Web Marketing Tools: What’s Your Reputation?

Andrew Lock


Today we’re looking at HowCast.com, and I imagine you’ve heard of this site.  It has tons of videos on how to do virtually anything: how to maintain your car’s tires; how to make a pregnancy belly cast — OK, that’s a little specialized; how to lay somebody off; how to interpret body language. 

The quality of these videos is pretty high.  Unfortunately for the filmmakers, they cover up the bottom third with ads but, you know, that’s how HowCast makes its money.

Videos are made by up-and-coming filmmakers, meaning the videos themselves are not necessarily made by HowCast.  In fact, you can make them.  If you are an up-and-coming filmmaker, you can join HowCast — they actually give you a script to shoot and graphics to go along with it. 

You shoot and edit the video and upload it to HowCast.  And if it’s successful, meaning if it goes online, they give you a few bucks — I think it’s $50 — and if it gets more than 40,000 views on HowCast, they’ll split the revenue with you from the ads that are overlaid on your video. 

So if you’re an up-and-coming filmmaker or you just like to make some videos, you might check out that aspect of HowCast.  And if you want to learn how to do most anything, HowCast has a whole library of videos that will get you started.

My Reputation

Did you know that 53 percent of Americans use search engines to find information about another person?  I don’t know what the stats are in other countries, but I suspect they’re very similar.  It’s true.  And, as you can imagine, sometimes what they find doesn’t portray you in the best light.  It could even be damaging to your business.

MyReputation.com screen shot; marketing tool
(Click for larger image)

My first recommendation is that you Google your own name and see what comes up on the first few pages of results — do that on all the search engines.  If you have a very popular name — for all those John Smiths, for example — you’ll obviously need to add some other keywords that relate to where you live or your industry, for example. 

Chances are that whatever you search for, there’ll be something that you don’t want other people to see about you.  And fortunately, there’s a nifty service that will help you manage what others reveal about you online.  It’s called My Reputation, and it’s the original and best service of its kind. 

There’s a modest monthly fee of less than $15, and the company will not only monitor everything that’s posted about you on the internet, but it will also send you monthly reports and  work fast to remove anything that you want removed.  I recommend that you watch the video that explains more about the service on the Web site, and then try it out.

Google Friend Connect

Welcome a name that you all recognize to the social networking business.  Everybody knows about Facebook and Twitter and a lot of the other social networks. Now the people at Google have gotten involved, but with a little twist — and it’s a really nice one.  It’s called Google Friend Connect.

First of all, they’ve allowed you to set up your own site and get it set up the way you’d like it.  You can take a site that you already have and enrich it just by adding some of the catalog of gadgets that they offer — or anybody else offers, for that matter.  You can make your site a lot more attractive for people to come in and visit and make contact and so forth.  You don’t really have to do any programming — they don’t make you do that.

Google Friend Connect screen shot; social networking
Google Friend Connect
(Click for larger image)

They offer a great little video, and it tells you all about how the site works.  You can take a look at it and it will walk you through the whole process– makes it a whole lot easier. 

Now, the big benefit is that anybody can get involved.  You can use your Google account, your Yahoo account or others.  The other nice thing that I really like is you can use your Google account, your Yahoo, AIM or Open ID account.  You don’t have to create something all brand new and it really makes it a whole lot easier. 

They’ve given you really spectacular example sites that you can look at, ways that you can set up your own account and all the little tools to do that.  Itt’s great to have these little pieces of the puzzle, and they’re all right here for you. I recommend that you go take a peek at Google’s latest entry into the marketplace. 

Obviously they’re the big leaders in network content, but take a look at Friends Connect.  It really is nice.

You’ll find lots more marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business Essential series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses “get more done and have more fun.”

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