Your online reputation is the same thing as your offline reputation but, thankfully, you can discover what your online reputation is and work toward making it better. In contrast, it can be very difficult to discover what your offline reputation is.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you have these days – it can be online or offline, large or small. You must manage your online reputation. Here are eight reasons why.
1. Most People Will “Google You” before Buying
You know you do it, so of course, most others do it too. If you want information on a business or product, you search on Google to see if you can find it. You don’t care if it’s a local business or not – you go to Google, type in the name, and then you read the reviews and other information about that business.
2. People Buy from Those They Trust
Finding good information during the searching process helps build a feeling of trust in your customer. If instead they find bad information, poor ratings, or other things about you or your business that is negative, they may choose a competitor – even if they can’t find information on that competitor. Worse, they might find information about a competitor who is far away and order through the mail.
3. Reputation Builds Brand Awareness
By building an online reputation through the use of social media, websites, blogs, YouTube videos and more, you will build brand awareness. If you do it right, it will build positive brand awareness about yourself and your business. But, if you do it wrong you might inadvertently make yourself look bad. Focus on always being positive and not negative, unless of course that is your personal brand.
4. Good Reputation Gives a Competitive Advantage
The aim is to build such a good reputation that when someone searches for your name, a search term, or your product or industry, you appear in the searches in a healthy way without controversy. In this way, you’ll have an advantage over your competitors who either don’t exist online or have a bad reputation online.
5. Nothing Is a Secret Anymore
One thing you have to accept about our new technological world is that nothing is secret anymore. You cannot be anonymous online if you expect to make an impact with your business. Instead you need to be yourself, out and proud as they say, taking control of your reputation by making an appearance on discussion boards, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos and more. Even if you have one negative event, you can ensure that the positive outweighs the negative if you make a concerted effort.
6. Customers Care about Your Values
In the old days, everyone cared more about the bottom line than their reputations as employers or corporations. Today, people want to know about your character. If you have poor character, or appear to online, you will lose money because consumers want to buy from people that are upstanding citizens who care about the world.
7. Unscrupulous Competitors May Attempt to Trash You
By keeping an eye on and working to improve your online reputation, when and if a competitor tries to trash you, you’ll be ready. Believe it or not, some very misinformed and bad people will actively seek to trash you online. They’ll hire people to do poor product reviews, or do one themselves, and call you out on things that aren’t true just to make you look bad. How you respond makes all the difference.
8. Every Action You Take for Better or Worse Affects It
One thing you have to know about being online and running an online business is that everything you do will be analyzed and scrutinized by everyone. It’s imperative that before you post that picture of you hanging off the ceiling at that convention that you consider how it will impact your future. Before you spout off to a rude customer on social media, consider how you can turn it around in a way that is positive because even if you’re ultimately right, how you respond matters.
Building and maintaining your online reputation is an important way to build your brand, improve your business, and make a difference. Leave no stone unturned and you won’t be unhappy.
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