Reputation Management – How to Make It Simple
How often are you giving thought to your reputation? In today’s world of real time social media, global communication from handheld devices, and mostly transparent information on the internet about each of us, managing your reputation has never been more important and necessary if you are to survive both personally and professionally. Reputation management is an important part of our world and is here to stay.
When I started my online business in 2006 I “Googled” my full name to see what I would find in the results. There were just three entries back then; one was a testimonial I had given for a real estate course I had attended, the second was an article in Parade magazine for a statement I had made about violence in the public schools, and the third was for a comment I had made on somebody’s blog (referred to in those days as a “web log”). These days you will find well over ten thousand results when you Google me, and not all of these are ones I would choose to have at the top of the page because they are not all sites I own and control.
You must be proactive with reputation management for yourself and for your business. This requires a plan of action that I refer to as “monitor, manage, and build.” This may seem like an overwhelming task, but rest assured that anyone can do this to ensure that the image that is portrayed about you is mostly positive and accurate.
In the “monitor” stage of your reputation management plan you need to see exactly what is being written and said about you. Remember that anyone with an email address may start a profile on social media and write almost anything they want to about others. This becomes what is known as “social proof”, even though much of it has little connection to fact based information or relevant content. Google your name and the name of your business and read through at least ten pages of results to see what is already out there for the world to see.
Next is the “manage” stage, where you discover which sites and information is actually about you and which is about someone else who shares your name or the name of your business. This is quite revealing and you may even find that someone with your name has a criminal record or in involved in activities you would never condone. This was the case for me and why in 2006 I began using my full name – Connie Ragen Green – to represent myself both online and offline. I was even turned down for a new library card when I moved to a new city that year, until I added my middle name to my application and distinguished myself from the other Connie Greens throughout the world.
The third stage is one in which you “build” your reputation by adding sites and content of your choosing to the internet. You can do this quickly with social media profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as by setting up WordPress websites using your own name and the name of your business.
This activity, although time consuming and ongoing, is actually one that will lead to additional business and personal connections for you over time. I have learned so much about search engine optimization by doing this and love being in control of at least some of the information and content that is available online.
Over time the content and information you publish online will be pushed up higher in the search engine rankings and those searching for you will get a more complete and accurate picture of you and your character.
Make it your goal to learn more about reputation management and to remain proactive is the quest to share accurate and relevant content about yourself and your business on the internet. I’ve even created a course about this at Reputation Management Made Simple where you can learn how to do this for yourself as well as for others who need your help in this area.
I’m author and online marketing strategist Connie Ragen Green. I work with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of online income and would love to connect with you. Pick up my Online Entrepreneur’s Blueprint and get started right away.
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Also published on Medium.