How to Defend Your Name and Protect Your Reputation Online
Defending and protecting your reputation online is more difficult to achieve than ever before. The speed at which information spreads online, the ever-increasing number of ways to share it, and the tendency of some negative items to go viral, has made the defense of your brand and reputation nearly impossible. What may have once seemed an innocuous personal detail, or minor mistake, now has the potential to reach billions of people in a single moment, instantly becoming synonymous with your name and shaping your online identity for years to come.
The good news, however, is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Through a fair amount of work, diligence and determination, the control of your online narrative can once again be in your hands. With the right tools at your fingertips, as well as the right amount of savvy, you can successfully fend off online reputation damage and restore positivity to your name, your image and your reputation online.
Improve Your Presentation
How you present yourself online, whether through your social media profiles,articles you’ve written, photos or videos you’ve shared and even the grammar and spelling of the content you write is important to both the creation and management of your online image. In an age where “any person in a position to review your reputation for the purposes of employment, volunteering or other public interface can find out a great deal about you and your past,” says WikiHow.com, it’s critical to understand how much the content you publish online reflects on you, especially when it could be discovered by a friend, colleague, or future employer.
Taking a positive and proactive approach to improve how you present yourself on the Internet can begin to do wonders for your online reputation.
A Post a Day Keeps the Negativity Away
If you are being hounded by a negative online item, but don’t have an active social media presence, you could just be feeding the beast. Though building a strong online presence may sometimes seem like moving a mountain, Forbes.com contributor Dorie Clark says, the “small efforts really add up.” By consistently updating your social media profiles, Clark says, “that consistent content will come up when your name is searched and will help inoculate you against any negative content that might be out there or might arise in the future.”
Clark argues that not only can active social networking help counteract negative information that currently exists online but it can also help to establish an online firewall to better prepare you, and your reputation, for possible negativity down the road.
Publish Positivity Often
Building a positive online presence is far easier when there are more positive assets to work with. One of the best ways to build a more a positive presence is to create and publish items that best reflect your interests, experience and expertise.
“To be your online best,” says Microsoft, you need to “create what you want others to see,” and to “link anything you publish to your name.” You can better build out a positive presence through such behaviors like making comments on professionally-focused blog posts, writing reviews on books concerning subjects you know and actively participating in professional online forums. Beginning an active blog and posting on it regularly is another powerful tool that you can add to your growing arsenal of reputation defense weapons.
In addition to building a virtual fortress around your name to protect your online reputation, it’s also important to be vigilant about your online identity. Protecting your reputation and your personal information online requires an active and alert approach to online data security, ensuring you are safeguarding things like credit card numbers, bank statements, addresses, passwords and more at all times. Understanding online threats and what you can do to protect yourself from fraud is an essential aspect of a strong, positive and secure online presence.
Calling in Professional Reputation Defenders
All this being said, life happens, and it’s often extremely difficult to devote oneself to a give-it-your-all type of reputation repair effort. Career, family and the things that occur in the course of day, week or year may have you wondering exactly when you’ll have the time to mount an effective defense against negative reviews, defamatory posts, unfavorable news and other common causes of online reputation damage.
This is where professional online reputation management services can prove valuable, if not indispensable. If you believe online reputation damage is imminent, then your best bet may be to call in the experts; that is, it may be time to hire a reputation management company to defend your name online.
Hiring the Right Reputation Management Company
When shopping around for an online reputation management (ORM) company to protect and defend your reputation, be sure to look for reviews of the company. Pay attention to what reviewers are saying about the effectiveness of the services offered and the quality of customer support they received. Inquire how long the companies you talk to have been in the business of reputation management. Ask each company what are their specialties, who their primary clients are and how much success they’ve experienced working on cases like yours. Lastly, ask if they’ve been the recipient of any recent awards, accolades and recognitions, or noteworthy news mentions.
Once you’ve narrowed your choice down to a few ORM companies that you’re considering for the job, perform a Google search for the name of each company before hiring one. Be cautious of websites that claim to be reputable reputation management firms, but have nothing published about them online. Keep in mind that with reputation management, search engine optimization and other areas of Internet marketing, a few negative reviews are better than no reviews at all. After all, even the best reputation management services are not immune to angry customers and negative reviews.
InternetReputation.com and Reputation.com are two good ORM companies that are known to have reliable processes in place to protect and defend the online reputations of businesses and individuals. Considered blue chip companies in the online reputation management industry, each firm has been in the business of managing online reputations for over half a decade and both have spent years developing sophisticated tools and strategies to effectively address all the most common online reputation issues. When you go with a blue chip name like InternetReputation.com or Reputation.com, you may end up paying a slightly higher price than you would were you to hire an ORM industry newbie. As is true in all walks of life , when hiring a reputation management company you typically get what you pay for. By choosing the services of a reputable company like those mentioned above, you can rest assured that industry experts equipped with sophisticated tools and technologies will execute the most tried and true solutions to defend your name and bolster your reputation online.
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