“Fix my online reputation”. If you’re a small business owner…or a business owner at all, the chances are that you have typed this into a search engine at some point. If you’re looking for a way to actually fix your reputation online, the time to get started on the process is now, but how should you get started?
Fix My Online Reputation – How to Begin Rebuilding
So, you need to fix your online reputation…you know there’s a problem, but where on Earth do you start to “fix” things? That’s what we’re talking about today.
When Might You Need to Fix Your Online Reputation?
Firstly, let’s talk a little bit about why you might need to fix your reputation. There are a few different circumstances that may prompt you to take action when it comes to rebuilding your online reputation, these include:
- Negative comments or reviews left spitefully by a disgruntled customer
- Negative comments or reviews left by your competitors
- Taking over ownership of a business that was previously negatively reviewed
- Remedying negative comments made by a “rogue” employee
- Fixing mistakes made by well-meaning but uneducated “SEO professionals”
Things to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Fixing Your Online Reputation
Now, when it comes to fixing your online reputation, there are a few key points to keep in mind.
Stop and Wait!
The last thing you want to do is react impulsively to negative comments and reviews because doing so can cause more damage to your business reputation. Think of a celebrity who is at the center of a scandal, they always consult their representatives before commenting on the situation. You should do the same when it comes to negative comments or reviews about your business. You need to consult a professional image consultant who can help you to manage the situation without making the situation worse. An online reputation management professional is your image consultant in this example.
You never want to let negative comments and reviews go unanswered, but you need to be very careful in crafting a response so that your business and your staff are represented only in the most professional way.
Find a GOOD Online Reputation Manager
Because your online reputation manager is going to serve as your “image consultant” it’s important that you choose a manager who knows exactly what they are doing. Screen your potential candidates by looking through their portfolio of clients, asking for references, and doing a little research of your own via search engine searches. You want to look for a company who is:
- Highly recommended by other small businesses
- Isn’t hesitant to share client referrals with you
- Answers your questions without throwing in confusing jargon designed to make you feel overwhelmed
- Openly communicates with you and isn’t impossible to get hold of
Once you find an online reputation management company that you feel comfortable working with, it’s time to get started. The first step is to get together with your ORM and explain in detail your current concerns and anything that must be addressed by your first ORM campaign.
For example, if you have a particular individual who has been unfairly targeting your business with online comments or reviews, you will want to discuss this person with your ORM. You want to explain particular platforms of concern as well as provide a history of how you know (or don’t know) this person. Keep in mind that the more information that your ORM has available, the better advice and service they can give you.
Developing a Plan
With the information that you provide and any other information collected via professional tools, your ORM will then work to develop a plan that is designed to improve your online reputation.
This plan will include a number of steps and you should expect them to take a little time to begin taking effect. If you come into a working relationship with your ORM thinking that they can remove or remedy problem comments or reviews within minutes, you’re going to be disappointed. Although it is commonly advertised that ORM businesses can “immediately fix” these types of problems, this simply isn’t the truth. In order for any resolution to be permanent and properly done, it takes some time, so be patient!
If you have questions while working with your ORM – whether those questions are about the plan to rebuild your online reputation or about the current progress of your ORM’s plan to rebuild your reputation, don’t be afraid to ask. This is your business and your reputation and you deserve to know what is happening and what you can do to aid in the rebuilding efforts.
Ready to Get Started on Fixing Your Online Reputation?
If you’re ready to get started on rebuilding your online reputation and you need the assistance of a reputable and experienced online reputation management company, we can help. Our team of online presence managers is ready to help you now, just give us a call at 727-475-6460 to take advantage of our free consultation opportunity!