Wednesday, November 14, 2018 was the second time Brian Loebig was a featured guest for Mavericks on the Move, a dynamic interactive, live talk show and networking experience. Hosted by branding expert and i am a brand® founder, Jamilah Corbitt, this event took place at Hotel RL in Baltimore. Read on for an as-it-happened transcript of a great discussion on personal branding SEO, making the most of social media, and other ways to make powerful business connections.
Jamilah Corbitt: Oh, we’re live. Oh, what’s up Facebook Land? Okay, now we’re gonna start. Welcome everyone to Mavericks on the Move. I appreciate you for joining me tonight, and I want a little bit of participation, so when I say “Mavericks on the…” you say “Move!” Mavericks on the…
Jamilah Corbitt: Mavericks on the…
Jamilah Corbitt: There we go. If this is your first time seeing me, my name is Jamilah Corbitt, I am the host. Okay this mic has a shortage… I am the host of Mavericks on the Move. I’m also the founder of i am a brand. We’re a company that’s going to help you compete in the digital space. So if you’re an analog company, you’re already successful online and you want to learn how to play online and make more money while the office is closed, visit us at iamabrand.co. Today’s guest is very special. I like to call him the renaissance man because he does it all. He plays the ukulele, the drums, the saxophone, the trumpet, the piano, and every other instrument you can think of. His name is Brian Loebig and he is the founder and CEO of Loebig Ink Web Consulting. If you guys need someone to fix your website, to help you rank number one on Google, this is your guy.
Jamilah Corbitt: So without further ado, please welcome Brian Loebig to the stage.
Brian Loebig: Thank you very much.
Jamilah Corbitt: Brian-
Brian Loebig: Yes, do you want to switch mics so you get a better connection?
Jamilah Corbitt: No, we’re good. We’re good. It’s a pleasure to welcome you to Mavericks on the Move. I appreciate it. So before we dive in, please tell the audience a little bit about your background and how you got into web consulting and SEO.
Brian Loebig: Certainly. My background, I was just telling some people in the audience, my background is actually in alcohol and drug counseling, that was my first life, I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marquette University. However, I’ve always had an interest in web design and technology. I got my master’s degree at Marquette in business administration with a strong emphasis on profits and technology. So I learned how to do HTML back in the late 90s and took a class as part of my master’s program. That kind of stimulated my interest in web design ever since. I built Marquette University’s first executive NBA portal. We were the first executive NBA class, so I did it as a class project.
Brian Loebig: Some of my classmates would hire me to do intranets for the GE Medical Systems, for example. One of my classmates was on the staff of GE Medical Systems and so I developed intranet for GE Medical. When I was done he was like, “Well how much do we owe you?” I was like, you’re gonna pay me? I did it just for fun. So that’s when I started thinking, this could be a nice side thing. I was a quality improvement director for a large non-profit in Philadelphia. I’ve always had that entrepreneurial kind of thing, always had this little side hustle kind of stuff. I’ve always done web design on the side, so when we moved to Philadelphia, my wife got her degrees, I got my master’s degree, she got her master’s degree, and then I got another offer to become a Chief Operating Officer of a big non-profit in Virginia, and then she was in medical school at the time.
Brian Loebig: She decided she wanted to go back to school. The doctors keep telling her, “Your hand skills are better than ours; you need to be a surgeon.” She went to medical school, moved to Richmond, Virginia. That’s when I got laid off, like in 2010. So my entrepreneurial journey really started from me getting laid off in that big tech bubble thing in 2008, 2010. I got laid off, she was in medical school, she’s also an army doctor, so we didn’t know where she was going to be deployed to, where she’s gonna end up, where are they gonna station her, and so when I got laid off, instead of me taking a job, we just said, I’ll just do this web design thing full time.
Brian Loebig: I got together with some of my buddies from Philadelphia and we created a little business plan, started doing websites for $10 an hour, and when we moved to the D.C. area, I joined this business networking group, which is the best decision of my life, and then that really has propelled my business to where it is today.
Jamilah Corbitt: Yeah, Loebig Ink is on the rise, so we can add one more thing to the list. The first man to ever create a website to the list.
Brian Loebig: Not really. That’s Al Gore.
