a cup of coffee to get started profile building
There’s no such thing as dabbling in Internet marketing. You go at it or you don’t. There’s no in-between. Ok, maybe there’s a little in-between if your market is haphazard, but nowhere is there an excuse not to properly do the basic steps after you’ve established who or what you’re going to market. Those first steps? Own your brand name on the basic internet marketing, search engine, blogging and social media platforms. 

Why would anyone do that?

The reasoning is more than brand reputation and squatting, these tools will also help you track, support, and promote your brand in the top channels.
The list is the top twenty profiles we create for clients in the order we find them important with respect to ownership. We’ll also give some reasons why.

Four tips before we get started

  1. As we go along you’ll see that some of these accounts will allow you to login or create accounts with a Google, Facebook Yahoo! & or Open ID. Now, later on you can do this all you want and make it easier on yourself. But for now, the thing you want to do is create new logins for each platform.
  2. Use the same email for all the accounts. For our clients, we'll typically make either an accounts@, internetmarketing@...or like emails so they keep all the to-come email in the same spot.
  3. Write these usernames, emails and passwords in a safe place. We’d recommend a spreadsheet, either Open Office or Microsoft Excel.
  4. Make sure to read the bottom of this list because we’ll provide some incredible double-secret probation bonus tips to reinforce your brand’s name in the top channels.

The list of 20 Internet marketing profiles

The Top 5

  1. Google Account. We don’t think twice about this one being first. Why? Well, it’s definitely for more than a Gmail account - which killer in its own right.
  2. There’s only two active search engines in the world: Google & Bing. Google has 2/3rds of the search engine traffic. Bing gets about the other 1/3rd when one factors that they populate Yahoo!’s results. As for the rest, AOL & Ask.com get their results from Google. Here’s world-renown Bruce Clay's Search Engine Relationship Chart.
    • 1A - Once a site’s ownership is verified, Google Webmaster tools gives quite a bit of free data telling how well the site is performing in Google based on all the basic credentials. It also tells whether the site has been hacked or if Google thinks anything is going on with the site’s SEO that violates their terms of service.
    • 1B | Google Analytics - The best free analytics tool on the market. Google Analytics provides insight into website traffic, visitor demographic, how many viewers on on the site, keywords used to find the site, where visitors came from, how long they stay on....and for those who want to run lead generation and ecommerce, the Google Analytics ecommerce filter can track those demographics and line them up with successful lead & sales.
    Throw in YouTube, Google Adwords, Google+, Blogger, Reader, Picassa, Play, Calendar, Docs/Drive & the all importantBusiness Cloud tool Google Business Apps and one can almost get started with just the profile.
  3. Bing. As we said, Bing owns roughly 1/3rd of the Search Engine Marketing. And with Windows Live ID & Bing’s Webmaster which provides roughly the same tools for Bing’s system as Google Webmaster does for Google and you’ll see why we put this one second. Also, you can use this for AdCenter when it’s time for PPC.

  4. Facebook. We know, with almost 900 million users it almost feels like a crime to make Facebook 3rd. But Facebook is a closed system, and since most users already have an account. Facebook likes people to make Facebook Fan Pages for businesses but not business accounts. Then admin rights to the fan page can be filtered around. But if you want to make a facebook profile for business and make a fan page from it, we won’t tell anyone. This account should also be the one used for Facebook Ads marketing.

  5. Twitter. Even if the concept of a Tweet seems a bit foreign, the SEO and brand reputation aspects of Twitter make it essential for the #4.

  6. Yahoo!. Bing runs their search engine results. Bing runs their PPC platform. The SEO industry had a moratorium for what was their best tool, Yahoo! Site Explorer. But all things being equal, because Yahoo has its own mail and two very popular tools - the #1 picture sharing site Flickr.com & top social bookmarking tool Delicious, Yahoo! remains in our top 5, for now.

  7. The next 5 - SEO and blogging tools

  8. WordPress.com / WordPress.org - We’ll host them on BiziPorts if the client makes a convincing argument, but even though we prefer the advantages of BiziPorts, we still recommend owning your brand on WordPress. And, yes. Both .com & .org.

