Online Reputation Management is a term largely used by Businesses and Media Houses. But, it is also applicable to Individuals. Nowadays, many people are focusing on personal branding. If you want to see a long term growth in your life, sooner or later, you will have to start building your Online Reputation.

What is an Online Reputation?

Online Reputation is the public perception of a person or organization built using online media.

Why does Online Reputation matter?

In today’s digital world, where the information is easily available at your fingertips, people face too much noise – and this noise is mostly created by online advertisers and spammer/scammers.
And, we can not do much about it.

But, this hasn’t changed how we make decisions while making the purchase, choosing a restaurant for a date, hiring a new employee, taking treatment from a doctor, etc.

Even if we are bombarded by too many ads, our final decision is always influenced by Social Proof.

What is Social Proof?

Social Proof can be described as a type of conformity in which when a person or entity is not sure about their decision, they often look to others for clues concerning the right direction to their decision – definition source Wikipedia.

As per the above definition, the Social Proof is not an Owned Media that you fully control. It is an Earned Media that is built by your colleagues, consumers, customers, clients, etc. over a period, based on how you interact with them.

What do you miss when you don’t build your Online Reputation?

  1. You applied for a high paying job, and you mentioned certain skills on your resume which the hiring manager is desperately looking for. To verify it, he checks your LinkedIn profile, and you haven’t mentioned those skills anywhere or no one has posted their recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. At the same time, the hiring manager sees another resume and in that profile, he finds all these things. You will certainly lose the opportunity here.
  2. You have done business with many people in the past. But, you never asked for the feedback. You never encouraged your customers to share their feedback online or offline. You never put your efforts to get positive reviews on your products. Now, a new customer hears about your product and searches about it on Google and sees only negative reviews about your products. And, there is no response from you to those reviews. He will never buy any product from you in future.

A reputation is a psychological phenomenon which can not be built overnight. It takes time. If you haven’t started building your online reputation yet, start building it now.

How to build your online reputation?

There are many options available. I am sharing a few. You can decide which one to choose based on your needs, purpose and business domain.

  1. Add your complete profile on Social Media

    You must have created your individual as well as business profiles on Social Media. Fill every applicable information in those profiles. Provide the right headline on Linkedin profile, add taglines, bio, skills, experiences, etc. on LinkedIn business profiles, add all your related links in those profiles. Prepare a descriptive copy of your bio that will explain everything about you. This helps your potential client or customer or employer understand more about you.

  2. Listen to your customers and act on it

    Mouth publicity creates a huge impact on the purchase decisions of the customers. Your unsatisfied/upset customers are going to talk more about you on the internet. This creates a negative image about you on the internet. Subscribe to your business, product and service-specific keywords on Google Alerts. It will send you a notification whenever anyone writes an article about it on the internet. If it is a positive article, you can use it to promote your business. But, if it is a negative article, you have to find a way to take down such articles from the internet. Maybe you can talk with that unsatisfied customer or take that feedback positively and improve on it. It will help you improve your products and services. If you are not listening to your customers, you are going to lose many opportunities in the long run.

  3. Get reviews from the customers

    As I mentioned, your unsatisfied customers are going to talk more about you on the internet as compared to satisfied or happy customers. Ask your existing customers to add the reviews about your products or services on your Facebook business profile, Google business listing, product pages, etc. This way, few negative reviews won’t have that much impact on the new customers.

  4. Get recommendations from your colleagues/clients/customers

    If you have worked with someone for quite a long time, and you are sure that they are satisfied with your work, ask them to give a recommendation on LinkedIn or get their testimonial. People like to hear the experiences of others before making the final decision. Many times people may not know how to write a recommendation. The recommendation must also include important keywords that will benefit you. Always keep a format ready with few examples and send it to your clients for reference.

  5. Start blogging

    Blogging is the best way to showcase your knowledge in any field. You can publish articles for free on Quora, LinkedIn or blogging websites like WordPress and Blogspot. Share your experiences and opinions on your blog frequently. It shows your authority on that subject.

  6. Write guest posts

    Look for blogs, media agencies, magazines which write frequently about the topic of your expertise. Send them the request to post your article on their platforms. This way, you get closer to your target audiences who are frequent readers of those blogs or magazines.

  7. Participate in networking events

    Being active digitally is not enough especially if you are an individual or a business in B2B space. You must participate in relevant public events. Why? Because we are humans. We prefer to put our trust more on the person whom we have met at least once. Having one-to-one interaction increases the recall rate. Meeting people in networking events is the best way to do that.

There are many more ways through which you can keep building your Online Reputation. If you can think of any, share it in the comments. I will add it in this articles with credits.

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