Small Business Spotlight: BrandYourself
BrandYourself cofounder Pete Kistler was struggling to land internship interviews — it turns out, searching his name online came up with negative results for a criminal with the same name. After searching for assistance with a pricey reputation management company, Kistler teamed up with Patrick Ambron to start BrandYourself with the objective of providing affordable, transparent online reputation management services for everyone. BrandYourself got its start in New York, but its growing team needed a place to expand. The executives knew that access to a qualified workforce, central location, and high quality of life was essential for their next location. With that in mind, along with the added benefit of DCED’s program funding incentives, BrandYourself selected Lancaster, Pa. for its new home in 2016.
What does your business specialize in and who are your clients?
BrandYourself provides tools and services to help people build an online reputation that wins them career opportunities. This includes helping them avoid or deal with items that can hurt their career — like an old divorce record or ill advised social media post — as well as helping them promote positive items that help their career.
We provide two tiers of reputation management: an online do-it-yourself tool that guides users through the process of cleaning up, improving, and protecting their online reputation management themselves, as well as services that put you with a team of in-house reputation specialists that handle all the work of building and maintaining a positive online reputation for the client.
What does your company do differently that sets it apart?
Our technology sets us apart. We’re the only technology-driven company in the space. That helps us in a few major ways:
Our DIY software allows us to bring online reputation management (ORM) to anyone, not just wealthy people. We’re the only do-it-yourself solution that helps anyone clean up and improve their online presence without the need of a service firm.
Our technology increases the quality of our service. Some people would rather have a service than use a DIY tool. The same technology that powers our DIY software also automates elements of our services so we’re able to provide higher quality work than our competitors can for our price point. That means we can put more focus on creating high-quality content and building the strategy of the campaign.
“The city is packed with great shops, restaurants, and attractions boasting a high quality of life.”
Lastly, the technology allows us to stay current with latest trends and needs on ORM. Since our DIY software attracts hundreds of thousands of users, we are able to notice trends and needs of consumer faster than anyone else. We are always working to set ourselves apart from our competitors by keeping up with new Google search trends and developing our technology to meet the needs of the changing career landscape. For example, we are currently working on a new image scanner to identify images posted to social media that could potentially be considered risky or misinterpreted.
Why are you proud to be a Pennsylvania small business owner?
When we made the decision to open our new office in Pennsylvania, we needed to meet several criteria. We wanted to be within a day’s drive of New York City (where we are headquartered), have a high quality of life with low cost of living, have access to a highly skilled talent pool and, most importantly, find a sense of community you can’t always find in a major city. Lancaster checked all of these boxes for us.
Lancaster is conveniently located near major urban areas like NYC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. The city is packed with great shops, restaurants, and attractions boasting a high quality of life. And thanks to the great colleges in the Lancaster area, there is a diverse talent pool with a strong work ethic.
However, they really knocked it out of the park with the community. The community truly rolled out the red carpet for us when we came to the city. They exuded a sense of pride in their city, and it was something we wanted to be a part of. We often speak at colleges and career fairs, we’re members of the Lancaster Small Business Administration, we take our team to Lancaster Barnstormers’ games at Clipper Stadium, and we encourage our team to give back to the community. BrandYourself wants to convey the same feeling we got about Lancaster when we arrived.
Lancaster feels like us — it feels like home.
The Brandyourself office in Lancaster opened in August 2016 and was celebrated by Governor Tom Wolf who was thrilled to see the growth of this small business.
The Small Business Spotlight is a monthly series posted on the second Saturday of the month which highlights businesses and their owners who are positively impacting their local community.
Patrick Ambron is the CEO and co-founder of BrandYourself.com. He is recognized as a leading expert in Online Reputation Management, Online Privacy and Search Engine Optimization. He was recognized by the White House as one of Empact100’s top CEOs under 30, named Young Entrepreneur of the year by the SBA, and most recently, named to Inc. Magazine’s top 35 under 35. He’s a contributor toInc., Entrepreneur, Huffington Post and occasionally other places like the Washington Post where he writes about online privacy and reputation.