Jamilah Corbitt: You were right there at the dawn of the internet and creating websites, which is really cool. That makes you an authority of web development, of SEO because you actually was able to see the birth of Google and search engines, and you were able to capitalize off of that, so I want to talk a bit today about personal branding SEO, and how that’s relevant and necessary right now, especially if you want to compete online.
Jamilah Corbitt: So if anyone in here is confused about personal branding SEO, please explain what exactly that is.
Brian Loebig: Personal branding SEO is kind of a unique concept, SEO stands for search engine optimization. That’s trying to get on page one of Google, trying to get on page one of Yahoo or Bing. So personal branding SEO is like getting yourself on page one of those search engines. If you are an entrepreneur especially, and you want to show up on the internet for your name, for your business name, when we talk about personal branding it’s like getting your name out there on page one of Google, you can do that without a website even, so that’s one of the things I’ve kind of specialized in over the last few years especially.
Jamilah Corbitt: What are the greatest benefits of having a personal brand that’s SEO friendly?
Brian Loebig: It’s really all about visibility. It’s allowing people to find you online in lots of different places. It’s especially useful for a startup business, because if you don’t have the money to create a professional website, a high-end professional website, you can start with a zero budget, just time and effort, and a little bit of knowledge of directories and online properties that are free, and then starting to build your online presence through other websites that aren’t even owned by you.
Jamilah Corbitt: Let’s start there. What websites are these? Take notes everyone – What websites can we start with?
Brian Loebig: The first ones I would start with are the ones everybody knows, social media. So, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram. All those things are free.
Jamilah Corbitt: And they’re indexed in search engines?
Brian Loebig: Yes, very much so. Tweets are indexed, Facebook has a hot and cold relationship with Google, but they’re always hot with Bing. So Facebook profiles actually, if you’re doing a search on Bing, your Facebook profile will actually show up as a knowledge panel kind of thing on the right hand side.
Jamilah Corbitt: I’m saying some people don’t have friendly Facebook profiles. It’s a good idea to make your Facebook profile friendly to visitors and to clients right?
Brian Loebig: Even a personal one will show up there, but if you have your privacy settings pretty high then it’s not gonna show up there. Facebook is getting better about giving people control over their personal content, but if you have a business page, which is also free, if you have a business Facebook page, that’s by default as public, and it needs to be because that’s the purpose, and so those will show up in Google and Bing if you have them optimized correctly.
Jamilah Corbitt: Who out here has Googled themselves? You’re like no, no. One person. Do you know what Google is saying about you? No? I have no clue, well this would be a good time to Google yourself and make sure if you’re interested in getting clients online or you want to create a personal brand, the very thing Brian is saying, make sure your profiles are optimized. What are some sites? Like About.me?
Brian Loebig: About.me is a great one-page personal branding website that you can set up for yourself, I kind of talk about in big spheres of online property. So there’s social media, then there’s the local directories. That’d be like Yelp, Angie’s List, there’s dozens. One of the more recent ones is Alignable. Have you heard of that one?
Jamilah Corbitt: Yeah I’ve actually been on Alignable, when they first started. I don’t use it though, I should probably take advantage of it. What’re your thoughts on that?
Brian Loebig: My thoughts on Alignable, I kind of have a lukewarm hate relationship with it. I don’t want to say love relationship, but some of my colleagues who are online all the time have gotten business from there. It is very intrusive. It was kind of like what LinkedIn used to do a couple years ago where they will pull in content from social media platforms and put it in Alignable, it’ll look like all your friends are there, it’ll look like all these. I know him, I know him. It’s created a really strong following because it gives you the illusion that everybody is on it, because it’s pulling social media content into their platform and then suggesting that you connect with all of your friends who are already there. So it’s good and bad, it’s really helped the platform grow but it’s not honest in my opinion, those people aren’t really there and they don’t even know they have a profile there sometimes.
Brian Loebig: The more time you spend on something, the more it grows. I’ve been paying attention to it. I have a profile. There’s always SEO value in any of these things.
Jamilah Corbitt: Yeah, you’re everywhere.
