Don’t you love that term? What does it mean? Who do you think are the most important reputation management consultants in your life? Go ahead. Spit it out. That’s right; it’s you and your employees! Now when guys like me talk about that vague term, we’re usually trying to scare you into buying something or hiring us to manage your online reputation. Sure, we can help and some of us do some pretty productive work for our clients, but in the long run, you’re your best consultant.
When you begin searching the internet for; reputation management consultants, you usually already have a problem or know it’s comin’. You’ve already searched for negative search results and found some nasty remarks or rude reviews about you or your service and I can tell you from experience that there are only three people who will go more than a couple pages deep to look for your results; a reporter, your competitor and you. Once we have pushed the adverse press off the first page for our clients, they invariably will start calling and telling me that they found some remote never searched term has shown up on page 3 and they want to know what we’re going to do about that one. If anyone searches past the first two pages, they already know what they are looking for and they’re going to do their damndest to hurt you anyway.
Who wakes up and says to themselves: “Boy, I think I’m going to run out and buy a timeshare today”? The same amount of people are likely to get up and look for someone to manage their reputation unless they know what has already hit the fan. Now the interesting thing about our profession is that most of us are or were in the SEO or Marketing field. We use our skills to reverse what we have been doing for years. We work to create websites and content and then optimize them to occupy the space that is damaging your reputation at the moment. The bad thing about it is that in most cases, it’s an ongoing endeavor because when we stop working, the negative posts usually rear their ugly heads again and again.
That’s the reason that I wrote this blog post: To try to help you avoid the need for someone like me. Be your own consultant. it’s a heck of a lot cheaper when you do it than if I do it. If you really want to avoid reputation management consultants, then start conducting yourself online especially as well as you can. Try not to over react to a customer or a competitor. Have meetings with your employees and explain to them that your success is tied to the customers’ reaction to their service and if they fail, the business can fail and their jobs disappear. I know I’m asking alot, but unfortunately we see it every week. We have clients who come to us on the verge of bankruptcy because they just figured out what has been happening to them and in some cases, it’s too late.
We have a client right now that we suggested they buy another company or merge with another firm because the damage was so great. In other words, change your name/brand. Let’s stop by saying: You are management. It’s your company. Be aware of the damage that can come from one misstep and save yourself from having to call consultants like me!