If you are a professional, be it a company CEO, doctor, dentist, lawyer or accountant, then your personal online reputation is subject to more scrutiny than ever before.
You may have news links online for any number of incidents ranging from a reported speeding ticket to a dispute in a store; through to allegations of harassment, malpractice or theft, which can cause massive reputational harm to professionals – especially when such allegations are later found to be untrue.
What people see about you online or on social media can have a significant impact on how they perceive you and your reputation. Those people might include your family and friends, who know you better, but also work colleagues, new employers, existing and new clients or lenders – some of whom might feel differently or uncomfortable about continuing to work with you.
So, it is important to know what people will see when they perform a Google search of your name. Try it. 85% of recruiters do. 82% of shoppers do. What do you see about yourself? Do you agree with what you see?
How can you improve your online reputation?
Here’s our 4-step plan:
Do an online search of your name in Google, Bing and other search engines.
- Putting quotation marks around your name can limit the results to show only exact matches.
- Try a few variations of your name.
- Also do a Google Images search on your name.
Check all the social media sites where you might have a profile, and where others might have posted about you, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others. You can do a Google search of those sites also.
- For example, to do a Google search of Facebook posts, type “‘your name’ site:Facebook.com” in the Google search box.
Try to displace less than flattering content with good new content. Search engines seek to present the most up to date or newest content, so eventually newer items about you will rise in search engine results, and bad content will be shifted down.
- Create a blog with writings and photos about you or your practice. Remember to feature your name for articles and photos. You can get a free site at WordPress.com and Blogger.com.
- Delete old social media accounts, if necessary, and set up and maintain new profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- Send out press releases about positive or charitable work you might have done, perhaps in your industry or community.
Having completed the steps above, you continue your personal online reputation management on an ongoing basis. To this end, it is vital that you monitor your online reputation.
- Set up a Google Alert for your name (and all variations), and you’ll be notified of any new mentions.
- Use Twitter Search to keep track of mentions.
About Balanced Media
At Balanced Media our clients have included high profile entrepreneurs – business men and women, career professionals and entertainers – including leading actors and sports people; all of whom want to reclaim their online reputations.