As an entrepreneur, your personal brand is everything. It helps to build up a reputation, so that people can learn about and trust you. The best thing about having a trustworthy brand is that it enables you to build meaningful relationships with prospects, as well as influencers. But if you’re not careful, your personal brand can also work against you. As they say, it takes 20 years to build up a reputation and only five minutes to ruin it. Of course, in the information and digital age, we can see both occur much, much faster. Online reputation management is key if you want to ensure your image stays clean.
While building your brand, you’ll quickly learn that there will be many bumps in the road. There will be an assortment of problems and haters you’ll come across. Social media will go hand-in-hand with your marketing, so if you can’t manage this on your own, then hire professional SEO services to do it for you.
The following are some of the ways you could mistakenly undermine your brand.
You’re Not Being Authentic
One of the first rules of online reputation management is showing authenticity. If your brand lacks this, then people won’t trust you. Trust is everything for a brand. Authenticity also helps to separate you from the masses. It gives your brand an identity and tells people what value you can offer them. Some of the ways you can showcase authenticity include:
- Simply being yourself – try sharing your values, passions and purpose.
- Be charitable.
- Ensure your content and messages are consistent.
- Be accountable for whatever mistakes you make.
- Back up whatever you say.
You’re Sharing the Wrong Content
The content you share should resonate with your audience, as well as your brand. Ensure your content marketing strategy portrays this. Over-promoting your brand is one of the quickest ways to lose an audience. You need to focus on generating content that is valuable to your readers, listeners or viewers. Of course, a bit of promotion is necessary to get people to take action and convert. As a rule of thumb, you should follow the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your content should be informational and the remaining should be promotional.
Not Being Responsive Enough
The Internet is about interconnectivity. If your brand fails to respond to users, then it appears to be cold or dead. Make sure you are responding to emails, direct messages on social media and reviews on places like Yelp. Wherever people are reaching out to you, try to make an effort to reply. This will help build long-lasting relationships with both customers and influencers.
Trying to Be Everything
This just isn’t realistic. This will severely disrupt any authenticity you have created for your brand. A lot of newcomers attempt to be everything at once. You need to focus on what your brand really is. If you’re witty like Old Spice, then make sure your content and messages showcase this. Being serious one day and then witty the next will send mixed signals about your brand and will confuse followers.
Not Considering the Consequences
Every post you create comes with consequences, both good and bad. Make sure you’re aiming more for the good, unless your brand is geared towards controversy and creating chaos in the social realm. Emotions can get the better of you, so avoid posting when you are deeply hurt or angered. Refrain from posting negative things about a client who did you wrong or showing other unprofessional tidbits on social media. This will potentially tarnish your brand. Who wants to work with a brand who may publicly talk smack about them?
Online reputation management should be at the front and center of any Internet marketing strategy you have. And while you’re creating one, make sure you’re not making any of these brand-killing mistakes!