Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Begin Building Your Personal Brand

I met and began a conversation with a man who is a consultant.  This conversation led to a discussion on social media and personal branding.  As we talked, the gentleman said that he did not see a need for social media, and was not sure if he understood personal branding.  After explaining to him that social media was extremely important for creating a personal brand for himself, he told me that I needed to convince him of that.  He didn’t realize what he was in for, as convincing skeptics of the need for using social media to build your brand is a challenge I love to take on.

I asked him for his name.  He told me without hesitation.  He watched as I began typing on my laptop.  I then turned the laptop toward him.  He looked a little confused, and asked what he was looking at.  I told him, 'I just Googled your name and this is what came up.'

What we saw were two different men, who shared his name, both of them were in orange jumpsuits (and I assure you the jumpsuits were not a fashion trend).  One man had been charged with murder.  The other had been arrested on stolen vehicle charges.  My new acquaintance was not found anywhere on the page.  He chuckled, and I began explaining to him how this could put his reputation in jeopardy. After listening to what I had to say, he admitted that he was now convinced that building your personal brand does matter.

Click here if you are ready to begin building your personal brand.

Read 3 reasons why your personal brand matters ...

Monday, October 15, 2012

How Do I Get A Web Address?

Recently, one of my LinkedIn training classes turned into a mini internet marketing session, and the very familiar question came up regarding obtaining a domain name.  I promised I would send the class participants information on how to register a domain name with GoDaddy along with a link for them to get a Google Voice number (I will write about how to get a Google Voice number in my next post).  What I did not have time to mention to them is their domain name could be as simple as their name ( or they could use their company name (  I also didn’t get to mention that if they are in business, it is a good idea to have an email address that contains their domain name instead of using an, or address.

Answer: Following are the instructions that I promised to send:

First, go to Type in the domain name of interest into the domain search box (such as GetAnswersToQuestions which you see in the example below). You may choose whether you want a .com, .co, .info, .net, .org, .me or .mobi, .us, .biz, etc. by clicking on the drop down arrow on the “.com” button on the search tool.  After you have selected the domain name extension, click the “GO” button.

If the domain name "is already taken", you will see a message such as the one you see in the next screen shot below (i.e., is already taken.)  You will also see an option to do a whois search or use GoDaddy’s Domain Buy Service to get the name by other means.  If you’d like more information on this click on the link GoDaddy provides.

If the domain name is available, you will see a message like the one you see in the following screen shot (i.e., is available.)  You are now ready to purchase your domain.  Click on the “Add” button.

Once you have clicked on the “Add” button, it will turn grey and now say, “Added.”  You may then proceed to the next step.

Click on the “Continue to Registration” button in the right column under Order Summary.

You will come to a page where you will be given a choice to create a GoDaddy account or log in if you already have a GoDaddy account.  This is Step 1 of the registration process.

Fill-in the required domain registration information.

Click on the "Next" button.

You will then see a check next to Step 1 “Domain Registration Information” indicating that this step is complete. Review the information listed under Step 2 “Your Domain Settings.”  Under this section you will see your domain name, registration length, registration contact information, and a section that reads certified domain.  The section that reads “Your Domain Name” gives you an option to view and edit all domains; under “Registration Length” click on the drop-down arrow and choose how many years you want to register your domain for; “Registration Contact” gives you the opportunity to edit your contact information; and “Certified Domain” allows you to have a certified domain name or an uncertified domain name.  When you are done, click on the “Next” button.

This will bring you to step 3 “Your Privacy and Domain Protection.”  Here you can select from three registration types (Standard Registration, Privacy with Business Registration or Protected Registration). This decision is totally up to you – you can choose to either keep your domain registration information private or make it public.  Public registration is free of charge.  Review the items in the left column and the items checked in each row under the registration types.  This will help you choose which domain registration type is best for you.

Keep working your way down the screen.  You will see that GoDaddy has provided you with several options that will help you build and host your website, help you get email addresses with your domain name as the extension, and help you protect your information.  Make your selections and click “Next” to continue.

This will bring you to a page prompting you to review your shopping cart.  This page will give you your domain registration details, quantity, any discounts that you received, total price, an option to add other domain extensions such as, .net, .org, or .info.  In addition, you will see your order summary.  You will want to review this information to make sure everything is correct, and that you have added matching domains if you wish.  When you are ready to checkout, click on the “Continue to Checkout” button.

