If you’re a freelance professional, a consultant, or a rising star on Youtube or Instagram, you have a personal brand.
And that brand is very valuable.
You’ve probably spent a lot of time carefully designing your brand strategy, brand aesthetics, and other aspects of building up a public persona that represents who you are as a professional.
Building your reputation means being proactive, and there are some steps you should take to prevent bad reviews, gossip and rumors, and other forms of bad publicity from reflecting negatively on your brand.
This applies to company brands as well, but for personal branding, it’s incredibly important.
Your personal brand isn’t all of you, but it still reflects on you as a person.
That means bad reviews and bad PR can be incredibly damaging.
After all, can you really rebrand yourself if public opinion goes sour?
In a recent blog post, Razor Social offers some useful online reputation management tips.
1. Track mentions of yourself, your company, and products
This one is a no brainer – you have to monitor what people are saying about your company and your products or services.
Negative comments travel at the speed of light in the online space.
If you don’t catch them and react on time, they can negatively affect how people view your business.
Luckily, there are tools out there that you can use to make sure you never miss a mention of your brand or product name.
One such tool is Brand24.
When someone mentions you – you’ll know immediately and you’ll have an opportunity to react.
For example, if someone wrote a positive tweet about your product, you can retweet and thank them.
You can also respond to a dissatisfied customer before things get out of hand, get involved, and offer a solution!
The key to effective online reputation management is acknowledging the mentions of your brand so you can minimize the negative comments and amplify the positive ones.
2. Register with your brand name on key social media sites
You probably think that registering on a social media site like Pinterest does not make sense if you don’t plan on using them, right?
I would advise that you register on ALL major social media sites using your brand or business name (or your name if you have a personal brand) and secure the ownership of your name on those sites.
Why risk having someone else use your brand name for something completely unrelated when registration costs nothing?
3. Track and encourage reviews online
In the online world, your brand ambassadors and detractors have the equal opportunity to voice their opinions. Consumers hold all the power and they can use it to shape the online perceptions of your company.
Their words become the social proof your potential customers are looking at when assessing your company’s reputation.
So instead of fearing negative reviews, or worse, pretending they don’t exist, you should take a proactive approach to online reviews.
Always respond to negative reviews with a solution.
Being silent about it will only make things worse!
You can read about more ways to protect your personal brand from bad publicity in the full article from Razor Social.