Brian Loebig: You’re gonna be on there anyway if you have a business because they’re pulling your stuff in there, so optimize it. Go in there, put a headshot that actually fits the space. Put a cover photo that fits that particular platform the best, and then put all your business information there. Sometimes it might take 30 minutes but it’s a one and done kind of thing, then connect it to an email you actually get information from. Don’t put it on one of these throwaway emails that you never check. That’s one mistake a lot of people do, they create these platforms, they use an email, their throwaway emails when they purchase something.
Brian Loebig: With social media you don’t want to do that, the purpose is to create connections. You want to hear about what’s coming through that platform. If it starts getting annoying or if it starts feeling spammy then you can change it. My first advice is to really use the platform the way it was meant to be used, optimize it, engage with it and see where it goes.
Jamilah Corbitt: What about LinkedIn, let’s talk about LinkedIn for a hot second. I know you’re hot on LinkedIn but someone like me, it’s really hard for me to engage, to really get the hang of LinkedIn, does anyone else feel the same?
Audience Member: Yeah.
Jamilah Corbitt: You feel the same way? What are some of your objections with LinkedIn?
Audience Member: It takes a lot of time to figure out how to get enough people to follow you, you’re connecting with and all that.
Jamilah Corbitt: Yes, so what she’s saying is, it’s difficult to figure out who to follow, who should follow you, and it takes too much time.
Audience Member: Exactly, yeah because you want to get up to that high number.
Jamilah Corbitt: Be an influencer.
Audience Member: Exactly.
Jamilah Corbitt: What are your objections with LinkedIn, Karen?
Karen: I would say the same and then that because time is kind of a limited resource, I’m more focused on the two that I know.
Jamilah Corbitt: So yours would be difficulty of use?
Jamilah Corbitt: So talk about those objections, because this is all a part of personal branding SEO, LinkedIn is a great way to do that, but, I just think it’s dry. I’m trying, I’m really trying because I know the value in it but it’s really hard for me to really get into it.
Brian Loebig: I like the idea of choosing a couple platforms where you can kind of dedicate time to it, however, you should choose the platforms based on who you’re trying to reach not on your own personal objections.
Jamilah Corbitt: Right.
Brian Loebig: Or personal sphere right? If your clients are on a particular platform, if they’re on LinkedIn, if you know there’s business professionals that you want to reach on there, then that should be one of the platforms. LinkedIn itself is very good about creating connections, especially with the first, second and third level degrees of connections that you have on that. First level meaning you’re connected to them, they’re connected to you. Second level means you know somebody who’s connected to that person, third level means you don’t have anybody in common. So the nice thing about that is you can really do what I call LinkedIn prospecting.
Brian Loebig: I actually do a lot of consulting with other business networking groups. I’m doing something Friday actually. I was flown down to a business networking group in Florida, wanted me to come in and do a keynote speech on how to invite people to their network through LinkedIn. It’s not complicated but it’s really extremely effective. So, the basic idea is you can go in, Step one is you have a complete profile, have a nice headshot, connect with 500 people, so it takes a little while to get up there, but it can only take a couple weeks actually if you do it in the evening before you go to bed, or you’re on the toilet, just scroll through that thing.
Jamilah Corbitt: We all do it, you know we do.
Brian Loebig: It’s a good use of time, scroll through there. My philosophy is, connect with everybody you know. Everybody you know unless you really hate them, just focus on the people you love, like, or have a peripheral relationship with. You can get up to 500 people easy. LinkedIn has this algorithm where they’re gonna suggest people that you might know. The more people you know, the more people you connect with, they’re gonna suggest people that you actually know. Getting up to 500 is actually pretty easy, you wanna do it on your phone, you don’t wanna do it on your desktop. The phone actually gives you less barriers to connecting with people than the desktop does.
Jamilah Corbitt: I didn’t know that.
Brian Loebig: Yeah, you can connect with third level on the phone and you’re not gonna be able to do that on the desktop.
Jamilah Corbitt: That’s a hack.
