In spite of finding a stack of them piled in front of your door a few times a year, telephone books are all but obsolete. These days everybody is using the Internet to find what they want. More importantly, they are using the Internet to tell everybody in the world about what they’ve found. Do you know what they are saying about you?
The things people say about you collect together to form your online reputation. It is important to monitor this reputation so that you can be sure that you, your business and your products (or services) are painted in the best light. Depending on the size and scope of your company and the amount of time you’ve been in business, this could be more than a full time job. That is why there are services out there, like www.reputation.com that make things a lot easier for you.
Before you worry about that, though, you need to start with what you’re doing to build your reputation in the first place:
Make sure that you practice proper customer service. Are you doing everything you can to make sure that your clients and customers have a good experience when they buy from you or hire you? Is there any way that you can step up your game in this area?
Is your website put together well? Is it easy to understand and easier to navigate? Does it give people the information they need? What improvements can you make to meet these needs?
Make sure that you are using SEO properly. Make proper use of your meta tags and heading code. Make sure you know how to use keywords properly. Spend some time every day on link building (both inbound and outbound) activities.
Do you know how to use social media? If not, you need to learn. Social media gives you a convenient and personal way to connect with the people who will be best helped by what you have to offer.
Are you making the most out of your social media profiles and accounts? You should be using them to respond personally to questions and feedback that get sent your way. You should also be using them to offer information and hints that your followers can use to make their own lives easier. You should not, however, be using them solely for promoting your products and services.
Do you have a blog? If not, you need to start one. A blog gives you a way to add some personality to your professional endeavors. Blogs help you show off your expertise in a helpful and conversational way. They can also great mediums for extra income, thanks to the advertising and sponsorship opportunities they provide.
Once you’ve mastered all of these things, keeping up a good reputation is simply a matter of maintenance, which is why, if you can’t afford to hire someone to do this for you full time, employing a service to keep you on top of every mention of you, your business and your products is a good idea. Make sure that you respond to the feedback that is sent your way in a positive and productive way. Even negative feedback can be turned into a good thing for your business if you respond to it properly.