16 Nov Guard Your Reputation Like a Rottweiler!
How to do an Online Reputation Audit
Reputation is a precarious thing. We only have to look at the recent Cameron #piggate debacle to prove that. Once upon a time all people could do was gossip behind your back, today, in our online world, it is quite possible for your reputationto mutate without you even knowing anything about it.
This is why I encourage everyone, whether corporate or freelancer, to keep close tabs on their reputation and to undergo a thorough 360 reputation analysis at least every year. This is how you could go about it:
Step One: Damage Limitation
First, do a Google search on your name. Are you there? If you’re not that means you will be equally elusive to anyone else. While you don’t have to have your name plastered over the search engines, a complete absence is slightly odd. You should be showing up on LinkedIn at least.
Consider ways in which you can start to appear in the search engines. Perhaps you can contribute an article to an online magazine for your niche, or maybe your LinkedIn page needs a bit of work.
If you really don’t like what you see, contact the webmaster for that particular site. You can also approach Google about removing that page from the search engines, although there needs to be a valid reason such as sensitive personal details are included. You can find out more about that at:
Step Two: Tidy Up Operation
Make a list of every social media site you might be on, not forgetting to check the less popular ones in case you’ve made an account on them and forgotten all about it (it happens a lot!). Look through your profiles and hone in on:
- Bad grammar and typos
- Blurred pictures or photos that are out of date (did you really grow a beard?)
- Any posts you may not be happy about
- People you no longer want to be connected to, whether for personal or professional reasons
- Any posts or photos that you may be tagged in and are appearing on your timelines
Next, check your settings. While you want to be found on LinkedIn, you may want to set Facebook to private and have more control over who is looking at your page. If you come across old accounts that you’re not using consider deleting them altogether. If you can’t keep them up, it’s not going to look so good.
Don’t just keep to the big ones. Think about any profiles you may have on sites like Mumsnet, World of Warhammer or work related forums. Whilst you may well have used a nickname for some of these it is worth double checking.
Step Three: Build Your Brand
Brands always use the same small number of photos over and over again, so take a hint from them and use your best photo for every profile. If you’re not happy with it, spend a morning with a creative friend getting some good shots or just bite the bullet and pay for a professional head shot.
Doing an annual review of your profiles also mean that you can keep your photos up to date which makes you look professional and on the case.
Finally, you can take a more proactive stance and raise your visibility and media presence by joining our expert lists