You will now be asked to create a GoDaddy account for checkout.  You will notice that this page looks very similar to the page you used to fill-in your domain registration information in Step 1.  The difference is that one is used to make your domain registration information public in the Whois search database.  GoDaddy will use the other information for your payment and checkout information.  If you had a GoDaddy account prior to this purchase, enter your customer number or GoDaddy login name and password.  If not, fill-in numbers 1 through 4 of the “Create a New Account” section. Click on the “Continue to Checkout” button.

The next page will ask for your payment information.  Fill-in the information in numbers 1 through 4 and click the “Place Order Now” button.

That’s it!  Your order is now complete.  You are now the proud owner of a domain name!  Make sure you review the final page for the special offers that GoDaddy is giving to you.  These offers will help you get started on building your personal or business website, and getting an email address that includes your domain name, such as

2. What is GoDaddy?     
3. Whois Database

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Downloading Free Social Media Ebooks

While attempting to download a free social media ebook, I was prompted to install the iLivid program.  Big mistake!  I just spent about 2 hours trying to figure out how to remove this program and a toolbar called searchqu.

I discovered searchqu when I opened my Google Chrome browser.  Normally when I open Chrome, the first thing I see is my Google News page.  However, this time there was a blank page and was located in my address bar.  I immediately recognized that this was a problem.

I began the usual process of going to my Control Panel and uninstalling the culprit - the last program I had installed on my computer; in this case iLivid.  After I removed iLivid, I also uninstalled the Windows iLivid Toolbar, which when I clicked on its properties I saw searchqu toolbar listed.

I then went to Windows Explorer and performed a search on the words iLivid and then searchqu.  The search found an iLividv1(1).exe application, iLividv.exe, another iLividv.exe, and an iLividv1 player.  I deleted each of these along with a searchquband folder.

It was time to go to Google Chrome where I right clicked on the address bar and then clicked on edit search engines.  Under Default search options I saw a link, which was listed as the Default Browser ( - does the number 406 ring a bell?  You will find it in the searchq link above.)  I clicked x to delete it.  I moved my cursor over Google and clicked on Make default.  Read more on Google's site.

Under Other search engines there were about 10 search engines listed that I probably had visited at some point.  I clicked the x next to each of these to delete them as well.  I clicked the x to close the edit Search Engines screen.
On the Basics screen, under On startup I clicked Open the following pages and added to restore my Google News page on open.  Under the Home page section I clicked Open this page, deleted, and typed in  I was all finished there so I closed my browser.  For more help setting your home page click here.

Running Disk Cleanup [usually found by clicking on All Programs, Accessories, and System Tools] was my next step.  I checked all of the boxes after Disk Cleanup scanned my hard drive.  Details on how to do this can be found at my blog post How to Free Up Disk Space on Your Computer's Hard Drive.

I went back to Control Panel just to check one more thing.  Under Set Program Access and Defaults, I clicked on the drop-down arrow next to Custom, clicked on Google Chrome where it prompts you to choose a default web browser and clicked okay.

If you feel this is not enough, you could run an anti-malware program like Avast.

It turns out iLivid is a download manager for Megaupload, and several other sites.  I questioned whether I should download the program before I hit the download button, but my desire to get my hands on that free ebook was greater.  I found it was not free after all.  It cost me my time, which if I had followed my gut, I would have saved myself a lot of  it.  As they say, we live and we learn.

By the way, I never did get to read the ebook - the download was unsuccessful.

Recommended reading if you have this problem in Internet Explorer

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Help for Procrastinators

I just came across a really good question on Mahalo's Answers that was posted over a year ago.  The question was "What do you do to stop procrastinating?"

Great question, right?  I thought so too, especially for people who freelance or work from home.  My answer to the question is as follows:

1. The first thing you should do is create your own deadline for each assignment.
2. Express to your clients how important it is that they give you a deadline.
3. You definitely need to turn that mental list into a checklist. You can do this either by hand writing it on paper or type it up and print it out - checking off each item as you complete it.
4. Stick to it and when those "extremely important" distractions come up, finish those and get back to your checklist immediately. 

To view this question (in its entirety), and to read other really good answers to this question click on this link.

Read: The Procrastinator's Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Is It Okay to Yell At People In An Email Message?

