No blog? Then you need a Google profile

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Social Media  |  Media Relations  |  Best Practices  |  Corporate blogging

One of the currencies of social media is that when you participate, people find out who you are.

For example, when you leave a comment on someone else's blog post, you can link to your profile on the Web. All the blogging tools have a place where you can leave a virtual calling card – your own web URL where people who read your comment (especially the blogger him or herself) can find out who you are and perhaps contact you.

Most people link to their blog in that comment field.

However, most people don't have a blog. What the heck do you do then?

I've seen many solutions, most very limiting.

1. Leave no URL. (Nobody can find you in this case).

2. Leave a LinkedIn or Facebook profile URL (This has limitations, because people must ask to be your friend in order to see your full profile).

3. Leave a company home page. (This shows your affiliation, but nothing about you personally).

4. Leave a Twitter ID. (Not much room to talk about yourself in the restricted 160 character Twitter bio and there is no contact information).

I've found an alternative solution that works very well.

Create a public Google profile for yourself and then use that as the URL that you point people to. You can have a photo, a bio, and contact details. It’s really cool and it is free.

Here is the URL where you sign up.

Here is what my profile looks like.

I chose to make my profile simple because I want people to visit my site or my blog. You can make yours much more detailed if you wish. (See the example on the sign up page.)

There are probably other alternatives to a Google profile (if you know any, please leave a comment on this post.)

People who I have suggested this technique to have found Google profiles to be easy to create and flexible to use.

Once you've got a public profile, use it as your virtual calling card all over the Web. Just one example - link to it from your Amazon review page so the authors of the books you review can see who you are.