Fancy HandsQuick. Make a list of the top ten things you have to accomplish this month but have absolutely no desire to start or finish them. Now take that list and circle the tasks that could be accomplished if you were a Hollywood celebrity with a personal assistant. Got the list?

Great.

Guess what? You can have that personal assistant working for you without the burden of paying them thousands of dollars and selling your underwear to TMZ. Because your assistant is in the cloud.

Enter Fancy Hands.

Fancy Hands bills itself as “assistants for everyone”. They’re a company of virtual assistants based only in the United States that can take care of almost anything for you. They’re quick, responsive and (usually) accurate. You submit tasks via your computer, mobile device, email or by telephone. Then, the team of assistants at Fancy Hands goes to work for you and updates you along the way.

So here are my tasks for my first month using Fancy Hands and the result:
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Remember that 5k that you ran in residency? The political article you wrote for an alternative newspaper as an undergrad? The pictures your friend recently posted of you on Facebook?

It all exists on the Internet.

According to a recent study by BrandYourSelf.com, there are over one billion names searched for on Google every single day. Of the people that search those names, 94% of them look only at the first page on Google. One in four people do not have any positive content on the first page of Google at all.

Positive or negative, it is an almost certainty that there is some information available about you digitally.

The problem? There is nothing you can do about it.

Before any speaking engagement, I always visit review sites (like ratemds.com) for physicians to find out more about the attendees in the audience. It helps me understand their digital footprint and where they stand on the Internet. At this particular engagement there was a very well respected physician known throughout the community as a brilliant doctor. You can imagine my surprise when I saw absolutely horrible reviews for this physician. Upon further inspection I realized that it was a different doctor in the same specialty practicing in a different state. They both had the same name and they were both M.D.’s.

The difference between the well-respected physician in the audience and the poorly reviewed doctor in a different state is the ladder had a strong digital footprint. He had a web page, a blog, articles published and a social media presence that went along with his poor reviews. The fact of the matter is, this poorly reviewed physician owned the first page of Google.

So what is the implication of a patient searching on Google for this well-respected physician’s name? If they do a cursory glance and don’t recognize the state where he practices, they could be confused into thinking that he’s a terrible physician without ever being seen as a patient.

Because no one has a completely unique name, your reputation of and a colleague’s poor Digital DNA can be completely confused.

While it is impossible to completely “push” someone down a Google search, it is possible to be proactive and start taking command of your digital footprint.

We’ll talk in a later post about steps you can take to strengthen your Digital DNA immediately. But first, it’s time to listen. What are people saying about you or your physicians on the Internet? What information is freely available about you on the first page of Google? I guarantee it’s not just the stagnant web page the hospital or practice has.

Action Steps:
1. Google your full name with and without your degree behind it
2. Google any variation of your name (ie, Ken or Kenneth)
3. Login to ratemds.com, healthgrades.com and Yelp!. Search for your name and see if anyone has reviewed you or one of your physicians
4. Write down the positive, negative and neutral information about you
5. Write down any links that are associated with your name but aren’t about you

How does it look? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

In a recent study done with the International Council for Quality Care, we took a look at how the top hospitals in the nation are engaging in social media. It came as no surprise that 83% of those hospitals actively engage in either Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (so far there has been little engagement in Google+). Take a look at the infographic for a breakdown.

Hospitals in Social Media

Does your hospital or personal physician engage in social media? If they don’t, do you wish they would? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

HootSuite, social networking and beer. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Wednesday evening in Los Angeles!

#HootUpLA will be taking place this Wednesday, March 7th from 7-9PM at Blankspaces LA in the Miracle Mile district at 5405 Wilshire Boulevard; Los Angeles, CA 90036. The entrance is on Cloverdale and there is plenty of street parking available.

We have an exciting lineup of speakers on Wednesday night starting with Cheryl Booker (Senior Account Executive – Consumer Insights) of Hall & Partners. She will be talking about How to Strengthen Your Social Media Strategy through Quantifying Online Buzz. Dewayne Hankins, Director, Digital Media with the Los Angeles Kings is our featured keynote speaker. He will be talking about how the Kings use HootSuite to manage their social media portfolio on an international scale.

#HootUpLA is a free event to attend. If you work in social media, would love to work in social media or are just a fan of HootSuite, come on down for a night of great speakers, networking and beer.

RSVP to #HootUpLA here.

Have a question about the event or need more information? Contact me.

The world is consuming video content on their smartphones and tablet devices at an exponential rate. The time to integrate video into your business model is becoming increasingly important. YouTube now reports that there are four billion videos being watched every day.

Creating video content that is dynamic and shareable can help reach a new medium of potential business prospects. However, the days of poorly-lit, “shaky-cam” videos are over. It’s time to take YouTube and your potential audience seriously. Here’s a couple of tips to doing just that:

Know Your Content – No matter what kind of video you create, knowing what you’re talking about is key. Viewers are looking to you to tell a story or gain insight. So make sure you know your subject inside and out.

You don’t need to go “live to tape”. You have as many chances as you need to create a compelling video on YouTube. If you have experience speaking in front of people, draw up a detailed outline and stick to it. Going off on a tangent is fine if you’re Gary Vaynerchuk but, for most, you’re just going to sound lost. If you don’t have a lot of experience on camera or speaking in front of an audience, write a script and memorize it.

Production Value is Key – I cannot stress the importance of having a good picture, sound and light when shooting a video for YouTube. You don’t need Steven Spielberg or a production crew to accomplish this. If you’ve bought a cell phone in the last two years, chances are it has a camera that shoots in Hi Definition. Get a tripod to keep it stable so there’s no shake. If you don’t have access to a microphone, shoot your video in a quiet environment. Finally, have some light on your face. There’s nothing worse than a dark room with only the light of your computer on your face. It’s grainy and it looks terrible. Put yourself in a well-lit room with little distractions in the background. Make sure to play back your video first to make sure everything looks good. I use the Canon EOS Rebel T2i (affiliate link) to shoot my videos and the picture is great.

Leverage Memes – It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re running, it can always benefit from a bit of fun. What’s the latest meme here in February of 2012? Sh*t (Fill in the Blank) Say. There are countless variations of this meme and video views are in the tens of thousands. We created Sh*t LA Kings Fans Don’t Say for our LA Kings video show and we received 12,000 views in under two weeks. My producing partner Chris shot Sh*t Moms Say and I’m sure that video will triple the views we had for the Kings niche (it was just posted prior to this blog being published). Leveraging a meme is an easy way to get thousands of views and drive traffic to your YouTube channel or your web page in a short period of time.

Are you creating original content for YouTube? What are you doing to keep your viewers engaged?