How Well Do You Manage Your Reputation?

Do you know what is being said about you online? How often do you Google yourself and your business? (Yes, you SHOULD be searching yourself periodically.)

Just like you spend time auditing other areas of your life in January, it is a good time to audit your reputation.

Why is Reputation Management Important?

Reputation Management is important because everything out there online  – good or bad – says something about you. It can influence your income, your ability to be effective with your clients, and the willingness of potential clients to work with you.

For example: suppose you go to a party and someone posts an unflattering (and unprofessional) picture of you on social media? If a potential client sees that picture, she may not take you or your business seriously and choose not to work with you. Therefore, you want to be aware that the picture is there so you can have it removed.

For another example: suppose you have the misfortune of dealing with an unhappy client who purchases one of your products or services. That person may (an often does) blast you online, it can definitely hurt your reputation. I am not saying that every bad review of your product or service is credible or hurtful; however, I am saying that you should be aware of what is being said about you and your business, and take appropriate action if/when necessary.

How can You Manage Your Reputation?

1. Maximize your privacy settings on all of your social media accounts. Your privacy settings are your first defense in protecting your reputation.

2. Do a search of your name and your business, at least quarterly. (I do a search for my reputation management clients monthly.) Use a spreadsheet or other document to keep track of what is being said about you, both negative and positive (a great way to garner testimonials).

3. Set up Google Alerts and Yahoo Alerts of your name and your business. Be sure to monitor any changes at least weekly and add them to your spreadsheet. I highly recommend creating a separate email account for this so it doesn’t clutter your main email accounts.

4. Create a report and examine the results. Are any of the negative items credible or worth responding to? If so, create a plan to deal with any damage control that may be necessary. Can you have the damaging image/item removed? Can you do something to smooth it over with a disgruntled client or former customer? OR, will responding to the negative item cause more harm than good?

Basically, the purpose of reputation management is awareness and to preempt any problems that may result from unflattering pictures or comments. You can’t fix what you don’t know is a problem. You also can’t decide if something is a problem or not without knowing what the possible issue is!

Therefore, especially if you haven’t done so recently or ever, I strongly recommend that you do an audit of your reputation soon!

P.S. If you don’t have the time or ability to do a reputation audit for yourself, I can do it for you. 🙂 However, if you are interested, you will want to sign up soon because effective March 31, 2019, I will no longer be offering Done For You Services, including reputation management. Thus, if you want to be grandfathered in, I invite you to sign up soon.