  9. Tumblr. It’s faded a little in and out regarding popularity but it can still be a great social sharing and reposting tool especially if you plan on focusing energy into your communities who frequent this space.

  10. Posterous. Yep. Another freemium blog platform. Get your name on here before your competitors do.

  11. TypePad / LiveJournal. One of the more vintage blog platforms. Get your name here.

  12. SEOMoz. For people who want to check the SEO quality of their web pages, SEO Moz has OpenSiteExplorer. Create a free login or else you can only view three pages at a time. There is also a nice Learn SEO tool for beginners. Now it’s a little outdated at least check but it’s a nice, general way to get a good picture. And while you’re at it, read the Google SEO Starter Guide.

  13. Social Media / bookmarking / news sites

  14. Linkedin. We picked the top ten to make sure you own the spaces. We didn’t say those spaces are where you’d most spend your time. So Linkedin lovers should realize that being 11th on the list doesn’t mean we think it’s the 11th most important. Once the profiles are created and the web presences starts being formulated, Linkedin will become a very essential tool for groups, discussions and networking.

  15. Gravatar. With many major websites using Gravatar and the like, owning your Gravatar profile is essentially. Set up your gravatar profile and every time you comment with your email address (put in Gravatar) or a commenting platform like Disqus (get this one too! NOW NOW NOW!), your gravatar image will appear in the thumbnail image next to your comment.

  16. Pinterest. Social Bookmarking stopped being really cool until a drag and drop (and an untempered offsite SEO benefit) brought it back into vogue. Welcome to Pinterest.

  17. FourSquare. Especially if you have a brick & mortar store competing in malls or with other shops, you want to own FourSquare. Offer specials, write back to those who check in...the list goes on. Get this.

  18. Reddit. Reddit is a fun one because if all you do is post your web content, blog posts and links to your site, on here, they’ll keep you from playing with the cool kids and you won’t be any the wiser. If you want to play here, make sure you spend a couple months just reading, commenting and liking other readers stories and then spend much more time doing that then sharing your own stuff. If you do, you can benefit from it down the road.

  19. Best of the rest

  20. Digg. Its popularity is falling faster than a loanshark debtee in a concrete coffin off the side of a boat because it made changes the core audience hated, but it’s still around. If you want to read and be active, you’ll find good stuff here. Be active on other people’s content for close to 3 months before trying anything here.

  21. Stumbleupon. This one is addicting. If you make content that’s intriguing or funny you’ll get crazy traffic in time. It’s still one of our favorites because it’s like playing a slot machine: push a button and you’ll never know what you get. Quality of traffic? Well, that’s still to be determined. Tagging is key here.

  22. Skype. Nowadays all the tools in Skype can be used in Google. For example, we use Google Hangouts for meetings because it’s free and easier to use that Skype. But somewhere someone is still using Skype and you’ll want ot do business with them. Make sure you own the name here - as well as personal accounts.

  23. Get Glue. It’s got its niche. Particularly good for online brands and product marketing.

  24. GoWalla. We really don’t use it much but we have folks who do.

Incredible double-secret probation bonus tips

  1. Own mispellings of your name on the platform
    • 1A - This gets exponentially more difficult the more names your brand is, but owning variations and mispellings of your name helps reinforce protection. Also, make sure you own the variations and mispellings of your companys URL.
    • 1B - Also Own your name with the following words attached:
      • "reviews”
      • "review”
      • "reviewed”
      • "scam”
      • "scams”
      • "rip-off”
      • "ripoff”
  2. If available, own generic keywords of your brand. If you’re in, for example, the French cat food market, get variations of the phrase "frenchcatfood,” & ...oh yeah, the French terms too. And while you’re at it, get these terms in misspellings and with "reviews...” and like words attached on the end.

It’ll be a lot of work...

...but ultimately the process will be worth it. Your brand will thank you for the front-end labor you’ll exert.
photo credit:  avlxyz via Flickr