Your online reputation is everything when you have a professional lifestyle. Your name just can’t be dragged through the controversies and conspiracies. If it is, then you are doomed and you have to do something that helps you get back on track. Reputation crisis and damages are part of life and people usually go through it because of various reasons.
We are not talking about brand reputation here. It is all about an individual’s reputation and how devastated one can become after getting attacked online. Personal branding and reputation management is important if you are:
Any professional with responsibilities
Online reputation management helps you stay on course. It helps you create a professional front when you go out and hold meetings with other professionals, apply for a new job, or start a new project.
There’s no doubt that with a damaged reputation, you will face rejections. Not that you are fit for the job, because of the damaged online reputation.
Businesses suffer because of negative reviews and individuals suffer because of negative news or reports from related industries. To avoid reputation disaster, there are a number of things that you can do. Your online reputation is going to help you in ways that you can’t even imagine.
Let’s first understand why online reputation is important and then we can move on to how you can repair it and improve it.
Why Your Online Reputation is Important?
Let’s be clear here. Your first impression is everything. You don’t get second chances. If you have an opportunity and you are unable to grab it because of your first impression, then it will leave a permanent regret.
Your online reputation is your first impression whenever you go out:
Having a meeting
Looking for a job
Applying to school
Making a sale
Pitching a business idea
Or meeting a client
If you have a good online reputation, there are chances that you will succeed. Background checks are a real thing and you don’t get out of it easily unless you have a clear and positive online image.
You are going to feel the importance of online reputation when you are going out doing any of the above-mentioned things. With a strong and positive online image, you can definitely achieve your goals.
However, if you have a tampered online reputation, then there will be a lot of questions coming your way or you will get a Simple NO (that’s going to hurt you more).
It is important to understand the advantages you can have when your online reputation is serving you as your business card. If your online reputation is damaged because of any activity, there is a process you can go through and clean the mess. Let’s take a look at the process of repairing online reputation.
Process of Repairing Online Reputation
You will be surprised to know that the process of repairing online reputation is fairly simple. Most reputation management agencies will probably tell you that it’s a complex process and we have the resources to deal with it. Well, don’t fall for such a trap as it only requires constant effort and if you are willing to do it yourself, then you can surely do it.
Here are the major steps that can help you start the repairing process of your damaged online reputation.
Online Reputation Monitoring
It all starts with active monitoring. All you have to do is to type your name (your brand name) and start monitoring the search results. It is as simple as that.
Now, you have a list of search results generated by the search engine from the keyword you have entered. You will have to monitor them, track them, and decide which links should appear and which links should be suppressed.
A great way to comprehensively monitor your reputation is to search your name variations. You will see different results that will allow you to understand which keyword is your primary keyword or a brand name.
Now, you eliminate the negative results and start creating a strategy to push them down.
Creating Professional Profiles
Your first step is to create new, professional, and positive profiles. This is where all social media platforms come into play. You will have to create professional biographies on LinkedIn and related platforms.
Make sure that you are optimizing your social media profiles with the keywords that you have previously collected.
Whether you are optimizing personal or business profiles, you need to take advantage of all the leading social media platforms. You will start working on blogs, websites, and news.
Quality Content Marketing
This usually takes time. But first, you need to start creating quality content. Now, you are the author of everything that you are generating online. Make sure to use quality content for your profiles.
Create a blog as well, and start positing information articles related to your field. Apart from it, you will have to do guest posting on different authority blogs.
You can generate press releases, news articles, executive interviews, and blog posts. High domain authority sites rank higher and if you wish to eliminate negatives or want to be on the first page of a search engine, you must focus on content marketing and PR.
We have already discussed it and you have to know the keyword you want to rank with. Keyword optimization will take place automatically if you know the name people search you with.
Use that phrase in everything that you are doing online. Optimize your keywords in blog posts, professional profiles, and social media accounts.
Creating a professional website is a big plus. All you have to do is to register your domain with the keyword you have selected previously. Once it is registered, you will start generating content on your website.
Keep the website design simple and professional. It should be SEO-friendly and appealing to the eyes. Make sure to update your website on a regular basis and publish blog posts as well. The website will take some time to rank. However, it is one of the best long-term strategies that you should consider.
Tracking Your Personal Reputation
While you are doing all that, you need to track your personal reputation regularly. If you are working on all of your profiles once or twice a month, then you will have to track your performance on a monthly basis.
After tracking your performance and online reputation, you will start noticing the changes in the search results. Keep uploading your profiles and blog posts and you will soon get rid of the negatives that were ranking high before.
Your Online Reputation is Your Business Card
No one can argue that these days. Your online reputation is no longer a thing for executives. It has become a business card for every professional in any field.
Wherever you go, you should be able to say, ‘You can Google me’.
Your online results have become your business card these days. Wherever you are going to pitch a business idea or apply for a job, your online search results act as a portfolio. If there is anything wrong with your online reputation, you are going to face serious problems.
