Your online reputation is your most valuable asset. It’s what people find when they Google you, and it shapes their impression of you — sometimes before you’ve even met.
The bad news is that not everyone has a perfect online reputation and far less perfect reputation management. The good news is there’s plenty you can do to change that. Whether you’re a CEO with bad press, a job seeker with embarrassing photos, or a small business struggling with reviews, you have options.
In our Ultimate Guide to Online Reputation Management, you’ll learn why reputation management is so valuable, what you can do to improve it, and proactive measures you can take to protect your reputation now and in the future.
I. Why Your Online Reputation Matters
Your reputation is as crucial as ever in today’s digital world, where a single negative search result can dramatically alter public perception of you or your brand.
When Your Online Reputation Counts
Though it’s true there are specific times when your online reputation really matters, maintaining a positive online reputation should be a constant effort. A need for a good reputation could pop up at any time. Consider these moments when a good reputation is crucial:
- Closing a business deal
- Developing a business partnership
- Running for public office
- Customers searching for reviews of your business
- Attracting new clients
- Comparison shopping
- Applying for college
- Starting a business
- Searching for a job
- Asking for a promotion/raise
- Connecting with coworkers
- Talking to reporters
Your Online Record is Permanent (That Means Forever)
Again, it doesn’t matter if you have no immediate need for a great online reputation. As long as you need it someday — and you will — it’s important that you pay attention to what’s out there, and what you continue to leave for others to find. Though the Internet moves at a fast pace, it’s also incredibly slow to forget. News stories or an unfavorable photo from 10 years ago may still show up on your first page of Google results if the search engine thinks they’re important.