As a business person, you are constantly striving to strengthen your professional reputation online and in person. It isn’t enough to simply have a good reputation. You need to constantly maintain your reputation and always work toward improving it.
The importance of maintaining your reputation
Many people take their strong online reputation and brand for granted if things are going well. However, if things aren’t going so well, that is another thing. It is very important to remember to constantly work at maintaining your good reputation no matter how good you think things are going. That way, you will have it in place and in good standing when the chips are down. There are several ways in which you can build a positive online reputation and make it so strong that if and when negative situations come along, you will be prepared and it will do a minimal amount of damage, if any, to your business’s reputation.
Your website should be your own
The first place that you will want to start when it comes to maintaining your online reputation is your own website. You most likely already have a website for your business. It is critical that you protect your brand by having your name as part of the domain name. The reason for this is the search engine ranking. Domain names with actual the actual business’s or the individual’s name generally ranks higher in the search engines than other domain names in a search. The higher your search engine rankings, the more website traffic you will get and the more traffic you get to your website, the more business you will get and the more successful you will be. When people are searching for what you sell, the last thing that you want them to do is to go to your competition.
Have a series of blogs
If you have a blog (even if it is the principal blog for your business), it doesn’t mean that it has to be your only blog. It is possible that you might want to use different blogs for different purposes. You may feel that you want one particular blog to identify with one particular target audience and another blog to identify with another target audience. One thing to remember is that each of your blog names has some element that makes them uniquely yours.
Really work your social media channels
Of course, it is extremely important to have complete profiles on whichever social media channels you feel will be the most advantageous for your business. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are all good choices in the beginning. They are very popular and many people connect on those channels. It is very important that you become a part of social media channels that you will actually use. If you merely connect, create a profile and never use it again, it is not at all useful for you or your business. You need to have a strong online presence and if you don’t work your channels, nobody will know that you are there and they will forget about you when it comes time for them to need what you offer. You will want to continue to build your audience members on the various social media channels of your choosing and the more that you do that, the stronger your reputation and brand will become.
Show them who you are
The reason that having complete social media profiles is so important is that it gives people a chance to get to know you and to understand what you stand for in business. You can make an online business card. It is like a personalized, customized page with a biographical sketch and links to your website and social media channels.
Get exposure through guest posting
As you are maintaining your online reputation, an important part is getting your name out there in as profound a way as possible. The more the better, in fact. Along with maintaining your online reputation, you are also continuing to build credibility, trustworthiness and to position yourself as a subject matter expert so that the next time people have a need for your products and/or services, you are the person they will contact.
Say yes to interviews
If you have the opportunity to do interviews about your business and your brand, go for it. The incentive for you is that more and more people will learn about you and what you are offering. As always, it is about building relationships. The more people get to know you, the more inclined they will eventually be to buying from you at some point.
Make your presence aesthetically appealing
The more you can attract people (and many of your online connections are visual people) to your website, the more connections you will establish. You can accomplish this with graphic images and videos. They are both very effective. Many people relate to images more easily than to words alone.
Your reputation in business is everything. You need to establish it and then you need to maintain it on an extremely regular basis. Having a strong online identity is absolutely critical to your business. Also, another way that you succeed at keeping your reputation in order is by continuing to interact online with people about your brand and about what you are doing and what you believe in. People will want to interact with you if you are sincere, giving, and if you put their needs ahead of your own. They will get to the point of always choosing your business first.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.