It helps you become a brand
A positive online image will help you become a brand. If you are targeting a specific level for yourself, then you must focus on personal branding. With an excellent and well-managed online reputation, you can easily become a brand. You don’t need to carry a bundle of files with you. Your identity is your online search results and that’s all that matters.
Improves your visibility
Another benefit that you are going to receive is excellent visibility. Remember when we talked about background checks. This is where you get clearance at almost every stage of your professional life. Even if you are just starting a professional life, you need to work on improving visibility and it can only happen when you work on your online reputation.
Of course, it builds trust. If you are out there selling something or pitching a business idea for potential investment, your credibility depends on your online reputation. If you have a good online reputation, people will trust you and consider you a credible person.
Builds a competitive edge
Your online reputation is definitely going to build a competitive edge. If you are a salesman, you will have a better chance of making a sale online as compared to someone with no or negative online image. With a properly managed personal reputation, you can outsmart your competitors.
DIY Reputation Management
If you have been facing problems with your personal reputation and you have a few negative results that you want to suppress, then you can always take action all by yourself.
If you don’t want to hire someone to fix your reputation, then you can always use the right strategy and take out time to fix it yourself. The process of repairing your online reputation can take time. If you are ready to invest your time, then we are going to walk you through the process.
How to handle Online Reputation Disaster
Before we go on further, you need to understand how to respond to a reputation disaster. It is evident, that if your reputation is damaged, you would be in a serious problem and you may not think straight for some time.
Handling reputation disasters in a calm way is very important. You don’t want to do anything that will create further problems for you. To start reputation disaster management, you need to do the following things.
Keep calm and breath
Now that it has come to your knowledge that your online reputation is tampered with, you will still have to stay calm. It’s obviously a difficult time and people find it hard to let it sink in. Make sure not to do anything that will increase problems for you. If there are online reviews, then you should not respond with harsh words as it can destroy your business. Staying calm is the only good thing you can do at that hour.
Get to know what negatives are all about
You need to go through all the negatives to understand what they are talking about. You may find points that are not valid and exaggerated that you can address when responding. Carefully go through that information so you can craft a counter-strategy.
Figure out a way to overcome reputation disaster
Now is the time to figure out a way to counter all the negatives. You need to start working on repairing your online reputation and you will have to create a perfect strategy to do that. To overcome a disaster, you will have to launch a personal reputation management campaign.
If you want to do it yourself, then you will have to follow the strategy we have spread out below. If you can’t or don’t want to do it yourself, you can always get in touch with a reputation management consultant and start your campaign today.
Laying out the Reputation Management Strategy
We have already shared the process of online reputation repair. However, there are a few tips that will come in handy when you are implementing a repair process. Reputation management strategy is different for every case. To understand the case diversity and how much time it takes to improve online reputation, you can compare these examples.
Let’s have a look at the key tips to improve your online reputation.
Register a domain in Your Name
The very first thing that you must do is register a domain in your name. Make sure to register a domain with the right keyword (which is going to be your name). It helps in branding and you will have a professional website or a portfolio online.
After registering the domain name, you will build a professional-looking website and you will write your biography. Make sure to optimize the right keyword when writing a biography. Here’s a guide on making your bio rank high in Google. You will keep updating your website on a regular basis.
Start a blog
The next step will be starting a blog. You can set a blog section on your website or use different sites where you can do regular posting. You should sign up with Medium and publish your articles on a regular basis.
On your website, you can write about all the things that are related to your professional life. You can start blogging about your profession and share valuable tips with your readers. It is another great way to set your digital footprint. Along with the blog post, make sure to update your biography every month so you can keep targeting your keywords.
Differentiate personal and professional life online
This is something you need to work on. If you have posted something on your FB profile or Twitter account that you shouldn’t have, then it is time to delete and clear all the clutter. Make sure to differentiate your personal and professional life online.
Set separate accounts for personal use and focus on your professional social media accounts and profiles. You need to optimize all of your professional social media profiles with proper details. It is important not to share any personal details or suggestions. If you are separating your professional life online from your personal life, you will have a professional online image.
Create new content and stay regular
Creating new content is extremely important. If you have created multiple profiles and you have not updated them on a regular basis, then you have wasted your time. Make sure to update and create regular content to stay in the loop.
Search engines prefer recent activities and if there is a negative with old information, then it can be suppressed quickly with recent activities that you will do on your accounts. Make sure to optimize your targeted keywords with new content. If you are regularly updating your profiles, you will be able to generate good results in a short time.
Use Social Media profiles to your advantage
Social media is always going to be your ally when it comes to personal reputation management. Make sure to create profiles on almost every social media platform. These profiles rank higher when it comes to individuals. Make sure to use these profiles to your advantage.
There are various social media platforms apart from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You need to explore platforms like Medium and start generating content and creating a professional profile there.
