What is personal reputation?
Your personal online reputation is the collection of information about you that people find when they perform online searches for your name. You might think you don't care what people say about you because you haven't done anything wrong. But even if you haven't been accused of anything, you still want to know what people think about you. And if you aren't careful, your reputation could take a hit.
Personal reputation management helps you understand what information about yourself is out there, compare it to the information found for high-profile individuals who are similar to you and decide whether and how to respond. If you're concerned about your reputation, you must start monitoring it now.
Why is personal reputation important?
A good reputation is so important to businesses and individuals that it can make the difference between success and mediocrity. Nearly half of Americans believe that a person's reputation is the most important thing about them. This includes 46% of millennials, 42% of Gen Xers, and 35% of Baby Boomers.
The importance of reputation extends beyond just what people say about you online. A study published by the University of Minnesota found that consumers are willing to pay up to $100 extra for products and services recommended by trusted friends, family members, and colleagues. And trust is something we build over time — even if someone says something negative about us, our perception of that person can change.
So, how do we develop a strong reputation? Here are some tips:
- Be honest and ethical. People will forgive many things, including lying, cheating, and stealing, but dishonesty is one big exception. Refrain from lying, cheating, or stealing if you want to build a positive reputation.
- Don't gossip. At the same time, it might seem harmless fun, but spreading rumors and making false statements about others damages their reputations.
- Do unto others. When you see someone being mistreated, help out. Even if you aren't sure what you can do, try to offer assistance. You never know where the next opportunity to help might present itself.
- Treat everyone fairly. Everyone deserves respect. Treat each interaction with dignity and fairness, whether you're dealing with a customer, colleague, vendor, or friend.
How do I protect my personal reputation?
Protecting your personal reputation online requires taking three actions:
- Monitor what people are saying about you.
- Respond appropriately to negative comments.
- Manage your social media presence.
We're here to help you understand what it means to protect your personal reputation online. A few things are clear: Your reputation matters, and you want to take action to protect it. But there are many questions about what that entails and how to do it. We found that most people need help knowing where to begin. So we've put together some tips, tricks, and resources to help you navigate the process.
Monitoring your online reputation
Before you can build a strategy to influence your online reputation, you need to know what it is, how it works, and where to start. You also need to monitor your online reputation and identify any issues that could impact your brand. It would be best if you did this to develop a plan to improve your reputation.
To effectively manage your online reputation, you must use a tool that monitors social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, etc. This way, you can see what people say about you and your business.
Consider purchasing third-party software solutions to help you track down negative comments and reviews. Once you've identified the problem areas, you can begin working on strategies to address them.
Performing a reputation gap analysis
Now that you have used listening tools to know where your online reputation stands, it's time to execute a gap analysis. This step involves looking for a professional in your industry or area of expertise with high respect among peers. You want someone well-known and respected within their specific niche.
Next, look for a professional whose work you admire. Review the top results returned when searching for that individual. Pay attention to the content type and length of each piece of content. These things will help you determine what information you need to build your personal brand and how much time you should spend doing so.
Compare the results you found for the highly-regarded professional you chose to those you found when performing a search on yourself. What do you notice about the differences? Are there any gaps? If there are, now is the time to fill them.
Creating a personal reputation management strategy
When it comes to managing your online reputation, there are two main components of any strategy: knowing what you want and being able to take action. If you know what you want, you'll be better prepared to make progress toward getting there. And if you're taking action, you'll be able to measure whether you're making progress.
- The first component of any strategy is understanding what you want. This includes having a clear vision of what you want your brand to look like, how you want people to perceive you, and why you care about those things.
- The second component of any strategy is taking action. This involves setting goals, tracking metrics, and taking small daily steps to achieve bigger milestones over time.
Suppressing negative listings
Start by listing negative search results that you want to suppress. If you're trying to hide negative comments about your brand online, you might consider suppressing the following types of harmful content:
- Negative blog posts, articles, social media posts, etc.
- Negative news stories
You can ask the site owner where the content appears to delete it. Be sure to include the URL of the article or post in your email. For example, "I am writing to inform you that I am requesting that you take down my article 'X' from your website."
If the site owner doesn't comply, you can file a DMCA notice against the domain name of the offending site. Here are instructions on how to file a DMCA takedown notice.
Note: Some people report success by contacting individual blog owners directly. But be careful here; you want to avoid accidentally sending a DMCA notice to someone else's account.
Create positive listings
Once you've identified what needs to be removed or suppressed, it's time to start working on creating positive content. This includes writing blog posts about how great your product or service is, posting videos on YouTube, and sharing articles on social media.
The goal is to build up your online presence and ensure that people see good content about you. If there's anything negative, you want to take steps to suppress it.
The importance of continuous personal reputation management
Reputation management is about building and executing a comprehensive plan to protect your online presence. This includes active measures like social media influence campaigns and passive efforts like maintaining a solid web presence. If you're serious about managing your reputation, you'll want to take advantage of the many tools available today.
Once you've built and executed a personal reputation management strategy, your work still needs to be completed. Reputation management is an ongoing process that requires constant attention. You must always be listening for new mentions of yourself and your brand and looking for ways to improve search rankings related to your name or professional field.
Even once you've achieved the results you've been working toward, you still have to remain vigilant in protecting your reputation. After all, even if you've reached the top spot for a particular keyword, plenty of people are willing to do what it takes to knock you down.
How do I protect my personal reputation by myself?
There are many ways to build a strong brand online—however, one of the most powerful tools is protecting your personal reputation. If people see negative information about you online, it could damage your career and negatively impact your personal life. In fact, according to a recent study, nearly half of Americans believe that social media posts can ruin someone's professional future.
If you keep up with what others say about you, you will know whether something is damaging. So start monitoring what others say about your name, products, and organization. This way, you can learn about potential issues before they become problems. And if you find anything questionable, take action immediately. For example, contact them directly if someone has posted false information about you online. Or, if you suspect that another person is spreading rumors about you, report them to the site owner.
You can also use online reputation management software to monitor what others say about companies and organizations you work with. These programs help you identify trends and patterns that might indicate that someone is trying to spread malicious information about your company. They can also help you spot potentially damaging comments before they go viral.
Finally, research your search results. Look at the sites that rank high and see how they compare to those of leaders in your industry. Are they similar? Do they look like they belong together? If they don't look like they belong together, ask why. Is there a reason that they are different? If so, what can you do to close the gap?
Should I hire Reputation Defenders?
The Internet is vast, and a human can't monitor every piece of online content.
The good news is that we offer a unique combination of expertise and technology that allows us to take charge of your reputation. Our Reputation Defenders works closely with you to craft a strategy that addresses your issues, ensuring you don't lose customers because of a poor online presence.
We start by analyzing your current situation and identifying your problems. Then we develop a comprehensive plan to address each issue. Finally, we implement the strategy, monitoring progress along the way.
Our approach is holistic, considering everything from your website's technical aspects to your brand's broader context. As part of our process, we'll gather feedback from your stakeholders, including employees, partners, suppliers, and customers.
Contact us to discuss your needs and find out how we can tailor a solution to suit your circumstances.
November 18, 2022