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Online Reputations Grow With Just a Middle Initial

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Credit: Pixabay Creative Commons license

Online reputations help build online brands. Publishers and marketers can enhance both of them with a simple step involving their own names.

My existence in life is unique, but my name is not. The world has many people named Scott Bateman. No one with that name controls their reputations and personal brands when so many other people have the same name.

The problem has consequences in online media of all types. If someone does a search on a name, they may discover content about many different people who all have the same name.

What if — and this happened to me — one of those other Scott Bateman’s posted the “f word” and other foul language on a series of offensive blog posts. Will my boss, friends, relatives, clients, co-workers and other acquaintances think that I did it?

The solution is quite simple: Always use a middle initial. It builds both online brand and online reputation.

Taking Control

When I started using a middle initial on everything, I took control of my brand and reputation. Search engine results on my full name have become much more accurate.

My “author” authority increased along with my rankings. My online audience curiously drifted up. The guy with the potty mouth went away. I now have 6,000 “exact match” listings in the Google search index and countless more in the image database (and growing).

Add your middle initial to the following list of personal online profiles for the sake of protecting and enhancing your online brand and reputation:

  • Social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • All blog and website postings (if any)
  • Google account
  • Yahoo! Account
  • Bing account
  • Forum profiles
  • Amazon account
  • Photo accounts such as Flickr and Wikimedia
  • Any website account that has a public profile

The Branding Process Continues

Months after starting the process, I’m still finding ways of adding my middle initial and building my brand and online reputation. For example, I take quite a few photos for my travel website. The photos include a copyright and credit. I recently realized I hadn’t added the middle initial to the credit line. It is increasing the number of photos associated with me in the Google image database.

Most of the work on this simple online promotional tactic is an easy one-time effort. It also becomes a habit. But other opportunities show up in time.

Adding a middle initial to a name is a simple step with obvious benefits to reputation, branding and credibility.

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