Personal Branding

Do you want a better job? Or do you want more business opportunities? In both the cases, personal branding plays a critical role. Personal branding can help you make more deals, with less effort.

I have been working hard to build my personal brand over the past 5-7 years, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the results. That’s why I want to share with you, my 7-step personal branding method that has worked wonders. It takes a lot of time to build a strong brand, and the principles of personal branding are almost the same as branding any consumer or B2B product.

[click to continue…]

{ 48 comments }

Many people recently asked me how to become a Google AdWords certified professional. This post is going to show you how.

There is a bit of confusion in this arena because Google recently changed how the entire certification program works.

group of multiracial graduates holding diploma

Google AdWords certification is definitely a plus if you want to brand yourself as a PPC expert. (But keep in mind that passing this exam alone does not make you an expert). Read more about how to become a self made digital marketing expert.

Earlier, the test alone costed $50 to try and the process of the certificate issue was different. Now it is free to take the test. If you take the test and fail, there is a time period where you have to wait before you can give it a go again.

The entire certification program is now re-branded as ‘Google Partners‘. You can access the Google Partners website at https://www.google.com/partners/

There are three exams available:

  • Advertising Fundamentals
  • Advanced Search
  • Advanced Display

You need to pass any two exams to become certified out of which fundamentals is mandatory. I passed the fundamentals and search.

adwords-certification

After you pass the exam and become certified, Google allows you to showcase it to the world. There is a printable version of the certificate which you can access from the Google Partners login. Here’s mine:

deepak-kanakaraju

You can also get a link which you can share online. This link will show your profile with the certification. If someone wants to verify it online they can. My online profile resides here. This link will be accessible for you from your Google Partners login under the My Profile page. Make sure that you turn the visibility into public so that others can see it.

For the purposes of simplicity I strongly recommend that you use the same Google account that you have for your Google+ profile/account.

And yeah, to prepare for the exam you need a study guide. The study guide for AdWords Certification is available here at Google Support Page. If you read through it patiently and have a descent memory power, you will be able to pass the exam easily.

All the best!

If you have any questions, let me know.

Update: I see a lot of questions below where many people are asking – “Should I be affiliated with a company to take the exam?” The answer is NO. You can take this exam as an individual. Visit this link (while being logged into your Google account) and click on See Exams.

{ 224 comments }

custom short urlsWhen in comes to social media, emails and offline publication of links, URL shorteners play a very important role. The URL looks clean, you can track the clicks on the URLs and easy for someone to visit a web page mentioned in a magazine, book or newspaper article.

Bitly.com is one of the most popular URL shorteners around. Their short URLs start with bit.ly followed by a few characters. But did you know that bitly also allows us to have our own custom domain? You can register your short domain name and use it with bitly system for free.

Having your own custom short URL helps in branding and increases your cool factor. I had this short domain from a while back – dpak.net and now I am using it for URL shortening with bitly. Hence forth, all the links that I share on social media and email will be something like this: http://dpak.net/NBsb5K

If someone manually types in dpak.net in the browser bar, it can be redirected to a URL of my choice. It usually redirects to bitly.com by default but you can change it in the settings. You will not be able to have any content or website on this domain. The domain name should be dedicated to URL shortening purposes only when you are using it with bitly. [click to continue…]

{ 11 comments }