While Twitter, LinkedIn and many other sites can help you in these efforts to boost your online reputation, it’s important to maintain your brand’s online integrity. Here’s how.
The last thing anyone needs to read is unflattering statements about themselves or their businesses. Actors and other performers face this all the time in the form of reviews. Critics can be merciless. However, if you’re going to make $75 million for a single film — Robert Downey, Jr.’s salary for Iron Man 3 — you come to accept unflattering statements made about your work because it comes with the territory.
The best way to maintain your brand integrity online while promoting yourself is to follow a few simple ideas we found from Wired Advisor.
Good Professional Image.
Online this means having the best looking website possible. Don’t skimp when it comes to your firms home page, blog, etc. Especially important are professionally produced head shots of yourself. You wouldn’t show up for a meeting looking like you just got out of bed. Don’t do it for your website, either.
Be a Thought Leader.
Rather than promoting yourself ad nauseam try to take a long-term approach to your online business development. Engage people in thoughtful discussion without any thought to snagging their business. It’s said to take 5-7 personal interactions with a person before they’ll do business with you. Build an online following based on trust and the customers will follow.
If the only thing you do is to tweet about stories you’ve read online somewhere, that’s fine, as long as you explain in an original manner (and of course in 140 words or less) why you think the article, story, whatever, is interesting not just to you but your target audience. People want authenticity so give it to them without going over the top. After all, you are promoting a business and not a Vaudeville act.
Think Before Posting.
While authenticity is vital to the online success of any advisor it’s important to remember that people hire you because they believe you’re a professional who’s got it together. Rants in an emotional rage aren’t going to win you any fans, nor will posts or comments about religion, politics and anything else of a sensitive nature. When doing anything online try to imagine this will be read by every major CEO in the country. Do you really want them to know your inner thoughts on the Conservative or Liberal parties?
This last one we made up but think it’s critical to the success of your business. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing online you either have to change your approach or stop doing it. People want to know that you like what you do and that you have fun while doing it. Being professional doesn’t mean being dull. Service with a smile never goes out of style.