Brian Loebig: LinkedIn hack. So go through your phone and connect, tap, tap, tap, tap. Connect to all those 500 people and that’ll be the all star status on LinkedIn, you’ll look like a fully optimized profile at that point with the number of connections, and you’ll also exponentially increase your connections. Then what you do is, if you’re really trying to reach someone to bring in to your networking group or to get an introduction to, since you connect with all the people you know, if you have a second level person that you’re trying to reach, you reach out to that first level person. You say, “Hey I see you’re connected with XYZ, I see you’re connected with Jamilah, how do you know her? Would you be willing to introduce us? If you don’t know her that well, no worries, just feel free to look at people I’m connected to and I’ll do the same for you.” So kind of a giver’s gain approach.
Jamilah Corbitt: Wow, that’s a lot of meat and potatoes. We have a question, yes.
Audience Member: So do you have to send a note with every person you connect to on LinkedIn, even if they’re first level connections, should you send a, “Hey remember we met at Mavericks on the Move, so on and so forth” Or can you just connect with them?
Jamilah Corbitt: Her question was should you send a note to every person that you’re connecting with?
Brian Loebig: If it’s your mother, brother, or sister don’t worry about it. They’re gonna connect with you. If it’s somebody close to you, tap tap, connect, connect, then there’s the standard message that LinkedIn has in the, “I’d like to connect with you” thing. However, if it’s not somebody in your very close circle of connections, then you definitely want to personalize that message.
Jamilah Corbitt: Some people are a real stickler about that too, but it’s hard to do that when you’re on the phone. There’s a way that you have to do it. On the LinkedIn app, you can just press the button, and it says connect, you don’t send a note. You actually have to go into the person’s profile and there’s like three little dots on the side, you connect with a note.
Brian Loebig: Connect with a note, yep.
Jamilah Corbitt: You connect with a note. I’m just gonna leave it there.
Brian Loebig: That’s where I was saying, on the phone when you’re scrolling through that. Do the easy connects with the people you’re very connected with, you’re very close to, they’re gonna be like, “I see your face, I’m gonna want to connect with you” If it’s somebody that’s not as close connection you definitely want to personalize that message: “Hey, I see that you’re on LinkedIn, I appreciated the talk you did yesterday at Mavericks on the Move.”
Jamilah Corbitt: I love it, time out really quickly. It might be the cord. They’ll edit this out.
Tech/Assistant: They will.
Brian Loebig: Going to try a new cord. This’ll be edited out on recording. On the live stream you’re just gonna see this stuff.
Jamilah Corbitt: You guys get the behind the scenes look.
Brian Loebig: Behind the scenes at Mavericks on the Move.
Jamilah Corbitt: Here we go, way better. I always get the jacked up mic. This happened last time.
Brian Loebig: Really?
Jamilah Corbitt: Yes! Every single time. It’s cool, where were we?
Brian Loebig: Bring your own mic.
Jamilah Corbitt: Hey. LinkedIn, yes we were on LinkedIn. So, going back to LinkedIn, social media, personal branding SEO. How has social media in general changed the trajectory of your business? I know you just mentioned that you were flown down for a keynote, has it added a lot more money to your bottom line?
Brian Loebig: The way I use social media is by really maintaining relationships that I usually form offline. That has created all kinds of potential connections online. I’ve gotten business from every single platform I’m on, from Snapchat to Alignable.
Jamilah Corbitt: Snapchat, you’re gonna have to share that one.
Brian Loebig: The Snapchat story is kind of interesting. Every single one of those platforms, even Craigslist, I get regular leads to free … Well they’re not free anymore, they’re like $5 a month but Craigslist ads is still a fantastic place to get business from. I do websites between $500 and $3000. I get one of those, even if it’s just a $500 website, that pays for craigslist for several years if I get one client.
Brian Loebig: Again, Craigslist ads actually show up in Google search results so it’s an SEO thing as well.
Jamilah Corbitt: I didn’t know that. Did you guys know that Craigslist ads show up in Google search? Wow. So let’s talk a little bit about Google+. Aren’t they doing away with Google+?
Brian Loebig: Yes, but they’re not getting rid of Google My Business.
Jamilah Corbitt: Okay, so tell us the difference between Google+ and Google My Business. Should we be on it from a personal branding SEO standpoint?
