2013Where did 2012 go?

Time sure flies when you’re preoccupied online. The remaining days of 2012 are a great time to revisit online reputation management basics and give some serious thought to how you want to brand yourself vs. where your Web presence currently stands. It’s time to take your digital pulse.

Professionals want to be taken seriously in print, in person and on the Web. At a minimum, to be perceived as a professional, you must behave in a professional way, be mindful of how you identify or define yourself online and you must be in control of your emotions while working. Anything less will work against your online reputation.  Choosing your words with care and being careful about how you weigh in on sensitive issues is essential too. You might intend on offering solutions or positive insights to an online discussion and end up fighting back digital backlash.

As you prepare for 2013, here are a few things you can do to put a big beautiful bow on your reputation next year and in the future.

  1. Email Signature: Set up or refresh your email signature. Add website, social media links, logo or link to a marketing campaign, e-book or new blog post.
  2. Mobile Email Signature: Set up or refresh your email signature on your smartphone. Add a links to your website & social media connections.
  3. Get a professional email address. The free email services offered by Gmail, Outlook/Hotmail/Live, and Yahoo won’t help you distinguish yourself as a professional. Buying your own web address (domain name) will help you establish yourself as a professional. First, secure your web address, then create a professional email address then continue building your personal brand.
  4. Add a new voice mail message: A new, upbeat voice mail message could encourage more people to want to work with you or get to know you better in 2013. Keep your message brief and add your website & other contact information.
  5. Tweak your social media profiles: Polish or update your profiles.
  6. Create a website or start a blog: Feature your professional expertise and share your insight as you promote your own web address.
  7. Business cards: Keep some paper business cards on hand. Some people prefer them.
  8. Rename or name your Wi-Fi Network: Allow your secured Wi-Fi network to reflect your brand in your home office, at your headquarters and other places of work (mobile Wi-Fi). This way, anyone who is searching for a Wi-Fi network in your area will see your marketing message or web site address proudly displayed where a general Wi-Fi name normal would show up.
  9. Mobile Phone On hold Music: Most mobile carriers offer some way to change your default ringtone that people hear when they call you. Make the song that greets them you sound professional. Holiday, seasonal and motivational music songs are a nice touch.
  10. Make an in-kind Donation: Donate your expertise to a school, nonprofit, aspiring entrepreneur for free on a short-term or long-term basis.
  11. Adopt a school or class: Supply them with supplies for a special event or throughout the year.

Remember, everything said or done online is an extension of who you are offline and vice versa, so it is best if you behave in a professional, caring way so no matter where you happen to be, especially during holidays, you are seen as a well-rounded, emotionally intelligent sharp professional.

How else can you prep your reputation for the New Year ahead?

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