Recently, I received an email message from someone reminding me of a conference call that would take place later that evening. Honestly, every word in the email looked exactly like that. The font was Arial, 16 and purple.

Now I ask you, how do you feel when you receive an email like this, whether professionally or personally?  I can tell you that, both professionally and personally, I find it disturbing and unnecessary. IT HAS THE SAME EFFECT AS USING ALL CAPS, ALL BOLD LETTERS OR EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT CAN BE ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unless you know the person you are sending the email to is visually impaired, there is no need for email font to be this large. Even if a visual problem were the case, there is assistive technology that is available to help people who are visually impaired read what is being communicated on their computer screens.

For those of you who may have fallen into the habit of yelling at your readers, here are a few reasons why it is not appropriate:

1. Think of it this way, just as it is not a good idea to verbally yell at your colleagues when you are in the office, it not a good idea to yell at them in email correspondence.

2. Just as you do not yell when communicating over the telephone, for the same reasons, it is not appropriate to do it in an email.

3. When writing someone a letter on paper, do you use really big letters? Then don't do it in your email. Both are forms of correspondence, so follow the same rules.  (I know some have probably answered yes to this question, so to them I would like to say just as it is not appropriate to yell in online communications, it is not appropriate to yell in off-line communications.) 

To sum it up.  Please, treat email the same way you treat all other forms of communication.

Email Etiquette: How to Quickly & Easily Write Business Email that Communicates and Gets a Response

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Wireless Connection Is Gone!

The other day I was reminded of my days in "corporate America" when I would have to call one of our tech guys to help me with a problem.  They would usually ask everyone the same questions - regardless of their technical skill level - "is it turned on?" or "is it plugged in?", or some other question, which at the time I thought was ridiculous.  Now that I am providing tech support services, I fully understand why these questions were asked.

One of my favorite clients (they are all favorites, but don't let her know that), called very upset.  She said she had been cleaning her new notebook computer, and her wireless connection was gone.  I did not ask her any of the questions I mentioned in the paragraph above, because I knew her to be pretty tech savvy.  I knew if she was calling it probably was a serious problem.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How to Use Windows' System Restore

To add to the series How To Clean Your Sluggish Computer...

If you followed every step in the series - How to Free Up Disk Space on Your Computer's Hard DriveSpeeding Up Your Internet Explorer BrowserCleaning Hard to Find Problems in Windows ExplorerHow to Stop Programs from Running in Scheduled Tasks, and Rearranging and Compressing Files for Increased Speed - and for some reason you want to go back and start all over, you can do what is called a System Restore.

System Restore - System Restore is a component of Microsoft's Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, but not Windows 2000,[1] operating systems that allows for the rolling back of system files, registry keys, installed programs, etc., to a previous state in the event of system malfunction or failure.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rearranging and Compressing Files for Increased Speed

Rearranging and Compressing Files for Increased Speed is the fifth post in a series of tips and advice on cleaning your sluggish computer.

Disk Defragmenter - Disk Defragmenter is a Utility included in Microsoft Windows designed to increase access speed by rearranging files stored on a disk to occupy contiguous storage locations, a technique commonly known as defragmenting. The purpose is to optimize the time it takes to read and write files to/from the disk by minimizing head travel time and maximizing the transfer rate. As of Windows XP, Disk Defragmenter is also used to improve system startup times. [Source: Wikipedia]

Before you begin defragmenting, you may want to go back and perform the Disk Cleanup steps given to you in the first post in this series How to Free Up Disk Space on Your Computer's Hard Drive. If you don't think it is necessary to repeat that step, at least empty your recycle bin before beginning this process. Emptying your recycle bin is a very simple process. Just follow these three steps:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

How to Stop Programs from Running in Scheduled Tasks

How to Stop Programs from Running in Scheduled Tasks is the fourth in a series of tips and advice on cleaning your sluggish computer.

Task Scheduler - Task Scheduler is a component of Microsoft Windows that provides the ability to schedule the launch of programs or scripts at pre-defined times or after specified time intervals. It was first introduced in the Windows 95 Plus! pack as System Agent [1] but was renamed to Task Scheduler in Windows 98. The Windows Event Log service must be running before the Task Scheduler starts up. [Source: Wikipedia]

Ready to find out if you have tasks scheduled that you may not have assigned?

1. From your task bar, go to Start - All Programs.
2. Click on Accessories.
3. Click System Tools.
4. Click Scheduled Tasks.