When you first open your business, developing your online reputation is one of the most vital activities. A positive online reputation – will be attractive to prospective clients and customers, while establishing a sense of loyalty that can carry you through an unexpected crisis.
In the modern world, information about your business is just a couple clicks away. Even when you don’t realize that other people are looking, they will be. Now more than ever, you must take control of your online reputation.
Whether you’re a lawyer, a doctor, a business executive or an entrepreneur, the best way to stand out in the crowded marketplace is to project your personality in a way that connects with your audience on a deep level.
The numbers don’t lie: According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 82 percent of consumers would share their bad customer service experience. Thirty-seven percent of consumers accessed the Internet to find information on local businesses within the last month. Meanwhile, the average consumer reads between 2-6 reviews before forming an opinion. That’s not much time for you to make a great first impression.
Your online reputation should convey confidence and emphasize your ability to use skill and knowledge in order to meet the needs of your audience. If you don’t establish your online reputation, who will? Promote your brand tastefully with these tips so that it will be an asset for years to come.
Your website is typically listed on page one of search results. To remain perched in this position, you must continually update the content on this primary hub of activity. It will encourage your audience to invest time and energy into learning more about you and your products or services. Instill confidence in your audience so that they make the decision to contact your office or visit your store. Meanwhile, register your profile with several key industry directories. Make sure that all of your online profiles contain the same profile picture – i.e. your business logo – so that your brand is easily recognizable.
The information about you or your business online could be incomplete, scarce or even outdated. Sometimes a lack of information is just as troubling as inaccurate or negative information. The paucity of content of many businesses and professionals is an indicator that online reputation is a low priority. Confusing information can also be a major problem. If an individual or business with a similar name appears on your search results, the customers could abruptly end their online search. With a strong online presence, you cut through the clutter and make sure your voice gets heard.
Tell a Story
Stories are the most compelling element of your personal branding strategy. The best stories hold the interest of your audience – instructing them about what you have to offer and encouraging them to trust your information. Your social-media accounts, website and other online digital assets should exude professionalism, positive energy and prevailing values.
You must back up your claims with real results that are a natural reflection of your business. Determine what makes your product or service special so that it can be proven valuable to the general public. Each move that you make on social media either reinforces your professional brand or detracts from it.
Look and Listen
Demonstrate an interest in what your audience is saying online – and respond when they ask questions or express concerns. You should seem direct and approachable during all communications with the audience. If you’re not paying attention to the conversation, then you can’t focus on making your business better. By engaging with your audience members, you impress them with the ability to empathize with their thoughts and feelings.
Write Quality Content
Engage your current clients by sharing fresh and relevant content. Give a positive impression of your business and present yourself in a professional manner. The content you write must support your qualifications and show a little creative flair. If you demonstrate proper communications skills, you will increase your followers and Likes, increase your market reach and increase your loyal advocates. Plus, you will improve your odds of creating networking opportunities with other influencers. If your prospective customers are seeing plenty of videos, photos and biographies related to your business on your website and social-media accounts, then your online reputation is in good stead. Google’s algorithms tend to favor photos and videos near the top of search results. Keep in mind that all images should be professional and optimized for Google and other search engines.
Increase Interest in Social-Media Accounts
Building your professional brand involves creating a series of online accounts that hold significant SEO power. These profiles will boost positive information towards the top of your search results on Google and other search engines.
If you’re not finding the results that you desire, you might need to consider professional advice from an online reputation management company. After all, building a personal brand requires an ample amount of time and due diligence. Many businesses and professionals view it as a self-promotional act. It’s true. You serve as your own best advocate. Create your own online reputation, or another individual will build it for you.
Blake Jonathan Boldt is a content strategist for Reputation Advocate. He provides writing, editing, social media and content strategy services for both domestic and international clients. His articles have been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and digital media outlets.