The Power of Perception: How to Manage Your Online Reputation Effectively

If you start to get online reviews by the hundreds, how will it affect your sales? Reputation and sales are very much related.

But there’s no need to hire an online reputation management firm to improve how you’re perceived. You can succeed by yourself. You may be asking, why should you care in the first place? Consider these reasons:

  • Everything that’s on the web stays there forever;
  • You don’t have full control over how your data is handled;
  • The things that took place years ago can still affect you.

It’s hard to escape a mistake online. Therefore, you’ll want to cultivate a great public image and maintain it.

What Do People Look for to Assess Your Reputation?

Your reputation on the internet doesn’t depend on just one asset. But what matters most to your audience may change based on the industry you’re in.

Generally, you can expect them to judge you based on the following:

Social Proof

Whether it’s from Google, on your social pages, on your website, or on a random post, social proof will always be very powerful. Think about it this way: a customer saying that the food is good at Restaurant A is more believable than the restaurant owner. You assess what your experience will be and trust a brand based on other people’s feedback.

But to get online reviews as social proof isn’t the only thing that matters. Your audience will also look like who likes, follows, and trusts your brand. Therefore, having a lot of followers isn’t always a good thing. If it’s mostly people your target market doesn’t relate to, social proof may fail to translate into sales.

Online Visibility

Offline, if you want to expand your network, you probably have to attend a conference. But on the internet, expansion means being visible. If someone is interested in you or what you offer, they will look you up. Will you immediately appear in the search results?

If you want to positively impact how you’re perceived, you need to be easy to find. This means actively participating on various platforms that your audience cares about.

Online Behavior

Of course, what you put on the web matters just as much. Anything deemed unprofessional or inappropriate will dent your reputation. Meanwhile, valuable content will definitely pay dividends.

Are your beliefs aligned with those of your audience or your colleagues? How do you handle criticism? Consider that all your interactions on the web will be put under a microscope from now on.

Four Tips on How You Can Manage Your Reputation Online

If you want to build an online reputation the right way, you have to put in the work. But if you don’t have an idea where to begin, here are a few things you can try:

Assess Your Digital Assets and Footprint

If you’re trying to build your network, it makes sense to have a LinkedIn profile. Meanwhile, a coach is expected to have a website. Think of the digital assets that everyone in your industry has, and make sure you have them too. 

As for your digital footprint, make sure that whatever’s out there aligns with the image you’re creating. Anything that doesn’t pass that standard should be deleted. 

Think Before You Post

It sounds cliché, but you should think twice before posting anything… even something you think is innocent. Anything you put online stays forever, even if you delete it.

The last thing you want is to attract attention for all the wrong reasons. Even one screenshot can ruin all your hard work.

Respond Promptly

People assume how you act on the web is how you are in real life. After all, it might be the only basis they have for forming an impression. So, if you want to be seen as professional and responsive, reply to all the concerns, comments, and queries that the people on the internet direct your way.

This shows everyone that you’re not only interested in closing a sale. You genuinely want to help people and continue to grow. To respond successfully to what the public has to say, remember to monitor your social channels and other media all the time.

Know How You’re Perceived

What’s the general impression that you leave people? You want this to be aligned with the image you’re trying to build. 

If there’s a gap between how you want to be perceived and how you are perceived, work on closing it. Having this information will help you strategize.

Final Thoughts: First Impressions Leave a Lasting Mark!

No matter what you’re looking for, there are thousands of options out there. So why would a potential employer, business partner, or customer go with someone with a tainted rep?

Whether it’s through reviews, social media pages, or your website, make that first impression translate into a lasting relationship with your target audience. Although this is an endless task, the fruits of managing your online reputation only grow over time.