To call yourself an entrepreneur on the internet these days, all it really takes is a domain name, some website content and a high-profile ego to go along with it. Yes, it's easy to claim yourself as an "entrepreneur", but the big question is... can your online reputation back it up?
In a highly competitive space where everyone is eager to call everyone out for their mistakes and failures, protecting your online reputation and brand is key.It's now easier than ever to claim to be whatever you like on the internet, but it's also easier than ever for anyone to potentially find dirt on you as well. When your reputation and business is on the line, this is something you
While it's now easier than ever to claim to be whatever you like on the internet, it's also easier than ever for anyone to potentially find dirt on you as well--or even create some dirt up on their own. When your reputation and business is on the line, this is something you simply can't mess around with.
To help entrepreneurs of all types and sizes, we've thrown together a nice little round up of entrepreneurial tips, all focused around the concept of reputation management and protecting your valuable brand.
After all, it's not just how well you know your business, it's also how well you look online to others.
Reputation Management and Branding Tips for Entrepreneurs
When working with any business or brand on the internet, it's usually standard practice to perform a simple Google search to see if any reviews, complaints or negative content appears within the search results. With sites like PissedConsumer, RipOffReport and Yelp usually ranking at the top of Google, it's often quite easy to find the juicy stuff that many brands might not want you to see.
Our list of reputation management and branding tips aren't just for entrepreneurs and brands who are looking to clean up any damage that has already been done, but also for the most legitimate and squeaky clean brands out there as well.
Every business, brand and entrepreneur needs to have total control over how they look online, even if they seem to do everything by the book. The reason is simply that you never know when that one customer might make a huge fuss out of the smallest complaint or even if your competition might come after you for no reason at all!
The best solution for an effective ORM and branding campaign is to have one in place before anything does happen. Implement the following practices into your personal business or online brand to stay ahead of any unexpected disasters in the future.
Secure your personal name a domain - This one is easy and extremely effective, yet so many entrepreneurs still seem to neglect the power of owning their own domain name. If someone already owns your name as a domain, try to get the .net or .org version. Develop your domain name into a website or blog and start creating content to help it rank in the search results for your name.
Have an active social media presence - It doesn't matter if your favorite social network is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram... you should have active accounts on each of these networks. Not only will this allow you to build a following on the most popular social profiles out there, it will also allow you to rank for multiple positions in Google using your profile pages.
Improve search rankings around your name and brand - When someone searches for your personal name or business on Google, what will they find? If you are actively implementing the two tips above, search users should be finding your own sites and social profiles. Having your personal name as your site domain and linking back to it through all of your social profiles is a great way to spread link power through all of these sites -- thus helping all of your sites and profiles to further rank higher in the search results.
Highlight your achievements and testimonials - It's easy for anyone to grab a domain name and throw up a site of their own. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to show off your expertise and talents. Highlight any community or business achievements you might have, while also showing off customer testimonials or other nice things people might have said about you within your industry.
Keep your personal life personal - This last tip is an important one, yet it is also commonly the cause for most branding and reputation disasters we see. What you say and do online is for everyone to see... and once you put it out there, there is no taking it back. If you are going to brand yourself as an expert, you need to keep it professional at all times. That means not publicly posting political ranks, photos of your recent drunken nights or anything else that someone might find offensive or come back to hurt you later on.
Whether you are an entrepreneur in training or a veteran with years of experience and a powerful reputation already in place -- it's extremely important for you to always stay ahead of the curve. One of the best ways to do this is through monitoring your online mentions and continually creating new content and putting it to work for you at all times.
Protect your reputation. Protect your brand.