How to Clean up Your Name and Improve Your Personal Online Reputation
Online reviews impact more than two-thirds of purchasing decisions. Needless to say, your reputation matters. That's why you don't want to mess it up.
You need to take a hold of your reputation now and clean up any bad reviews or thoughts that may be out there about you.
Handling a reputation can be difficult though. Other people's opinions of you aren't in your hands, but there are ways that you can clean up your online reputation.
Keep reading if you're interested in cleaning up your name online and improving your personal online reputation.
Start By Looking at Your Current Reputation on Google and the Web
It may be tough, but you need to start by looking at what people are saying about you right now.
Who do they think you are? What opinions do they have? What is everyone saying about you?
You may be shocked as to what you find. Whether people are raving over how amazing you are or rioting over how appalling you are, you need to soak the information in so that you can clean up your name.
Ask Others For Their Opinions About Your Personal Online Reputation
If you're at a loss, you should ask people directly how they feel about you. They may have heard things about you that you haven't about yourself.
It's important to hear comments and opinions from people who you know and people who you don't know. Having a range of ideas to draw from will give you a better idea of what the general consensus on your reputation is so that you can clean up your online reputation.
Once you've gathered information, do the following:
- Be honest with yourself.
- Evaluate if the claims are true.
- Write down the negatives.
- Work on improving yourself.
Address Everything Negative To Clean Up Your Name Online
The first thing you need to do if you want to clean up your name on Google is gathering everything negative. Some people have one negative comment for every 10 positive ones, while other people have one positive comment for every negative one.
Whichever situation you're in, you need to take the time to address those negative comments that people have taken their time to leave. You may have a lot of them to run through, but you should take your time with this step.
Reading everything that people have to say about you can be tough, but you'll find that responding to it is even tougher. However, you have to respond or give some kind of recognition to the issue if you want to truly move on.
Make sure that you address legitimate complaints and comments. If someone had something true yet hurtful to say, respond and strike a conversation.
If you own a restaurant that had a bad comment about wait time, respond. Tell the customer that you have revised your seating arrangements and would love to have them back to show them the improved system.
Say something positive in response to negativity. Show them that you know how to take legitimate criticism and respond positively.
Contact People Directly About Your Online Reputation
If you find that some people are leaving illegitimate, negative comments, you can address these too. Some people will go on review websites to gripe and complain about things that weren't actually your fault. Sometimes, they've even left a review for the wrong company.
If you come across any of these kinds of comments, you can contact the websites that they're on and get those comments removed. You won't get in trouble for asking for false claims to be removed. If anything, you're creating a clearer, more accurate picture of what your true reviews look like.
If you're looking to review employee reviews, you can contact these websites directly to clean up your online reviews. You may have had a change in management or ownership. Whatever the reason, you can get unreasonable, untrue, or outdated comments stripped from these sites.
Bury What You Can So You Can Clean Up Your Name Online
If you find that there are negative reviews and comments that you can't get rid of, it's time to do some patch-up work. This is the time where you address what you can and leave the rest to get swept under new content.
Sometimes, you just have to build new content on top of old, rusty content. This is where you hope that no one finds your old stuff or just ignores it.
Make sure that your new content is glowing if you decide to do this. You want positive, 5-star reviews to replace any negative thoughts.
Make a Plan Before You Start Cleaning Up Your Name Online
Once you've gathered all of your intel, it's time to make a plan for addressing your reputation. If you're trying to revise your reputation, it's likely either because you've formed a bad one or you need to make a new one.
Figure out what you want that new reputation to be. What do you want people to associate you with? What should be the first word that pops into their head when they think about you?
Make sure that you have a clear vision of what you want to be. This shapes your entire plan so that you can clean up your reputation on internet search engines.
Get Ready for a Fresh New Reputation on Google and the Internet
Get excited! You are about to build an entirely new cover for yourself. It's like a new company logo or a fresh start to a social media page.
The possibilities are endless, and you have the creativity and grit to get started and clean up your name online.
If you don't have passion behind the reputation you're trying to build, you won't get very far. This point brings us to the idea of being "fake."
Here are some things you DON'T want to do when you're creating your new reputation on Google Search, and other internet search engines:
- Build a reputation you can't uphold in person
- Create an image of someone you're not
- Give a false perception of who you are.
- Construct a false narrative about your life
Lock Down Your Private Life to Protect Your New Internet Reputation
Whether you're an individual looking for a new reputation or a business looking for a new reputation, it's important to draw a privacy line somewhere. The truth is that you may not want everyone seeing everything. In fact, it's better that way.
Make sure that you're making your private life private. Using specific privacy settings on social sites and online accounts, keep things that you don't want the entire world to see - i.e. unprofessional pictures, arrest record information, negative press articles, etc. - confidential and shared only with friends you truly know and trust.
Many people actually have multiple accounts for this very reason. They may have an account for their private life and an account for the life they actually want to share.
Consider Deleting Online Accounts to Help with Cleaning Up Your Information and Reputation Online
You may even want to consider deleting some of your online accounts.
If you're an individual, you could have some old social media accounts that are cringe-worthy today. If you're a business, you may have an old email account or a worn-out social media page, or worse.
Think about your entire web presence, and take a look at deleting or tightening up the privacy settings on all of your online accounts and web 2.0 profiles, including the following:
- Social media pages
- Email accounts
- Store memberships
- Online channels
Be thorough and think about how everything with your name on it impacts your online reputation.
Make a Content Calendar/Plan to Improve Your Online Reputation
Now that you've set your new online reputation up for success, it's time to implement it. You need to show the world the new you, whoever or whatever that is.
After you make your first post following the revamping of your identity, you'll need to keep things consistent. Many individuals and businesses make a content calendar or a general content plan for their social media websites and other online profiles.
Some sort of general path to follow could help you understand what posts and comments are in line with your reputation and what posts and comments aren't in line with your new reputation.
Stick to Your Plan Reputation Cleanup Plan
If you don't continuously stick to this plan, there's no point in even addressing your personal online reputation. Once you've set your new reputation, you need to stick to it.
Don't shy away if you receive a negative comment. Don't give up if you lose a follower who doesn't like the new you.
Remember that the journey was mostly for you anyways. Losing one follower here won't make a dent in the number of people who will love a new, consistent reputation.
Getting Professional Help
When you've exhausted all of your knowledge and resources, it's time to get some professional online reputation guidance. Asking for help from others is the best thing you could do if you're battling a fierce online reputation.
If you're going to tackle your online presence, it may just be best to give us a call. Balancing online reviews, comments, and other opinions can be detrimental to your mental health. You shouldn't have to worry about digging through a troubled past or a misconstrued quote.
Our team here at Defamation Defenders can help you with your business reputation and your personal reputation. With a wide range of services and a lot of expertise, we're experts in personal reputation repair.