I regularly get calls from potential clients looking to get on Wikipedia — in service of either building a personal brand or enhancing a business one. From a marketing point of view, this makes sense since Wikipedia is the 6th most visited website in the world. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it looks. One way to increase your chances is to hire a Brand Marketing Firm to help you score a spot.
Researching your Wikipedia viability.
Before creating any content on Wikipedia, it’s wise to learn what the rules are to avoid running the risk that your page will be deleted or disputed. A good branding and marketing firm has the capability to assess up front your viability for Wikipedia. Remember, Wikipedia is based on notability and does not consider self-promotion and opinion a legitimate source of qualification. A well-informed firm can help you determine if you are a good candidate.
Writing your Wikipedia biography.
Sources are the single most important factor in getting on Wikipedia, and since Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a promo piece for building a personal brand or business, all the content on your page will be verified. This means that you can’t just write a Wikipedia page the way you would any other biography. Third-party sources such as books, magazines, websites, articles, and videos which contain unbiased facts are essential. In light of this, it’s often easier to have a brand marketing firm write your page for you.
Building your personal brand narrative beyond Wikipedia.
While being on Wikipedia is without doubt a feather in your business cap, and can have a powerful impact on building a personal brand, it’s not the end of your brand-building journey. Engaging a brand marketing firm that can take you beyond a page to a whole strategy for getting you or your business out there is essential.
You’re only allowed to use images you own or images not subject to copyright. I learned this the hard way — I had to delay the launch of my client’s page while I walked them through the process of uploading their copyrighted images. If you attempt to do this, you’ll receive a warning about spam content, and if you continue, the site might ban you.
Verifying your information.
All information must receive verification through independent sources. Published news articles in a variety of outlets and locations are good examples of sources Wiki will accept. This is what makes it difficult for smaller, lesser-known companies to develop a presence on the site.
Learning about the Wikipedia community and how it works.
Learning the ins and outs of being a good Wikipedia citizen will help ensure your page won’t be deleted or challenged after you’ve submitted it for review. I read a number of articles before creating my client’s page, including How to Game Wikipedia, by BNet, and MarketingSherpa’s How to Get Your Company Listed on Wikipedia, Part I. I also found Eloqua’s The Grande Guide to Wikipedia very helpful.
Karen Tiber Leland is the founder of Sterling Marketing Group, a branding & marketing strategy firm helping individuals and companies build stronger brands. She is the best-selling author of The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build, and Accelerate Your Brand. For more information please contact email@example.com.