Personal branding

Ensure you can be found on Google for the right things

Andrew Ford, Social Star, how to be found on Google.png

The importance of Google when someone refers you to a colleague is vital to that new client contacting you.

Most people realise the importance of Google when applying for jobs or getting clients for their business, it's pretty obvious right. But from my experience of dealing with hundreds of business leaders, most don't know what Google says about them. So I ask you, have you Googled yourself lately? If you haven't, pause and do that now...

What did you find? Were LinkedIn and your website first and second links? If not, did your brand get confused with someone else with the same name? Perhaps you changed your name when you got married or moved countries or everyone knows you by your nickname. Maybe you can't be found at all!

In all of these situations, someone who doesn't know you, but has been referred for your service is making a snap judgment about you by what they find. So what do they perceive about you? If you can't be found, perhaps your not that good or successful. If there is negative links attached to your name, they might assume it is about you, when it isn't. If they got Facebook as the first link, does it help them make a decision to work with you?

They are likely to have had a few referrals for the service they want to purchase so you get about 5 -10 seconds to impress them. Or not...

You can't control their perception, but you can modify what they find in Google. In this, and the next few blogs, we will piece together a solution to this important problem. Here is the first few tips...

Do great work

Before you start to modify your Google links, it’s important to realise that you will only be recommended if you do great work. You need to delight your current clients, otherwise, they will not talk about you with enthusiasm. Without providing quality work as the basis for your referral, the Google effort will be wasted. So ensure you get this right first.

A great way to measure your referral readiness is to ask the ‘Ultimate Question’. This one survey question called the Net Promoter Score which trumps all others according to the creator Fred Reichheld, who wrote a whole book on the topic!

You can read a review of this book here, but to make it easy for you to adopt this method into your personal marketing, begin asking your clients this question:

‘Out of 10, how likely would you be to recommend me to your friend or client?’

If you score between 0-6, you get a negative point, 7-8 is neutral and 9-10 is a positive point.

Add them all together and you have an easily measurable score on how others perceive your work. This is a very short summary of a complex system, so check their website if you are interested in learning more.

Know what they are searching for

Most people don't realise that there are three ways clients can find you:

  1. Your name

  2. Your business name, and

  3. Your product name.

It's important you can be found for all three but it depends on the type of business you run. For service providers in 85% of cases, they will refer you by your name. e.g. your local accountant, business coach or lawyer. For mid to larger companies it might be a referral to the organisation such as KPMG. For other companies that are more product based it could be the product itself, such as the Key Person of Influence Program (KPI). All of these are service-based businesses, the difference is what emphasis the owners put on which element of their brands.

The most compelling brand arrangement is to be referred and respected for all three! A difficult task to be sure but one worth aspiring too if you have ambitions of building a large business in the future.

The classic example is Steve Jobs, Apple, and iPhone. Or more locally Daniel Priestley, Dent, Key Person of Influence. Jules Lund, Tribe, Tribe Influencer app. (Luckily I have written blogs about all three!)

It's best to understand what Google says about all three brands you have. Furthermore, if you have multiple businesses and many products you will have a lot more searches to be known for.

Let me illustrate what I mean by using my brand as an example. I am a consultant and thus deal directly with clients so get many referrals for my name 'Andrew Ford' so if you Google me, I will come upon page one for LinkedIn, my personal website and a few other links. There are photos of my image on the page and also a Google Business Listing on the right-hand side. Hopefully, if someone is looking for me, they can easily find me.

I also get referrals for my businesses "Social Star" and "BYOB Social Club". When you Google those words the websites come up first due to natural SEO as they are a direct hit for the search term and not many people have the same names. That is why choosing a name that you can 'own' on the web is so important.

However, when we get to product searches this is where it gets tricky. Social Star provides personal branding services and BYOB Social Club is a business networking group. If you Google those words we don't come up high at all! In fact, depending on the geographic location you search from and your previous browsing history, we might not appear.

Therefore, if we were getting referrals for our products only because we failed to create strong personal brands or business, we have to spend a lot of money to stand out from the competition on Google AdWords or Facebook marketing.

