Your reputation is one of the most important things anyone has, this applies to both individuals and businesses. It’s never been so easy to have your reputation tainted as it is today, even through no fault or wrongdoing of your own. Rumors spread and go viral, and then there is hardly anything you can do to rein it in. Therefore, the best choice is to work on building your reputation and monitoring buzz to ensure that you have a good reputation in the minds of your audience.
Know Your Brand’s Voice
People get super-bored listening to corporate jargon. Put some personality in your brand’s voice, even if it offends people who aren’t in your audience. A great example of this is Penzeys Spices. They are irreverent and unapologetic, and their audience loves them. You can translate this to a service-based business as well, by understanding who your target client is and showing them who you are – which is someone who they like, admire, and trust.
Build Your Online Presence
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can only build out your online reputation on social media platforms. You really do need your own domain and website. The best choice is to use self-hosted WordPress and a hosting account like yourdomain.com. This is an inexpensive way to build a simple site for your business, and if you need help you can always contact me and ask about our startup business packages.
Publish Regular Original Content Online
One of the best ways to build your reputation online is to develop a content marketing strategy that addresses your target audience and engages them through every step of their buyer’s cycle. This may include social media posts, blog posts, guest posts, podcasts, Facebook Live, YouTube and more. It’s up to you how far you go, but should be based on where your audience hangs out and the information they want to know.
Actively Listen and Monitor Your Reputation
As you work on building your reputation, you’ll want to listen to your customers and monitor your online reputation. You can do that by setting up a Google Alert for your name, your business name, and your industry, to watch what is being said so you have a chance to respond.
Engage and React to Your Audience
You’ve likely seen this advice elsewhere, but let’s be clear. Engaging and reacting to your audience in public doesn’t mean soliciting them and offering services anytime they need help. Instead, be free with your advice in person and in online groups so that other people can view for themselves your intelligence and knowledge in your niche. Ensure that your profiles are sufficient so that people can view them and easily contact you.
Never Use Fake Reviews
It’s tempting when starting out to gather some friends to give fake reviews, or make up people. But, this is a huge mistake and can only backfire. Plus, there is no good reason to do this. Instead, work on collecting honest and accurate reviews that really mean something.
Ask for Feedback and Testimonials
Set up a system to automatically ask your customers for feedback as well as testimonials. You can do this via an autoresponder system. Get your customers on a special list so that you can communicate with them throughout your working relationship, giving them the option to respond to surveys, submit testimonials, and help you improve your services.
Don’t React Badly to Negative Reviews
Of course, they hurt. Sometimes they’re even wrong and unfair. But, they happen. The best way to answer these types of reviews is to respond in a way that is as helpful as possible, to delete them if it’s just spam, and to try to make it right if you made a mistake. Most bad reviews are a chance to show how willing you are to help people and to overlook other people’s rudeness.
Attend Live Events
A great way to build your reputation further is to go to live events, both online and offline. Go to them and take the opportunity to talk to and get to know your audience even better. If you can host events as well as speak at other people’s events, that’s even better.
Remember, you don’t have to please everyone. But, you do have to please your audience. Each audience is different and will find various words and phrases either insulting or wonderful. That’s why it’s imperative to find your brand’s voice and focus solely on pleasing your target audience.