Brian Loebig: Google My Business should be the first thing you sign up for, for personal branding SEO, if you had to choose. Everybody is probably on Facebook anyway, but if you’re just dropped out of Timbuktu and you’re not on any social media, you want to do Google My Business first, because it’s connected to the Google landscape, the Google properties. Google My Business, the context there. It’s changed overtime, they used to be called Google Places for Business, used to be called just Google Maps. What Google My Business is, it’s an integration with your business profile that shows up on Google Maps. They call it the Google Local Pack. If you Google your business name in Google, if you have a Google My Business profile, half the Google page will be this Knowledge Panel on the right hand side all about your business if you fully optimize it.
Brian Loebig: You’ll have pictures, it’ll have the bits that you put on there, it’ll have the little map of where you’re located. If you work from home you’ll do it like me, you’ll say, “I serve people in a location, in a radius” So you’ll put a pinpoint on your house, it’ll put a circle around your house. You can choose where the circle will be, anywhere from like five miles to 600 mile radius around where you’re physically located. That’s the first place, in my opinion, you should claim, optimize. If you’re a licensed corporation, if you’re an LLC corporation, one of those things, you’re gonna have a property already. Google pulls the information from public databases, they put your business online for you.
Brian Loebig: So does Yelp, so does a lot of these other places whether you like it or not, so what you want to do is really go in, claim those profiles, optimize them and then nine times out of 10 you can leave them alone, you’re gonna have a well optimized internet presence with all these properties that are fully consistent. One of the key things about personal branding SEO is consistency is king. We talk about in content marketing, content is king. In SEO, consistency is king. Meaning, you want to have your name, address, and phone number exactly alike on all these platforms.
Brian Loebig: If you spell your name with the hyphen, if you type your phone number with hyphens or with periods, you want to make that consistency across all these platforms, even down to that minutia, creates massive consistency across all these different platforms, Google knows exactly who this person is, where they are, it just generates lots of extra SEO.
Jamilah Corbitt: Speaking of consistency, I did a test. If we’re talking about personal branding SEO, I wanted to make sure you’re the authority on it, I actually googled personal branding SEO, and your website came up with the blow up post about personal branding SEO, so that’s awesome. You actually practice what you preach.
Brian Loebig: That’s intentional.
Jamilah Corbitt: So how important are backlinks for SEO, and describe backlinks for people who may not know what they are.
Brian Loebig: There’s two primary things that really help generate visibility on the internet, especially from a website perspective. One is quality content. I always recommend people, if they’re trying to continually rank for lots of keywords, develop content, write blogs on a regular basis, the other one is backlinks. Google still uses other websites linking to you as a determination about how influential or important you are. If you get the White House linking to you, even if you don’t like who’s in the White House, if you get that White House linking to you, you’re gonna be like-
Jamilah Corbitt: Is that your goal?
Brian Loebig: To get the White House linking to me?
Jamilah Corbitt: Yeah.
Brian Loebig: No. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce.
Jamilah Corbitt: Chamber of Commerce?
Brian Loebig: I love Chambers of Commerce.
Jamilah Corbitt: Don’t they link to you already?
Brian Loebig: Yes.
Jamilah Corbitt: Or at least one.
Brian Loebig: Two. So two chambers, I’ve got the Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce.
Jamilah Corbitt: Right.
Brian Loebig: There’s a good SEO back link, I joined the Chamber just for the backlink, actually. Since then, I’ve gone to the meetings, I’m speaking tomorrow at an event.
Jamilah Corbitt: Make the most of your backlink.
Brian Loebig: Exactly. The other one, the newest Chamber of Commerce backlink is the Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce.
Jamilah Corbitt: Oh.
Brian Loebig: …which is one of the newest Chambers of Commerce in the state of Maryland and it’s low cost right now, it’s a good time to get that backlink. They actually have the best website of all the Chambers in my opinion in the three states.
Jamilah Corbitt: Did you do the website?
Brian Loebig: No, but I help maintain it though. Since I joined, I’m a joiner.
Jamilah Corbitt: I know, you just immerse yourself in every professional organization you’re a part of, I get it, I do the same thing.