Plus, these referrals don't have a preference for our specific service. They only want a product so they are more price-sensitive and less loyal than someone who really wants Andrew Ford or Social Star.

It’s important that you can be found for all three searches so over the next three blogs we will provide details on how to maximise each one.  



PS Can't wait for the next blog to come out? Love your motivation! Head to our website and grab a copy of the eBook with all the content free here.

Free Your Time With e-ttraction

Andrew Ford, Social Star, e-ttraction blog

Had 'Mondayitis', 'Humpday' or said 'ThankGodIt'sFriday' then read on...

Working for someone else has it's benefits, stable pay, regular holidays and you can leave the stress at the office. don't have one thing that matters most. Control of your time.

Are you able to...

- Leave the office when you feel like it?

- Work with people who lift you up and inspire you?

- Do the type of work that fulfils you and makes you jump out of bed each day?

If the answer is no, perhaps it's time to consider a change.

Change is scary, but let's face the facts. The days of secure and long-term employment are behind us.

Over 50% of the workforce in the USA is contingent, (contracted not employed), and the trend is escalating in Australia. You are only one restructure away from being retrenched or 'downsized'. Artificial Intelligence, robotics and outsoucing job overseas is increasing dramatically.

So what's the alternative?

Be Your Own Boss 

What does freedom look like? It looks like being your own boss. You can still be employed but the difference is you are in control of your career, not your company.

What does freedom look like?

...freedom to see your kids when you want too

...freedom to work with people who share your values

...freedom to do the work you enjoy the most

In reality, we are all independent consultants selling our services for a price; it doesn't really matter if it's for one company (job) or many (business owner). The result is the same, you get paid for the level of value you add to the businesses you serve. However, one big difference is the control of your time.

Building your personal brand is the best investment you can make in your career.

How do you answer the question - "What do you do?" 

If you answer with your job title, how will you progress? How will someone see your full value?

Understanding your core value proposition and developing quality online branding assets around your value is the path to Being Your Own Boss, controlling your career and having freedom of time. 

But how?

After working with hundreds of corporate workers seeking more from their career, we developed a unique 12 step system to create your time freedom.

We call this system...e-ttraction = digital attraction.

The first step in the process is to understand what your compelling value proposition is and how to articulate it clearly. Your personal pitch.

On Monday, May 28th 6:30pm in Melbourne, I will be running a Pitch workshop to help you start the e-ttraction journey. Click here to see the details.

My mission is to empower everyone to follow their passion and work in a career they love. Each week I will be sharing parts of this method and examples of how it can benefit you so follow the journey with me to get ownership of your time.

Andrew Ford

The e-ttractionist

Build Your Own Business Part 1 - 'Focus on one thing'

This is the first of 12 blogs on how to Build Your Own Business. Too busy to read? I have a solution, listen to my matching podcast on the same topic click here - #BYOB podcast.

After working with hundreds of Corporate Escapees who want to leave their day jobs and build their own businesses, two things separate those who succeed and those who give up: focus & persistence.

Andrew Ford, Social Star, focus blog.png

But how do you choose what to focus on when you have soooo many great ideas!? I get it. I'm a super creative entrepreneur too. I have new ideas every time I shower or go for a run (or a few beers...). But without a focus on a single idea, none of them will develop into a sustainable business because you will not persist.

For those new to my work, the definition of a 'business' is that you are selling something and delivering it for cash. If you are not making money, sorry buddy, it's a hobby.


The way we help clients focus on one idea in their business is to align this idea (product, target market, campaign) with their highest core values. Then you will naturally focus as it's what you really want to do.

When we talk about values we are not discussing right and wrong, like The Ten Commandments style. It's how we prioritise our limited resources of time, money and energy. (Thanks for Dr John Demartini for the inspiration for my values work.)

The seven areas we review (in no particular order) are:

  1. Business, 2. Money, 3. Family, 4. Friends, 5. Health, 6. Education, 7. Spirituality

Of course, all of these values are important, but only the top 3 will drive our behaviour and choices. If your business isn't a top value it will be tough to develop a work rate sufficient to build a strong business as your other values will get in the way.

