When I say a lot, I mean a LOT. Ten hours a day is a light day for me. Most of the time I start at 5AM and continue to work until after midnight, only to sleep for a few hours, if I can manage. I sleep for 4 or 5 hours then get up and start it over again.

One of the things I realized many years back is that preparation is extremely important. Even though I followed and lead some of the best thinkers concerning where this "information super highway" was headed, I sometimes failed to plan out things that would have brought me more personal and financial satisfaction. If you haven't guessed, I now take the time to prepare and plan ahead.

If you've found this article, I hope that you read, enjoy and use some of the advice given from someone who used to ignore the obvious and take a more difficult path. That way you can spend less time smelling other people's fertilizer like I did and more time smelling the roses along the way.
 
There will always be those that say you shouldn't be doing any of this. If I were afraid of my shadow or other things that go bump in the night, I would agree. Those same people were the ones that called me crazy when I told them that they would be watching movies via an Internet connection...that was in 1996. My advice is to avoid those people and instead make new friends, find new clients and prosper. 
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Stan Bush's (Me) passions are marketing, music, research, reading, writing and listening. I provide various consulting services, as well as hands on implementation for proof of concept. I began writing Surfin With Stan in 1994 and was published in various Knight-Ridder newspapers. I am self employed. Sales Training And Networking on Google+