Brian Loebig: I’m on the marketing committee with Navare, we help maintain the website. My team is going to be doing maintaining all the social media now and it’s great to get in the ground floor on some of these things. It’s gonna grow, it’s gonna grow fast in my opinion, because I’m helping with this fantastic 10 person marketing committee to really grow it. Membership is gonna grow which means the value of the website is gonna grow, you’re gonna have all these professional profiles, they’re doing lots of events, the authority of that website will continue to grow just like all the other Chambers of Commerce, and then if you have your business on there in the early stages. Your business is gonna grow, that backlinks authority is gonna grow to your website over time, but you have to be a member for it to have value.
Brian Loebig: So backlinks are huge, getting links from Chambers of Commerce, getting links from non-profit organizations, so leverage your personal interests and your personal passions that you have interest in. One of the things I do, I run and lead Open Mic at Root Studio in Columbia, Maryland.
Jamilah Corbitt: Quick plug.
Brian Loebig: Yeah, fantastic venue, by the way. So one of my side purposes, it wasn’t my main purpose, in that case I just wanted to play music, and my wife wanted my stuff out of the house, my sound equipment. So, that was an opportunity to do that. The other thing is, I’m always thinking how else can I leverage this relationship? One is, so these days I’m sponsoring it and I’m volunteering to be the MC for open mic, I put my logo on the open mic page and there’s a backlink to my website, that website is a growing authority. That’s another way I can get an easy backlink. Speaking at Mavericks on the Move, being a guest on this show is an opportunity because you do a fantastic job of highlighting and promoting anyone that comes in your circle, which is why I so appreciate our relationship.
Jamilah Corbitt: Thank you. For that backlink, I know your motives now.
Brian Loebig: Gimme that link, baby.
Jamilah Corbitt: So should we focus on high authority sites, or sites that have the potential to be high authority, or does it matter the authority of the site?
Brian Loebig: Good question. There’s a couple things you want to pay attention to when you’re thinking about backlinks. A high authority site is one that has been around a long time. The way you can determine high authority is you go to a website called Majestic.com.
Jamilah Corbitt: I use Alexa.
Brian Loebig: Alexa? Okay. You can use Alexa?
Jamilah Corbitt: Yeah.
Brian Loebig: What does it tell you? How much authority has this website?
Jamilah Corbitt: No, I’m saying alexa.com Before Alexa was Alexa, it was Alexa Search.
Brian Loebig: I thought you were talking to your phone.
Jamilah Corbitt: No, you go to Alexa. Now you’re having me second guessing myself, it’s alexa.com and usually if you put in the website, you know what I’m talking about, you’re in SEO.
Brian Loebig: Yeah, I thought you were talking to a mobile phone.
Jamilah Corbitt: Why would you, come on man. Got me second guessing myself.
Brian Loebig: So Alexa works, Majestic. These are the tools that tell you the actual authority score of the website, so that’s a good way to help make a decision. However, you don’t want to just base it on the authority score, you also want to have that website be in the same genre, the same relevance. I’m trying to think of the right word for that, the right-
Jamilah Corbitt: Category?
Brian Loebig: Category, yeah. The similar category. If you’re a branding company and you’ve got a fish website linking to you, that’s not in the same category so Google is gonna be like, “They’re getting links from all kind of odd places” If you’re personal branding, you get links from Chambers of Commerce, you get links from other graphic design, branding related sites that will increase the relevancy, there’s relevancy and authority. You want to have websites that are relevant to your website, as well as high authority.
Jamilah Corbitt: Any questions so far? Oh okay, we’re good. We all know the digital landscape is transforming the way we do business, so you would suggest, number one, us being on social media, and two, us having a search engine optimized social media profile, but what if the individual is scared to put themselves out there because of data privacy issues? What would be your suggestion, how can they overcome that fear?
Brian Loebig: Think of the money. The only way you can make money online is by being present, and so if I have some friends and business colleagues that are afraid of those privacy issues, then focus on offline things, as you would say, analog. However, if you really want to maximize your potential for income, you need to get online. You can control it, I don’t put what I had first … Yeah I do. I don’t put my conflicts that I’m having within my family, I don’t put that stuff online. Things that I don’t want to show up in the front page of the paper.
