building your reputation vs maintaining your reputation https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/

building your reputation vs maintaining your reputation https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/

Introducing the Ultimate Guide to Reputation Management

On Reputation Management, we often discuss fixing reputation mistakes: a huge PR crisis, gaffes that ended up on social media, or embarrassing photos just won’t disappear. But reputation management isn’t just about managing every crisis. It’s not enough to simply maintain your reputation reactively, fixing problems as they pop up. Effective reputation management means more that maintenance: it’s proactive action to build your reputation before it ever has a chance to be tarnished.

A Good Reputation is the Best Defense

Many businesses and individuals don’t consider their reputation until there’s a problem: an irate customer that’s badmouthing you on every review site available, or a regrettable mug shot that just won’t drop off the face of the Internet. These are, of course, reputation issues that need to be addressed swiftly, but know this: if you take the time to build a great reputation before problems pop up, reputation issues will be less damaging and easier to fix.

A business with dozens, or hundreds, of positive reviews will not be ruined by a single bad review. An individual with one questionable link buried among pages of positive search engine results will still be able to maintain a good reputation. The odds just aren’t that good that anyone will notice — or care about — small blips of negative reputation when your overall impression is a positive one.

On the other hand, if your reputation is a blank slate, the stakes are much higher. Every new entry, whether it’s a review, photo, or news story, matters much more, because it’s presented front and center. Customers may be wary about a business with just a handful of reviews, especially when one or more of them is negative. And if you’re an individual with little to show online, employers and others interested in your reputation will zero in on whatever they can find — including that terrible photo of you drinking on vacation or an online rant you posted years ago.

Proactive Reputation Management vs. Reactive Action

Proactively building a positive reputation is always easier than fixing a negative one. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re doing all you can to create a positive online reputation — even if you don’t think you need one right now. How can you take proactive action to build your reputation? Let’s go over the basics.

  • Claim properties and build them up: If you haven’t yet, sign up for social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But don’t just register your name and leave: make sure you stick around to build your profiles and genuinely engage.
  • Think outside the social media box: Though social media is important, don’t forget to pay attention to other essential tools for reputation building. Articles, press releases, and blog posts are also important to building your online reputation. They should all be a part of a larger online brand that revolves around your website.
  • Fix problems before they start: Monitor what’s being said about you online to identify important issues you need to address. Tackling a problem head on in its early stages is easier than picking up the pieces once it’s blown up.
  • Earn your reputation: If you want a great reputation, you’ll have to earn it. Deliver on great customer service and dependability so that it’s easy to reflect your positive reputation online.
  • Ask for reviews– and listen to them: Don’t just sit around hoping someone will say something nice about you one of these days. Solicit online reviews, and listen to them. You can use them to inform your business, and take the opportunity to address negative reviews.

In our Ultimate Guide to Reputation Management, you’ll see not just how you can fix reputation mistakes and avoid them in the future — but how you can build your reputation to turn it into a valuable asset. Visit the Ultimate Guide to Reputation Management to learn about all of the steps you can take to manage, maintain, and most importantly, build your reputation online.

Photo of Joseph Torrillo
About the Author

Born and proudly raised in Syracuse, NY, Joseph joined the team in 2008 as the Director of Reputation Management after earning his B.S. in Public Policy. He is now the Vice President of the department.

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