Managing your reputation is more important than ever in this fast-paced world of easily accessed online information. People from all backgrounds and all over the world use the internet to learn more about others. Whether you monitor it or not, people are probably talking about you.

Do you know what others are saying about you? Most people want to know what is being said about them online.

As the saying goes, “you are only as good as your word.”

Reputation Management Tips:

  • Spend time listening and paying attention to others
  • Read what people are saying about you or your company online (including social media)
  • Set up a Google Alert for your name and your business name (let it do the work of finding information for you)
  • Communicate why people should recommend you (versus your competitors)
  • Know what messages you want others to share about you
  • Answer all messages in a timely manner (use an email autoresponder to notify others when you will be away from work)
  • Respond with an open mind to comments
  • Engage with sincerity and authenticity online and in person
  • Be clear in how you communicate (do not give mixed messages)

Most of us hope our name and reputation are associated with positive traits and feelings. In the event of a crisis, take the time to deliver a well-thought response. Be as clear and specific as possible to avoid any misunderstandings. Share only the details you would like repeated about yourself (and they must be true).

Actions to Protect Your Personal Brand:

  • Identify the naysayers and respond promptly
  • Make the appropriate apologies and explanations
  • Seek to positively solve the issues of others
  • When appropriate, isolate naysayers so the conversation becomes more personal, but far less public
  • Talk in a one-on-one private discussion to resolve any issues
  • For every zealot trying to hurt you, your true friends are ready to defend you
  • Your fans will generally “shout down” detractors who are way off base
  • Reputation terrorists often base their arguments on feelings vs. facts
  • Have an escalation plan in place for excessive bashing in multiple forums
  • Pick your battles and tactfully respond to criticism
  • Always take the high road

A good reputation means you are available for even better opportunities as they come to you. Be attentive and responsive to others in person, on the phone with callers, and online with those asking questions or making comments.  If you do not blog, that is a great way for others to get to know you (and your work) more. Managing your reputation is critical to your success in life.

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Susan Rooks

Great tips and reminders, Kristi!

I grew up at a time when folks always said “don’t say anything you wouldn’t want on the front page of The New York Times,” and I’ve always remembered that.

Of course, in today’s fast-paced world, it’s even worse because we never know where our words will go or how fast. And once something’s on social media, we lose ALL control.

Joe Kwon
Joe Kwon

Love the proactive approach to managing your reputation here, Kristi. Personal branding gets a bit of a bad rap, but if you call it reputation management no one protests.

Agree with Susan’s advice about the New York Times rule.

Thanks for sharing you tips and insights!