Brian Loebig: My mother always told me, don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of a newspaper. My same philosophy on social media and all these platforms, so I put stuff out there that I want everyone to see, I don’t care if they see it. I’ve been raised with that mentality. If you feel comfortable, I would say, thinking about the opportunity. I don’t try to convince people like you need to be out there, but if you want to make money online, you need to be out there. There’s a formula method to do it, my business is a prime example of how to be able to do that very successfully and quickly too.
Jamilah Corbitt: He is the authority on this you guys, he’s awesome at what he’s doing. Your business is growing rapidly. So how important is social proof and personal branding SEO? Let’s talk about social proof and how that goes hand in hand with personal brand SEO.
Brian Loebig: These are questions I have not been prepared for. I’m surprised I’m answering them.
Jamilah Corbitt: Because you’re good.
Brian Loebig: Social proof is like examples of, I’m defining so I can think about it and come up with an answer, social proof is the number of likes on a Facebook page for example would be social proof, the number of connections you have on LinkedIn and social media.
Jamilah Corbitt: Or testimonials, reviews on your Facebook, LinkedIn page.
Brian Loebig: Recommendations.
Jamilah Corbitt: Yes.
Brian Loebig: Recommendations is a great example on LinkedIn, and also reviews on Google, those kinds of things. That kind of social proof is actually key nowadays because if my wife and my own family is an example, she’s not big into social media, she’ll post on Instagram like once or twice a year, so what she’ll do before she goes to a restaurant and my daughter is the same way, they’ll jump onto Yelp, they’ll look at the reviews.
Jamilah Corbitt: Exactly.
Brian Loebig: So they’ll look at the bad ones, they’ll look at the positive ones and they’ll make a decision everywhere they go, they’ll make decisions about where they go based on the most public reviews.
Jamilah Corbitt: I do the same thing, and I don’t even use Yelp like that, the only reason I use Yelp is to go on and look at reviews.
Brian Loebig: Exactly, so reviews are key. Business owners have a love hate relationship with these review sites, because they can’t control them, when they get a bad review, they freak out. I do some reputation management too, so part of my job is internet counselor telling them not to worry about it, just be human and respond positively. If the person is lying, or you don’t even know who that is, say it. Say, “I’m sorry, I don’t seem to recognize you. You’re not in my database. Feel free to give me a call and tell me about what your issue is; I’ve not seen you.”
Jamilah Corbitt: We do read comments as well, if someone leaves a bad review, I’m gonna read a comment like, I wonder what the person, the owner of the business, has to say and if it’s a legit answer, I’ll dismiss it.
Brian Loebig: You’re gonna see if they copy pasted the five same answers to the five common complaints. Oh, they’re just putting this on auto pilot; they really don’t care.
Jamilah Corbitt: That’s true. So as we wrap up, do you have anything else to add to the conversation?
Brian Loebig: I’m at a loss.
Jamilah Corbitt: How can people reach you?
Brian Loebig: They can reach me, sometimes I say give all my different handles on all these different platforms, but the one thing I like to say to people where all those handles are located is on my about.me page, so if you go to about.me/ my name, Brian Loebig, you’ll find links to however … I like to tell people to connect with me the way they would like to connect, since I’m kind of like on everything, you connect with me the way you’re most comfortable, if you’re a Twitter person, go to my about.me page and click on the Twitter link. If you’re a Google person, go there and just Google me.
Brian Loebig: Spell my name, B-R-I-A-N the proper way, with an I, then Loebig is L-O-E B as in boy, I-G.
Jamilah Corbitt: Alright, there you have it folks. So thank you so much, Brian, for being our participant in Mavericks on the Move. Please give him a round of applause. Yay. Do we have any questions for Brian? Anything about personal branding SEO, SEO in general? Social media?
Brian Loebig: Drug addiction recovery, anything.
Jamilah Corbitt: He’s a social worker.
Audience Member: I have a question.
Jamilah Corbitt: Yeah.
Speaker 7: So let’s say that your names are different on your social media handles, if you go back later and change it, would that increase your visibility as far as when people Google you or search you?
Brian Loebig: Interesting question, I think it’s a good thing to do on social media and it’s not a big deal to go ahead and change those things quickly on social media so that it’s still more correctly branded. So if you’re trying to brand on your business name, I think it’s fine to go on your social media handles and change those, excuse me.
