Putting Your Face On

by Michael Benidt on January 17, 2009

My mother always said, “I have to put my face on before I go out” (in public). Perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your social networking success is to put your face on ZoomInfo.com. Why? Let’s take Ian Griffin as a for instance.

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ZoomInfo.com is one of the most important online business resources on the Internet. You’ve likely run across this site without realizing it when you search for almost anyone.

They use sophisticated web mining technology to find the latest contact information about people. But, that’s also why folks with a common name, a varied work history or very little web presence might find their information in need of more than just a face.

And, that’s why it is crucial for you to check your contact information on ZoomInfo.com.

SO STOP! Yes, stop reading this article right now and look yourself up. It’s likely that the information ZoomInfo lists about you could use some grooming. Just be sure you are in the “Find People” tab when you look yourself up:

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Are you back? Yup, I thought so. Your picture looks just like the knobby little man below, doesn’t it?

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So, you’d better put your face on! Ian did – and now his photo looks like the one at the beginning of this article.

But, that’s not the least of it. Ian Griffin also corrected his work history, added his association relationships (he’s president of his National Speakers Association chapter this year) and made sure that the other information about him was correct.

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He also added a professional biography to further clarify his credentials. Totally legal:

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If you don’t correct your own ZoomInformation, how will anyone know which “you” is “you.” Big deal, I hear you saying. Well, that’s a big mistake.

Think about it. So far we’ve left out a little secret. We’ve only introduced you to the free version of ZoomInfo.

But, they also offer reasonably priced, but robust tools like PowerSearch, ZoomExec, PowerSell, ZoomLists and more. These allow their subscribers incredible power to identify prospects by zip code radius, job title, company name and about 47,000 other cool criteria. We’ve written about this aspect of ZoomInfo in “The Butch Cassidy Approach to Sales Calls.”

Now, one last clarification before you hurry away to fix your ZoomInfo profile. Who do you think shells out for sophisticated contact databases like this?

I’ll give you a minute….

Yes, you’re right!! – human resource departments, sales directors, top executives, recruiters, meeting planners, speaker agencies and, well, you get the picture.

So, this is the last question, class. Do you want Mr. Knobby Figure to represent you with the folks who have the money, make the hiring decisions and might just provide you with your next big break? Or, do you want your profile to be groomed and looking its best, like Ian’s?

And, if you’re still not convinced, even by doing your own vanity search, consider reading what Meridith Levinson had to say January 9th in CIO Magazine: “The Two Websites Every Job Seeker Needs to Join.”

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To be clear, Ian Griffin is not looking for a job. He already has several, thank you. But, as someone very wise once said – you should start your job search as soon as your get your new one. And, in this economy, who can argue with that?

So, before you head back out into the online world, for goodness sakes, remember my mother and put your face on!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Graeme Thickins January 18, 2009 at 5:43 am

Great post, Michael. Or was it Sheryl…or both?

You guys are doing a great service to job hunters with this. I love your line, “you should start your job search as soon as your get your new one.” More true today than ever, isn’t it?

“Jobs” today are so fleeting. Online networking is so critical in our times, as face-to-face networking has always been. He or she who masters both wins. Simple as that.

A recent blog post, by Chris Brogan I believe, nailed it…entitled something like, “You Are the President of Your Own Career.”

Thanks for helping steer people to resources — me included! I didn’t remember if I’d “put my face on” at ZoomInfo yet — but, because of you, I checked, found that I had, and also verified that my info there was up-to-date… amazing up-to-date, in fact! It even included a three-month gig I just wrapped up two weeks ago! And I’m now on the prowl for my next gig…

But I’m always comforted by one simple truth: there’s an amazing world of opportunity out there for the well connected!

cheers,
Graeme
http://www.twitter.com/graemethickins

Michael Benidt January 18, 2009 at 6:56 am

Hi Graeme,

Very good lead on Chris Brogan’s article which is at:
http://www.chrisbrogan.com/you-are-the-president-of-your-career/

As Chris would say, “Read the whole thing.”

I like his comment:
“Accept that you have to invest in yourself, and that just waiting around for others to think about your career or invest in it isn’t really going to net you much.”

Artie Isaac January 18, 2009 at 7:08 am

This is a great recommendation and — for many of us — a great reminder to return to ZoomInfo and make sure our information is current.

When I returned I saw that more than a dozen of my activities (board memberships, employment) were listed under different profiles (all showing up in search as “Artie Isaac”). I easily and quickly merged them all.

If you are busy and living a variety of lives, you might want to merge your activities on ZoomInfo.

Tidy! Onward!

Sam Richter January 18, 2009 at 8:04 am

Your article is a great example of how you can manage your own online reputation. Thanks for sharing.

Michael Benidt January 18, 2009 at 8:07 am

Thanks Artie,

Being one of the busiest Renaissance men of the 21st Century, you’ve run into something many other readers will – bunches of different profiles. As we say, which “you” is “you?”

