23 May What common sense can teach you about online visibility and reputation.
Pay attention to your online visibility and reputation.
That’s what we keep hearing all the time and we all know it’s uber-important.
As a virtual assistant, I manage online presence for my clients and myself on a daily basis. I try to stay up to date and sometimes realize there’s so much information out there. It can really become overwhelming.
So I’ve searched and found a few simple rules to apply to any online strategy. They’re helping me and my clients stay on track and move forward. Rather than rules, it’s just common sense to keep in mind whenever we create or share others’ content. It involves personal branding and online reputation. Simply put:
We must pay maximum attention to the image we are showing of ourselves and our business to the world wide web.
Just 4 simple rules.
- Personalization: we cannot and must not hide behind a screen (on the other side of a monitor). In fact, we should do the exact opposite. People love to do business with people. That’s why we need to let something about our personality shine through our online presence. To a certain extent, it’s normal to observe what our competitors are doing; sometimes it can be inspiring or give us fresh ideas. But we don’t want to show up exactly like everybody else. There must be something that differentiates us in some way. Otherwise, how could we ever emerge and get noticed? SEO can help, but that’s not the point. With good – I mean tremendously good – keyword searches and SEO, our website might even show up on page one of Google, but what happens next? This is a great accomplishment but does not guarantee success. Once the prospects find us, will they like what they’ve found? That’s where personalization comes into play.
- Reputation: it’s useless bragging about what we have done or what we know. If what we say is not true, it will come out one day and our reputation will be at stake. Just not worth it. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses, let’s focus on the strengths without making up fancy things. It’s much simpler and less fatiguing. Let’s think twice before sharing content. I know Facebook allows you to set different types of audiences for our posts. If you create lists, you can decide to share a post with just one list and exclude all the rest, for example. Or we can decide that all our friends except Mr. X will see our post. But, whenever we post something we must think: what would happen if that post were shown to someone we wished to exclude? It could even be one of our potential clients. Could this post create embarrassment or make someone uncomfortable? Could it place us in a bad light? Well, my advice is very simple: “Don’t post it”. There are much better places to discuss extremely delicate or private issues than on social networks, in spite of all the privacy settings that we have at our disposal.
- Consistency: what we communicate and share on social media should be aligned with what shines through our website, newsletter and anything we publish online. I’m not saying we need to publish the exact same articles everywhere on the web. I’m just saying that the overall impression that one gets from us, the personality that shines through should be aligned. The readers on our list might also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc… If we put out there mixed messages, our potential clients might feel confused, start doubting our professionalism and eventually go away.
- Commitment: you cannot expect overnight success. I know there are programs out there which promise to give you the tools to do that. If only it were so simple… Continuous learning, training, hard work and perseverance are key. And all of that should be accompanied by plenty of motivation and the ability to get back on our feet again when things don’t go as expected.
As you can see, it’s just common sense. But, I often see that common sense gets left aside.
The internet can be a fantastic tool to help us learn and grow both personally and professionally, but it all depends on how we use it.
I hope these few and simple rules will help you start evaluating your online presence and understand what works and what needs some adjustments.
I’d love to hear what you think about it. Please leave a comment here below.
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