BrandYourself.com Review

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Update: 12/11/16

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BrandYourself is an online reputation management company that caters to individuals and businesses. BrandYourself offers software and services to help clients control which information others see when they look up the client via a search engine like Google. Reputation management services assist entrepreneurs in replacing negative online reviews and press with positive, accurate information. While the BrandYourself website contains a wealth of useful information about search engine optimization, or SEO, the site can be difficult to navigate, so below is a description of their specific services.

Fast Take

For people simply looking to build up any type of online reputation, BrandYourself is a useful tool that can help you get your name out there. But – that doesn’t mean it’s effective for any real online reputation management problems. If you’re serious about fixing your problem, get serious and find a different company.

BrandYourself Company History

Years ago when BrandYourself founder Pete Kistler was applying for jobs, he realized that searching for his name on Google returned information about several people with the same name who Pete did not want to be associated with. While looking for reputation management companies, Pete discovered that most services were too expensive for individuals to afford. These companies also promised unrealistic results while offering little insight into their processes, and some even outsource services like content creation to workers in foreign countries. To address these issues, Pete teamed with two programmers to start BrandYourself with a commitment to affordability and transparency.

How BrandYourself Works

Perhaps the most unique feature of BrandYourself is their free do-it-yourself, or DIY tool. Anyone can sign up for a BrandYourself account and start using it right away. Users may submit up to three links they want to see at the top of search results when someone Googles their name. The help page contains a lot of free, useful information for improving search results at no cost. A premium membership lets users submit unlimited links, which is ideal for pushing unwanted links off of the first search results page.
A premium account also provides users with alerts when links move up or down the list as well as letting them know where search results are coming from. For example, premium clients receive messages like “someone from your hometown just Googled you,” which can be useful when developing a marketing strategy. With BrandYourself concierge services, clients work with an SEO professional to develop their own custom reputation management strategy. This is helpful for people and business’s with extremely common names or anyone who needs a more personalized approach.

A video on the BrandYourself help webpage gives viewers brief overview of what the company can do: https://brandyourself.com/help

BrandYourself Services

Users provide links to the content they want other people to find when typing the user’s name into Google. TheBrandYourself software then analyzes the content and suggests ways to make it more friendly to search engine algorithms. Through their concierge services, BrandYourself will even create custom content for clients such as personal websites, positive press releases and social media profiles that are already optimized. Clients receive alerts when potential threats to their reputation arise, and they can even track who is searching for them.

What BrandYourself Offers

In addition to their free and premium self-service software, BrandYourself employs staff who assist individuals and business owners in creating a positive online presence. They call this their concierge service.
The process begins with a personal branding session to ensure that a consistent message is being conveyed in all of the client’s web content. Using this information, professionals can then design websites and profiles that accurately tell the person or business’s story.

Maintaining a top spot on search engine results requires constant updates and new content. Search engine algorithms also regularly change, so alterations in strategy may be necessary to stay relevant. Therefore, BrandYourself reviews business clients’ content on a monthly basis to make sure it as compliant with what engines are looking for. They also produce new, branded content each month to keep desirable information at the top of search result pages and push negative reviews and poor press to the bottom.

Such content may include blog posts designed to establish the person or business as a leader and expert in their industry along with custom graphics, videos, presentations and other rich media. BrandYourself even takes care of posting regular status updates on social media to drive traffic and show potential customers that the business is keeping up with all the latest trends. Concierge clients get a monthly report detailing exactly what BrandYourself did and what they plan to do the following month.

Aside from simply posting positive content online, BrandYourself actively strives to get material published in reputable industry magazines and other third party media. They can also build, monitor and manage Wikipedia pages to make sure information about the client is correct.

How BrandYourself Views Themselves

The BrandYourself website boasts an extensive philosophy section explaining their commitment to “white hat” SEO practices and exactly what that entails. The white hat tactics they employ include creating new, high-quality content that provides objective value to web surfers as well as finding reputable third parties to share it with.

With their emphasis on empowering clients to take control of their own online reputation, BrandYourself helps customers establish a hub for all of their web content, which ensures that all of their profiles show accurate, up-to-date information. They boosts existing positive search results by keeping webpages relevant and making them more crawlable for search engines, which might include updating text or simplifying the page’s URL structure.