One clarification, though, changes made to ZoomInfo can take a few days – so don’t look back immediately and think it didn’t work.

Also, as Meredith Levinson points out in her article in CIO Magazine – you’ll be giving them your credit card. They won’t charge you anything – but think about it – they need to know that you are you. Not a good Internet where someone else can “edit” your profile.

Yeah, you had to think about it, didn’t you?!

Anyway – we visited the ZoomInfo headquarters when we were in Boston and if anyone reading this wants to connect to them – just give us a holler. Good folks.

And, by the way, Artie has started a social networking site for speakers that we will be reporting on soon – likely over on our HiddenSpeakerTreasures.com blog.

Thanks Artie.

Chris Boyer January 18, 2009 at 8:20 am

Good article, Michael. ZoomInfo is just one of many other sites that you should use to moniter and enhance your online reputation. It’s interesting how so many sites out there scrape information about you from the web, and try to present accurate profiles about people. From Plaxo, to LinkedIn, to Facebook (yes, Facebook!!!), to Twitter (yes, even Twitter!!!!) – HR administrators will use all of these to determine an accurate portrait of you – well before the first interview!

Interestingly enough, I checked the status on my ZoomInfo profile, and no one else (outside of myself) has viewed it. So, I would rate ZoomInfo lower down in the list of priorities…but still in the top ten.

Michael Benidt January 18, 2009 at 8:53 am

Hi Chris,

Chris is doing cool stuff with health care companies and doctors – empowering them with social media.

Just remember that it’s not a numbers game – it’s a quality game and a connections game.

thanks, Chris

Michael Benidt January 18, 2009 at 8:57 am

Thanks Sam,

You snuck in there before I could comment. Sam Richter is the past president of the James J. Hill Business Reference Library. He knows online stuff and you couldn’t use a better example to pattern your ZoomInfo profile after.

We’ve wrote about him last year on this blog:
http://goldencompass.com/blog/you-can-kiss-your-competitors-goodbye/

Thanks, Sam

Jim Doman January 18, 2009 at 11:27 am

Gracias, Michael. I updated LinkedIn just last week but didn’t think of ZoomInfo.

Michael Benidt January 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Jim Doman and his buddies are like many of us – just too busy doing good stuff to hang out much on the social networking sites. In his case he’s making cool videos for companies, small businesses and speakers – so look for him soon at his studio (near you!). New West Media it’s called – http://www.newwestmedia.tv/

thanks Jim,

Ian Griffin January 19, 2009 at 1:44 am

Michael & Sheryl – Many thanks for featuring my profile in your explanation of the features of Zoominfo. Before the web came along I used to think I had a distinctive name – not so! There’s other Ian Griffin’s out there including a famous astronomer and a well-known English musician. So it was useful to ‘claim’ my name in Zoominfo.

One feature I’ve just discovered – on the public profile it says my public profile was created using 61 online sources (in the box on the upper right-hand side of the screen). I was intrigued to see these listed and to be able to access the various websites where stuff from my blog and articles I’ve written have been posted.

Keep up the great work

Ian

Michael Benidt January 19, 2009 at 10:28 am

Thanks Ian,

It’s often hard to get folks to “volunteer” to be featured in our articles. They’ve got to trust that we will treat them fairly – and these days that’s a lot of trust to give to a blogger.

So, we’ll use this chance to say thank you to the many, many generous people over the last couple of years who have let us “use” them as examples in both this blog and in our HiddenSpeakerTreasures blog – and in our workshops.

Seth Godin said it best in response to those who suggested he place ads, charge a fee for or otherwise monetize his blog. He said (and we agree):

“Not only can’t I imagine charging for my blog, I’m practically in debt to the people who read it. I ought to pay them, not the other way around.

Every time you read something I write here, you’re giving me a gift… attention. It’s getting more precious all the time, you have more choices every day, and it’s harder and harder to find the time. I know. I’m grateful. I’m doing my best to make your attention worth it.”

Judy Sabah January 19, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Wow, Michael and Sheryl,

This has been the best 6 minute “workshop” I’ve been involved in for a long time! Very valuable and has inspired me to get the correct info on this site. Thanks so much.

Sheryl Kay January 20, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Thanks, Judy!

We appreciate your continued enthusiasm and positive energy. Was it really 6 minutes?! We’ll have to work on our timing!

John Assalian January 30, 2009 at 9:14 am

Nice post. ZoomInfo is one of those sites I have seen a million times – but never paid attention to. At least for my company, they got it all right which is encouraging.

Michael Benidt January 30, 2009 at 11:19 am

Thanks John,

I’m thinking that rock stars like you guys at Viewstream (http://www.viewstream.com/) are famous enough for ZoomInfo to get you right. Did you put your face on? I know it takes a few days for it to update – but you still look like a little knobby man (or Gummi Bear, as we heard recently).

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