Jamilah Corbitt: That was awesome. That was awesome, I love it. I really do love it.
Brian Loebig: Live streaming. Change those things to be consistent, but if you’re changing things like website names, changing the names of your website, that’s a much more complicated process. I wouldn’t do that on a whim, especially if your website has been around a long time and you’re thinking about changing the domain name, you can destroy your internet visibility by doing that, without doing it properly. There’s 301 redirects that have to happen, there’s change of address notifications you’ve got to do on Google, and it gets more complicated if you’re moving to a different website domain provider, web host.
Brian Loebig: However, social media gets indexed pretty quickly and I think it’s a good idea to change everything to just your name for example, if you try to personal brand your name, or your business, and rename those things so it’s consistent with how your business name is spelt.
Jamilah Corbitt: Any other questions? That was a really good question. All right, well give him another round of applause. Now this is the fun part of the program. This is where you have the opportunity to come to the mic and share about yourself, about your business, in 30 seconds or less. It is being recorded, just FYI. Your visibility is going to greatly increase. Who wants to go first? Not everyone at once. Let’s give her a round of applause.
Sherry Samuels: Where do I stand?
Jamilah Corbitt: You’re gonna stand right here.
Sherry Samuels: Do I need the mic?
Jamilah Corbitt: Yeah I’m gonna give you the mic, actually you can take that mic.
Sherry Samuels: This one?
Jamilah Corbitt: Yep. Can I have someone to keep time? Who’s gonna be my designated time keeper? 30 seconds. Loreza you got it?
Loreza: Yeah I got it, okay go.
Jamilah Corbitt: Go.
Sherry Samuels: So I am Sherry Samuels, I am the voice coach. I teach women how to connect with their inner voice so that they can then get to creating the goals and their purpose and things that they want to create in their life.
Jamilah Corbitt: Wow, great. That was way less than 30 seconds. Alright thank you, give her another round of applause. Do we have another volunteer? I’m not gonna voluntell anyone. Let’s give Karen a round of applause.
Karen: Hello, I’m Karen Haysberg, I’m a wife coach, I help wives of faith who are struggling with their marriages to create the happily heaven marriages they desire and deserve, and get a copy of my new book What a “Ho” Can Teach a Wife: Real Talk About Creating Your Hot, Holy, and Happy Marriage. Am I supposed to be looking this way?
Jamilah Corbitt: Right here, it’s actually being recorded right here. It’s okay, don’t worry about it, they can definitely see your book.
Karen: Yes, thank you.
Jamilah Corbitt: Thank you. Do we have any other takers? No other takers? Brain, why don’t you come on up here? Let’s get Brian a round of applause. Stand right here, right there. There you go.
Brian Loebig: Brian Loebig of Loebig Ink Web Consulting – Where’s the camera? Hello. One of the things I like to say is: My business is inspired by coffee, creativity, and music, to provide web design, social media, and SEO services. I also run a live music open mic at Root Studio in Columbia, Maryland, and I also like to drive my Harley around which is kind of a new thing for me so if you want to go on a back road drive from Washington, DC up to Frederick, you can hit me up.
Jamilah Corbitt: Thank you. You buying that bike, was that a midlife thing?
Brian Loebig: Yes.
Jamilah Corbitt: It was, okay. I was hoping you’d admit that. So thank you everyone for participating in our second Mavericks on the Move here in Baltimore, we are back here December the 12th, same time, same place. I genuinely appreciate you guys for helping make this event successful, as we continue to grow it. Again, this is a totally new concept, we’re bringing it every second Wednesday of the month, right here we’ll be here December, we’re taking a break in January, then we’ll be back February, March, April, right here. So join us, we’re gonna have tons of fun, we’re already securing our guests for the future, so thank you, thank you, thank you again.
Jamilah Corbitt: My name is Jamilah Corbitt, I am the founder of i am a brand. We help companies create customer centric digital communities. If you’re interested in making money while the office is closed, holla at me. iamabrand.co, thank you so much.
Brian Loebig is always happy to share his knowledge through custom-created presentations, lectures, and discussions. Interested in inviting Brian to be a featured speaker at your event? Reach out to check his availability.