Your Online Reputation – Have you ever Googled your own name? If not, do it now, because other people could be Googling your name, and they will base their opinion of you on what they find. One recent study showed just how important this actually is.
“More than a quarter of Americans, including more than one in three Millennials, now believe that they are more likely to make a first impression online than at a party.”
And this is important not just in terms of building new friendships. Around 80% of employers state that they Google prospective employees before deciding whether or not to offer them a job. As such, it is vital that you have a positive online reputation. So how do you do that?
1. Know Your Standing – Your Online Reputation
First of all, you need to know what your online presence is. Only once you have that knowledge can you make positive changes. Don’t just Google yourself, but do also check Bing and Yahoo.
2. Take Over Social Properties and Domains
Start to create a brand for yourself. Set up internet pages with URLs that contain your name. All these pages and social media sites need to show you in a positive light. If you are a business, make sure you have a press page and an awards page as well.
3. Know Your Goals and Limitations
Building a positive online presence takes time and you have to be realistic about that. You need to make sure that the goals you set for yourself are achievable in terms of time. For instance, if you are hoping for a new job, then creating a positive LinkedIn account is more important than writing a blog. If, on the other hand, you want to create a business, then a blog and a Facebook page should be your priorities.
Do also make sure that you develop your Unique Value Proposition (UVP).
“Also known as a unique selling proposition (USP), your UVP is a clear statement that describes the benefit of your offer, how you solve your customer’s needs and what distinguishes you from the competition.”
Make sure that your UVP is visible across all your pages. And don’t think that a UVP is only for businesses. It is equally important for individuals, as it is a way to tell the world who you are and what you stand for.
4. Develop a Social Media and Content Strategy – Your Online Reputation
Now that you know what you want and what you can do, it is time to start thinking strategically. Start by thinking about what is already out there about you (remember point 1) and think about what you want to change. Also think about what you want them to know about you (your UVP) and how you can get that message across.
To do that properly, you need to think about who you are trying to reach. A prospective employer, for instance, is likely to look you up on LinkedIn and on Facebook. A prospective customer if you own a restaurant, for example, is more likely to look on TripAdvisor or Yelp. You must learn how to promote yourself, where to promote yourself, and when to promote yourself.
5. Create a Schedule and Stick to It – Your Online Reputation
Once you have your strategy in place, you can create an action plan of what to do and when. It is vital that you stick to that. You cannot have an action plan that says “create a blog post when I have time”. This goes back to point 3 about knowing your goals and limitations. And do also factor in time to review your action plan to see if you are meeting your goals.