Privacy protection is important
Securing your private information is extremely important in today’s time when cybersecurity breaches are the real thing. It is important to stay vigilant and you should never share your personal information including your email address, home address, phone number, or other sensitive information. You need to be careful while posting online and it is a mistake that becomes really difficult to rectify later.
Be ready to apologize
Whether you are running a business or arguing with someone over a post on Facebook, you need to be ready to apologize and realize when you have made a mistake. These things can backfire all the time. Everyone makes mistakes and it is important to rectify them as soon as possible.
If someone has shared a negative review about your services, then you must address it quickly and apologize publicly to avoid creating a scene. Controversies are easy to create and very hard to resolve.
Monitor and track your online reputation
Above all, you need to keep tracking your online reputation. To do so, you need to keep an eye on analytics. Check the rankings of your targeted keywords every week or every month. It will help you track your performance and will let you know if your efforts are doing a good job or not.
Active monitoring will also keep you alert if there’s any new negative news article out there. If you are tracking your online reputation, you will be able to add or remove things for your online reputation strategy.
Get Help if needed
If you have been working hard and doing all the things that we have mentioned and still not getting results, then you can always take help from a reputation management consultant.
You can talk to our experts and we will help you craft a better online reputation management strategy. You must consider getting help from professionals if you are unable to work on it yourself. If there’s something wrong that you are doing, we will gladly help you make it right.
How to find the Best Online Reputation Management Companies?
You already know the basics and some of the advanced online reputation management tactics that work. If you are searching for a good online reputation management company, you need to understand what you should look for.
Yes, there is a pool of companies out there, and all claim to resolve your problems as swiftly as they can. You need to choose a company that not only helps you suppress the negatives but also helps you take control of your online reputation.
The management of your online search results is important and you should be the one taking charge of it. We have created a list of things that you should watch out for when selecting a reputation management company for your campaign.
Check their online reputation first
Well, isn’t it obvious? If a company is claiming to fix your online reputation, their online reputation should be up to the mark. Make sure to do a quick background check. Check if there are any negative reviews about their services. If there are, then check if they have addressed those issues properly.
Once you have gone through the background check, it will become much easier for you to take the right decision. Always hire an experienced firm that offers value for your money.
Speak to them and address the issues first
You can’t just go on and buy a service online. You must talk to them first. If you are hiring a reputation management agency, then it is important to get in touch with the company’s expert or consultant. It will give you a clear idea of whether you should try them out or move on.
Be clear about your current reputation so you can get a fair analysis. Some people find it difficult to disclose what they have been involved in. But hey, no one is judging here. If they are judging, then they are already in the wrong business. Make sure to discuss your issues straight away to get an honest response.
Ask them what they are offering
You need to be straightforward with the company you are about to hire. Ask them to share everything that they are offering. Ask them to share their packages if they have.
When you are getting in touch with multiple reputation management companies, you will know what you should sign up for. More importantly, you must be well aware of your actual requirements. Companies will bush around for getting a sale. Make sure to stick with what you want and if they can deliver it to you.
Get to know the timeline
This is where most of the scams happen. When it comes to reputation management, no one can provide you with any sort of guarantee. As it is all about SEO in reputation management, it is impossible to give the exact time frame.
Normally, reputation management campaigns require at least 6-8 months to fix or repair the damaged reputation. But if someone is promising that it can happen within 2-3 months or a few weeks, then it’s a red flag for you and you should run away.
Ask for their analysis before signing up
There’s one more thing that you can do when you are signing up for a reputation management campaign. You can ask them to share their honest analysis and share their analysis with you before you begin.
In the analysis, you will be able to get everything that you already know. This will help you build trust in the company you are working with and you will be able to pick the right one.
Be clear about the fees and charges at the start
Of course, you can’t put it to ‘we can discuss it later’. This is something that should be cleared before proceeding any further. Most companies charge on a monthly basis which is better for the client. You will get monthly reports and it will allow you to get a clear analysis of where things are going.
Moreover, you should talk about the contract in detail before signing up with them. If there is any hidden fee attached, you must know it before getting into it.
Questions you may have right now!
How to check my online reputation?
To check your online reputation, the best way is to do an internet search. Just type in your name (the name you are known with), try different variations, you will get to know your search results. Based on these search results, you can know how bad or good is your online reputation.
Can you help me fix my online reputation?
Yes, we are specialized in it and we know how to fix or repair the online reputation of individuals and businesses. If you have negative search results, then we can improve your online reputation by optimizing your existing and new profiles. We will generate fresh and positive content, create new profiles, write new blog posts, and generating neutral content that represents you online and suppress the negative links that are already ranking high in search results.
How to repair my online reputation?
The best way to repair your online reputation is by suppressing the existing negative search results. It can be done using a proper online reputation management strategy. It includes posting on high authority domains, creating a professional website, creating professional social media profiles, and optimizing the right keywords.
What is personal reputation management?
Personal reputation management is generating positive and professional data about you. Whenever someone searches your name, the results they find should be controlled by you. It can only happen if you go through a proper personal reputation management campaign.