Author: Verónica Ruiz
Have you ever googled your company or your own name on Facebook? Did you find yourself? Were you surprised by the results? If you did, you have probably felt funny about how you cannot control some things. Yes, that can happen when you see what is being said about you on the internet!
Some weeks ago I attended with a friend to a fascinating workshop at General Assembly about online reputation. We learned some tricks to improve and, most importantly, to control our presence on the Internet. Patrick Ambron (CEO of Brandyourself.com) gave this master class and explained how important our online reputation can be to find a job or to create new business opportunities.
There are mainly three problems we can face when it comes to our online reputation:
• Have a negative online presence: Things that are controversial, embarrassing pictures, negative opinions, etc.
• Be irrelevant or invisible to the Google World (so, basically, to the online world)
• The that-is-not-me syndrome (somebody else has the same name as you have :S)
Do not panic yet because there are some tools you can use to create a professional online image, or at least good enough…
We should start with our profiles in the different social media networks. We can create content that will allow us to manage our presence on the Internet and tell Google or other search engines: “Hey! This is me and this is what I want to show to the world.”
You can begin by following these two rules:
1. Take care of your own profile and be careful with what you publish. To put it simply: Do not share things you don’t want to show. I know, it’s simple, and yet you would be surprised of the amount of folks that do not follow this basic rule.
2. Use the privacy filters. This way, if someone tags you in a comment or picture, you will have the opportunity to review it before it goes public.
If you want to go further improving your online reputation, you might want to start creating original and relevant content. You can talk about your professional experience, your business domain or any other topic that you like and could be interesting to others (travels, books, music…):
4. Become a volunteer for an online magazine like The Huffington Post and link your articles to your online profile.
But if you really want to rock and have a relevant, professional and techy presence on the Internet, you can go ahead and take these final steps:
5. Create your own website: Buy a domain with your name and be sure that no one else can have a similar one. Feed your website with the best content about yourself (resume, professional experience, charity activities, hobbies, videos, etc.)
6. Be active in SEO: Search Engine Optimization is crucial for your online reputation. You will have to structure your website in a way that is Google-friendly. That means to put your name in every header, description and section of your website. By all means, you will also need to implement effective link-building, linking your website to renowned sites that can attract a well-accepted traffic to you.
Obviously, if you are facing major problems with your online reputation you can always turn to professionals as Ambron so they can manage of your www presence. In any case, our advice is to follow the previous steps to avoid any undesirable situation! With a little bit of time, you can have your online reputation under control!
Photo credits: Flickr