For example; let's say Family, Friends and Health are your top values and Business number 4. It's time to do those proactive sales calls or write your blog for the week. But you have to pick up the kids from school, then you are invited by a friend for a drink and you wanted to squeeze in a run too.

What do you do? Do you put your kids in after-school care, say no to your friend and do your run, or do you get your work done? When it's your own business you can choose how you spend your time as you are your own boss, but that is a double edge sword as you lack accountability.

If your highest value was Business you would choose to do the work, perhaps not all the time, but enough to make your business thrive. If you prioritise other areas of your life most of the time, you will not have sufficient time to run a sustainable business.

Once you know your highest values, ask yourself how this particular idea supports all of your values. Try to come up with 20 ways this particular business model, product, target market or campaign support your health, family, friends etc. Once you start matching your core values to your work, it's far easier to say yes to work and no to distractions.


It takes 10-12 hours a day 5 days a week to run a strong business generating an income to match a corporate job.

That level of effort requires persistence. Persistence comes from matching your 'Why' to your business. When you truly believe that your business will meet your long-term goals and values, you will have the inspiration to continue in the face of setbacks and challenges.

If you know that your business serves others, believe that it can make money to support you and confidence that you can do it, you will persist.

Dr John Demartini and Andrew Ford.jpg

Unfortunately, many people lack the strategy of how to build their own business, the process to build a successful marketing and sales campaign to get clients and motivation to do the work required to scale a business that is sustainable. Thus, they give up and chase another business model, create a new product or choose a different target market. But the underlying issue is they really haven't spent the time to figure out their 'Why' and understand their values to choose what to focus on and the reason to be persistent.

Most of the time the problem isn't in the business. All businesses have problems. The goal is to find the problems you enjoy solving. That takes internal work to discover your 'Why' and your values.


After going through it many times and coaching many clients through the same process, my advice on how to resolve this issue is to do a Values workshop. We do them at Social Star or you can find a good Demartini Facilitator to help you through the process.

By getting clear on these two areas you will significantly increase your chances of success in your business, because the only real way to fail in your business is to give up.

My advice on how to resolve this issue, after going through it myself many times and coaching many clients through the same process, is to do a Values workshop. We do them at Social Star or find a good Demartini Facilitator to help you through the process.

By getting clear on these two areas will significantly increase your chances of success in your business, because the only real way to fail in your business is to give up.

Check out this video here for more details - Demartini talks Values

Talk to Andrew regarding a Values workshop - Chat to Andrew

Authentic e-ttraction with David Draiman from the band 'Disturbed'

If you don't follow music trends or have been living in Melbourne and waiting on NBN to reach your house (thus no internet for a few years) you might not have heard of the Disturbed version of 'The Sound of Silence'. This Simon and Garfunkel classic from 1964 was recently rebooted by metal band to critical and public acclaim. In fact, it's been their biggest hit to date and opened up their music to a whole new generation. Not bad for a cover of an old soppy song.

5 ways to create e-ttraction from Google

Getting on the front page of Google is essential for business. But did you know that if you are a business Professional such as a Physio, Chiro, Lawyer, Accountant your name is what you need to be found in Google. Clients refer you by name to their friends and you need to be found when they search in Google, because they will! Learn my top 5 ways to get your name on top of Google.

First Chapter - "Creating a powerful brand" perfect to Build Your Own Business

First Chapter - "Creating a powerful brand" perfect to Build Your Own Business

‘Seek and you shall understand.’

Tao philosophy

In my favourite movie, The Matrix, machines have taken over the world and are using humans as batteries. In the film, the character Morpheus says a brilliant line to the newly awakened Neo: ‘Welcome to the real world.’

As in the 'Matrix': Everyone Fails the first time. Is this part of Building Your Own Business?

As in the 'Matrix': Everyone Fails the first time. Is this part of Building Your Own Business?

Coaching would help them see the bigger picture, connect the value dots and help them persist and get where they are wanting to go. The dilemma is only when they feel that this activity will reach their goals will they seek and respond to coaching and advice, but they need the coaching to see how it connects to their values! Chicken and egg situation right there.