Your online reputation IS your reputation. Who’s guarding it?
Ten years ago, I wrote about how important it was to grow and protect your own positive online reputation. It was important then but, man, oh man, it’s super important now. Here’s why improving and growing a positive online reputation is so critical to one’s success… With so much information at our fingertips, it’s difficult for consumers to tell the difference between what is a fact and what is a lie. People are either too skeptical or not skeptical enough.
So-called “fake news” (it’s really propaganda) has been fairly easy for propagandists to manipulate folks who don’t question what they read – especially when the fictionalized subject matter has been made to look authentic, thanks to the use of technology tools like Photoshop. Like any tool, its use is only as good as the person wielding it.
But thanks to other tools and strategies, it’s easy to present the truth online instead of photoshopping it away – especially when you produce your own face-to-camera videos in which you’re sharing valuable information and video testimonials from happy customers to grow your online reputation.
When prospective customers see you in a video and you’re sharing helpful information, that’s the next best thing to meeting you in person and getting some nuggets of wisdom.
Online Reputation Strategy
Although informative videos, featuring you sharing your wisdom, is a powerful online reputation strategy to use, a good online reputation is more than a series of videos. A good online reputation is made of a variety of things.
In this blog post, I will outline 10 of those things for you so you can begin to manage your own online reputation.
These days, trust is the new currency and social proof is the bank.
Let’s define what social proof is. A lot of other bloggers have cited this Wikipedia definition:
“Social proof is considered prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that the surrounding people possess more knowledge about the current situation.”
That sounds like the herd mentality could easily takeover, so a little more clarification might help us understand this better:
“Social proof is more powerful when being accurate is more important and when others are perceived as especially knowledgeable.”
A consumer review is a good example of “when others are perceived as especially knowledgeable.”
Consumers don’t want to invest their hard-earned money into a service or product until and unless they’re satisfied that they are making the right choice.
And that’s why good reviews continue to rise in their importance of growing a positive online reputation.
The average consumer needs 27 "buying interactions" to obtain information before making a purchase.
According to Forrester Research, the average consumer needs 27 buying interactions” (conversations, research, Influencers’ endorsements and many other interactions) to obtain information before making a purchase.
Think of social proof as a kind of certification of YOU. The “certification” comes from the quality of your followers.
When you have thousands of social media followers who like your Tweets, post positive comments in your Facebook posts and share your blog posts with their own social media followers, that’s a “wisdom of the crowd” kind of social proof.
But the certification of YOU also comes from having a positive online reputation. Here are some easy-to-do tips to help you.
10 Ways to Grow a Positive Online Reputation
- Buy your namesake domain and set up a simple website or web page about you and your company. Be sure to link to at least 20 positive, value-packed links about you or that you created. Examples are in the next few steps…
- Social media profiles: set up social media profiles with your name, like my Lori Gama Twitter. Ideally, they should be or include your first and last name. Link to your namesake website from all of your social media profiles.
- From your namesake website, link to all your social media profiles.
In Google: do a search for your first and last name. See all the search results? Think of the top 10 search results page as your Google Home Page. What do people find when they search for your name? You should always be monitoring this with a Google Alert. Are there 10 positive and/or neutral search results?
- If you have one questionable or negative search result, (depending on what it’s about) most people will make their own judgement about how much credence they give to it.
- If your local newspaper is willing to write a positive article with your name in it, you have hit a jackpot! A news site mentioning your name in a positive manner is a highly relevant and very powerful search result.
- Vice versa: if your local newspaper ever writes a negative article about you, it will follow you for years. Unfortunately, this happened to a couple of people who contacted me years ago. I was able to successfully help them attain many positive search results and this helped to present a more balanced picture of each of them. Unfortunately, even after contacting the newspaper, I had no luck asking them to remove the two articles mentioning his name. These still haunt his online reputation almost a decade later. But at least there’s more of a balanced representation of him with other positive search results.
- Guest blogging on WordPress websites is another good online reputation building tip. The best way this works is to guest-post on a blog that has good Search Engine Optimization itself.
- Set up a Google Alert for your name and your business name so you can be instantly notified when either one is published on the Internet. If negative, you can take action right away and try to be ahead of the potential negative association. Depending on what the negative mention is, you’d take action with a first logical step. And if you don’t know what to do….
- Hire an Online Reputation Consultant to help you grow a strong and positive online reputation. The sooner you start, the better.
Need assistance in growing a more positive online reputation? Contact Lori Gama for your copy of Lori Gama’s Online Reputation.
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