How Can SEO Build Your Personal Brand? Pt 1

June 9, 2011
posted by sheric

This guest post series is from my friend PJ Christie, a Producer of Marketing and Distribution (PMD) and expert SEO strategist. I am not an SEO strategist so I found his advice informative and easy to follow and I hope you will too.

I’m going to write this as a three part series. One of the problems with the topic is that I think every filmmaker wants to first know they can reach Page 1 on Google Search.  Part 2 Not every filmmaker wants to blog and be social so this part willl be for them. Part 3 will be more about how to build an integrated campaign to the creative project.

How Can SEO Build Your Personal Brand?

If you, the indie filmmaker, want to make sure that you have a Personal Brand, the place to start is know what Google is saying about you. I’m going to teach you how to get on page 1.

SEO means Search Engine Optimization. I’ve done it hundreds of times and I’m really good at it. Your Personal Brand. Your online reputation. It’s the same thing. But you can’t do it if you’re not on page 1.

The first thing you want to do is to actually search for your professional name in Google, and your goal is to own as many of the entries on the first page as possible with a positive image of you as a filmmaker. For those of you with an uncommon name that’s going to be easy. My clients are lucky in that regard.

It makes sense to begin with determining your official branded professional moniker. The one that will follow you through your career.  Ideally you should have accounts using the same name at:

IMDB – this is the most important for you long term
Google Profile

All of these sites will allow you to have a custom url using yourbrandedname. And you should have a website that uses that links out to all of these sites. Every time you comment on a blog, send an e-mail, put up an official movie site, you will use this. On each of these sites, you want to make sure all the personalized url’s are always used.

On, make sure that in the <head> content, you are optimizing the Title tag, the Description tag, and the Keyword tag to put your branded name first.

That looks like this:

<title>Your Branded Name – City, State</title>
<meta name=”copyright” content=”Your Branded Name, year” />
<meta name=”keywords” content=”your, branded, name, filmmaker, independent, movies” />
<meta name=”description” content=”Your Branded Name is a filmmaker based in City, State. My creative mission to blank, blank, and blank” />

You will own the page one listings assuming there is nobody with your name making movies. Now that you are using SEO, how will that build your personal brand?
I say focus on your creative mission. There should be no more than three and these are the foundations for your brand. For me, my personal brand is PJ Christie entrepreneurship, music, and marketing in Austin Texas. Everywhere you see my name online it is related to those three things.

Words of warning, generally speaking.

-Flash is not your friend.
-Choose one consistent method of contact that you can manage that is AOL e-mails are to be avoided at all costs.
-Be honest everywhere, don’t feel like you need to exaggerate or apologize for where you are in your career.
-It might not happen instantly, but within a couple weeks you should start to see improved rankings.
-Contrary to what some will say, it isn’t important to blog regularly when you have nothing to say. In fact, blogging for me is always secondary to creative and professional projects.
-You will leverage this personal brand at key times in your career.
-You may already have these social networks created. At a minimum each should have at least 3 pieces of content and your profile should be 100% complete.
-Every account should be managed by the same email address and use the same password.

If you are concerned with keeping personal and professional lives separate, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Filmmakers interested in building a personal brand on the web do not have the luxury of anonymity.

A good product is your best reputation.

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