In the era of the Internet, your reputation can be made or destroyed in the most casual of ways.
This is happening as a result of an accelerated media cycle, the sourcing of newsgathering from the Internet, and news reporting as it happens rather than taking the time to fully vet material. Thousands of “fake news” sites make it their business to attack you, and many individuals feel the need to resolve their issues in the most public of ways.
It is not our mission to enable bad actors. In fact, it’s our mission to enable individuals and businesses to defend and define themselves online. How many of you have been frustrated about that negative online review, or that comment about you or your business?
The best defense, in such cases, is a great offense.
The more positive material you already have on the Internet, the less likely one negative comment or review will impact your reputation or business.
Below are a few steps to help bolster your online reputation:
1) Know what is being said about you.
What information is on the Internet about you or your business? Most individuals have not searched for themselves online. I know it feels weird and a little scary to do this. But it is an important first step in helping you know what is already out there, and what might be of concern to you. It could be personal information, reviews, photos or even unscrupulous competitors trying to hurt your business.
2) Assess whether your reputation is what you want it to be.
What do employers see when they search for you? What do schools see when they search your profile for admission? What do customers see on the Internet
when they look you up? If you are serious about your reputation, take the steps necessary to build it online.
3) Consider where you would like to take your reputation.
There are people and even businesses t
hat thrive on snarkiness and insults online. I can’t recommend this for the vast majority of individuals or businesses that want to put their best foot forward. It just doesn’t pay off in the long term.
4) Develop a positive and proactive approach going forward.
Nip the negatives before they build into an issue for you or your company. Have a plan for solving complaints offline. Answer questions in a constructive way online, but if that fails, go offline to explain to the public as best you can. Fighting online does not work. Solutions, explanations, and concern does.
5) Consider professional services to advance and amplify your reputation.
A reputation management firm is the Internet’s version of a PR firm and a marketing arm all rolled into one solution. The big difference today is that individuals and smaller businesses now have the need and the access to affordable solutions offered by these firms.
For more information on how to monitor, improve, build and create a positive reputation, touch base with our experts as soon as possible. It doesn’t cost you to pick our brains, and it might lead you to some speedy, affordable solutions.