Most people remain confused about how the Internet works, what kind of information they can find, and how to search. The biggest mistake I make when speaking about Internet marketing is to assume my audience knows more than they do. I forget that most people don't spend their lives online, like I seem to.
Although the background of my Toastmaster club is very diverse, everyone cares what type of information can be discovered about them online.
Like it or not, people are searching for you. Search Engine Watch reports there are 50 million proper names searches performed each day. So is someone searching for you? And if they are, what are they finding?
My speech "Your Brand Online" presented some easy and free sources of online information where people may find out about you, and how you can manage your brand online.
I had to fit the speech into Toastmaster's requirement of five minutes. This only leaves time for the basics. Here are some highlights:
* If you’re trying to find someone’s address or phone number sometimes the easiest way is to use a reverse phone book lookup such as Google (type the phone number like this into the Google search box (555-555-1212). You'll discover who the number belongs to, and often their address.
* Once you have an address, you can go to Google maps and get directions to the home.
* Next zip over to www.Zilliant.com where you can get the home's valuation. If a home happens to be for sale, type the address into Google and you'll often find an online tour, or photos, of the home provided by the realtor.
* To see what juicy details Google can find about you, type your name in quotes into the search bar, to narrow results, type your name followed by the city you live in.
* You can find consolidated personal information on a new generation of people search engines, such as www.wink.com.
* To find sex offenders in your neighborhood go to www.familywatchdog.com.
* Social networks such as, www.linkedin.com, allow you to shape your online brand.
* Managing online brands is a growing business. If you run into trouble, firms such as www.reputationdefender.com can help -- for a fee.