Hi, and thanks for coming to my site! I’m Patrick Ambron, co-founder and CEO of BrandYourself.com. I mostly talk/write about online reputation management and online privacy, but I also try to weigh in where I can on what it takes to build a company. I certainly don’t consider myself a success–we’re still in the process of trying to make our first company successful–but as a first-time founder, learning from others has been integral in getting where we are today. I hope that by sharing some of my experiences I can pass the lessons we’ve learned onto others.
Here are a few important areas of my life:
BrandYourself.com: I’m the co-founder/CEO of BrandYourself.com, where our goal is to help people clean up, protect and improve their online reputation and online privacy. Some of our more popular features include social media clean up tools, identification and deletion of old accounts, dark web scans and data broker removal services. In an age of cyber-bullying, revenge porn, hate sites, rampant digital identity theft and spam and inadequate online privacy laws, everyone needs the power to understand and protect their reputation and privacy on the web. In fact, we started BrandYourself because my cofounder Pete had his own issue: he was being mistaken for a criminal online and couldn’t get a quote from anyone in the industry for under $25K. We realized Online Reputation Management (ORM) is an important need and shouldn’t just be for the wealthy. Since then, we’ve expanded our offerings to protect consumers from a variety of different online threats, ranging from negative Google results to online identity scams. We’ve grown to over 100 employees across two offices and hope to keep building tools to help people. You can learn more about that story here or read our comprehensive Online Reputation Management, Personal Branding, and Thought Leadership guides, as well as our thoughts on social media screening.
Speaking/Teaching: I teach courses and speak about Online Reputation, Online Privacy and my ongoing journey building BrandYourself. I’m a regular instructor at General Assembly (you can see and sign up for my classes here) and a mentor at the Cooper Union in NYC. I also give guest lectures at universities including Syracuse, Columbia, Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania. To learn more about my speaking/teaching you can read about it here. I’m always happy to talk about these topics whether it’s to a large audience at a conference–like the Dublin Web Summit or SXSW–or to a small class at a school.
Writing: I also occasionally write about these topics so I can dive deeper, particularly when it comes to the future of Online Reputation and Privacy. I’m a regular contributor to Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, and Adweek (and occasionally other places like the Washington post). You can check out some of my favorite pieces here.
Consulting: I also consult with companies on projects that fall outside of BrandYourself’s normal breadth of services. BrandYourself takes up most of my time, so the projects I work on directly are few and far between. However, so many people have helped BrandYourself on our journey, I try to pay it forward. For the last few years I’ve been a mentor and advisor through the BlackStone Launch Pad powered by TechStars, and the Syracuse Student Sandbox. More often than not I can act as a sounding board for certain topics and, even if we don’t work together directly, I can point in the right direction towards someone who can. If you’re interested in speaking with me on the following topics, just email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Search Engine Optimization/Organic Marketing: This is where I got my start. There are so many ways to get your product in front of the right people without spending an arm and a leg. In fact, BrandYourself has spent less than $100K in marketing dollars ever, and done nearly $30M in sales (here’s a growth hacking presentation I gave a few years ago). However, the space is crowded with players and not all agencies are created the same. I’m happy to speak with you about your SEO and marketing strategies and help you find the right partner.
- Fundraising/Pitching: I advocate against raising money for the sake of raising money. In fact, I’ve written about how excess venture capital can lead to capital inefficiency in the past. However, for some companies raising seed or venture money is necessary to hit their next set of milestones. As a first time founder, navigating through investors, investor pitches, term sheets, and legalese can be tough. When we started the company, I didn’t even know what VC stood for. If you’re thinking about raising money or need help positioning the pitch, I’m happy to be a sounding board and help where I can.
- General Startup Advising: Building a company is hard. Between building product, raising money, hiring talent, managing teams, setting goals, and hitting projections–the job never stops. As I said above, I’ve been lucky enough to have mentors and advisors along the way and try to pay that forward. I’m a mentor through a few different startup programs, but always happy to help where I can.
“Of all the young entrepreneurs I have ever encountered, none has shown a more natural talent for growing a successful company, and, quickly. Patrick identified and then solved an unforeseen problem arising from the existence of the Internet itself. Individual reputations, always a precious asset for anyone, could be ruined in the blink of an eye. He conceived of a user-friendly product, one that was affordable to the widest market, mustered investors, recruited a brilliant team, and persevered, continuing to build a great company.”
“You looked like maybe 150 pounds of pure potential standing in the middle of that set, that’s always a turn on for every shark and you looked like you scrubbed yourself clean that morning.”
“Patrick has a rare ability to connect with people and make a technical and business topic real, accessible and understandable.”
“[He] built a good business. To turn down $2 million at that age…takes guts.”