BrandYourself takes a long-term approach to search engine optimization rather than focusing on “black hat” strategies that improve web traffic in the short term but could ultimately result in penalties from search engines and, consequently, permanent damage to a business’s reputation. Black hat techniques include spamming auto-created links and content stuffed with keywords that offer no real value to the reader. Google possesses sophisticated algorithms in addition to human quality controllers who remove these useless results as soon as possible to maintain their own reputation as a credible search engine. Therefore, BrandYourself never uses black hat SEO practices such as link farming, keyword stuffing or cloaking.

BrandYourself does not guarantee higher search rankings, and they maintain that companies who do so are being disingenuous because no one can control search engines. They also cannot erase negative information published by third parties such as poor customer reviews on Yelp.

However, BrandYourself does claim that their advice and services make links to high-quality content as search-engine-friendly as possible, which is the most effective way to get to the top.

BrandYourself Pricing

True to their commitment to making online reputation management accessible to everyone, the free-version of the BrandYourself DIY tool doesn’t even require a credit card to sign up. BrandYourself claims that most individuals can meet their goal of getting accurate information included in search results without spending a dime. Free profiles, however, do contain advertisements whereas premium members get an ad-free experience. A premium membership cost $100 for a year, $60 for six months or $35 for three months.

For their concierge services, BrandYourself has several packages starting at $399 per month. The different packages and their prices are explained in a chart at the bottom of this page.

BrandYourself offers free consultations to help customers decide which services they need. They also promise a money-back-guarantee, but the terms are very limited.

How BrandYourself Positions Themselves

Since appearing as a contestant on the popular television show Shark Tank in 2014, BrandYourself owner Pete Kistler claims that his business has grown significantly in terms of both customers and capacity. Revenues have nearly tripled from $2 to $6 million, and Kistler’s staff has expanded from less than 40 employees to more than 70.

BrandYourself began 2016 with three primary initiatives: Improve their current software and services; find new avenues to facilitate growth; and develop new tools for safeguarding clients’ identity, privacy and reputation.

BrandYourself Customer Feedback

As a reputation management company, BrandYourself unsurprisingly has literally hundreds of positive testimonials, reviews and press statements on their website. The company has also been featured in reputable news sources like NPR and Fox Business.

While coverage in mainstream press speaks positively to their credibility, an actual Google search of “BrandYourself” returns more mixed opinions. This fact may sound alarming to some potential customers since the company specializes in reputation management. Multiple reviewers have complained that the addition of BrandYourself’s premium service has contributed to a decline in quality. Google recently changed its algorithm to penalize domains containing more than six backlinks by lowering the domain’s page-rank. Because premium members are allowed to submit as many backlinks as they desire, all BrandYourself users have suffered because some BrandYourself profiles are marked as spam by Google. One reviewer notes that many BrandYourself profiles have dropped off of the first page of search results completely.

A BrandYourself review from Recode claims that getting positive results from BrandYourself takes considerable time and money. While the BrandYourself DIY tool is impressive, there are other programs like it to choose from such as SearchManipulator.com, LinkAlohaV3, BacklinkGenie.com and Senuke. Fortunately, the free version of the DIY software allows customers to experience some of what BrandYourself has to offer before buying in.

The Bottom Line

For people simply looking to build up any type of online reputation, BrandYourself is a useful tool that can help you get your name out there. But – that doesn’t mean it’s effective for any real online reputation management problems. If you’re serious about fixing your problem, get serious and find a different company.

 

OVERALL RATING: 

4 Comments

  • Anonymous May 31, 2016 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    A company’s reputation is everything, and Reputation.com aims to make preserving your reputation easier. It is apparent that they care deeply about keeping things up to date, and they are constantly trying to improve their services. There are several detractors, but I believe that reputation management has a bright future.

  • Anonymous June 1, 2016 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Cyberbullying and stalking are serious issues and they can ruin a life and career. Anybody with an ax to grind can make use of social media to lead a campaign to malign you. Whether the issues are real or not it’s a nightmare. A strong reputation management firm can help you.

  • Sheryl June 3, 2016 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    I think it’s great that ReputationDefender is helping make a difference in the way customers view different businesses. One of the best objectives I find useful is that they intend to free their clients from certain responsibilities such as responding to social media post!

  • Anonymous June 6, 2016 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t help but smile at the mention of “disgruntled former employees.” I have been that former employee and everything I wrote in the company’s online review was brutally honest. I’m sure people thought twice before applying to replace me. My employer should have bought this service after I left!

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