Your personal brand is likely much more important than even you realize. None of us realizes how important a role the Internet plays in their personal brand. The truth is that the Internet plays a huge role in daily life overall. When someone wants to get some sort of information about a recipe they don't have, a book they want to buy, or a company they would like to work for—the first thing that they do is put the notable keywords into a search engine in order to find the relevant information that they want. If what they find is not accurate, they are nevertheless likely to believe it without even questioning. This is why the personal brand online is so important in shaping public perceptions, too, because individuals will often Google someone or some company and find an inaccurate or unfair portrayal. The good news is, there are ways to protect your personal brand online. Here are five easy steps to protecting your personal brand:
Step One: Be respectful to people whenever possible.
Probably the single most important way to avoid any personal brand damage, online or offline, is to behave in a way that is mannerly and respectful as often as is possible. Responding to rude or unfair attacks with anger or frustration is understandable and perfectly reasonable, but it is not preferable. This is the sort of thing that pushes people, especially denizens of the Internet, to become unhinged and begin really attacking the personal brands of others. The Internet is perfect for this sort of thing because anonymity is easy to obtain and almost impossible to remove. If someone wants to damage your personal brand, or reputation, then it is fairly simple to do online thanks to this guaranteed anonymity. For the individual looking to damage your brand, it is as simple as assuming a nondescript username on some blog or creating a random website concerning you personally, and then writing anything they want that does not actually count as libel or slander. A lot of damage can be done to a person's personal brand through these simple, somewhat clandestine, machinations. Being respectful, even to your detractors, means lessening the likelihood.
Step Two: Use Social Networking Profiles.
If you are a member of modern society, odds are that you have some sort of social networking profile, likely an account on Facebook. If you have not already, you would be well served to further protect your personal reputation by making accounts on the other major social networking sites in your name. LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogger, and other social networking sites are trusted by search engines like Google and Bing. This means that social networking profiles often appear on the first page when you input a particular person's name into a search engine. Making use of this free form of personal brand protection is not only smart, it is incredibly effective. If you make use of the social media platforms that are available for free, assuming there are no active attacks on your personal brand, then you really ought to be able to control your personal brand without any real hiccups.
Step Three: Create and Manage Branding Sites
There are tools like Repumatic that allow you to instantly launch Branding Sites and manage them from one central control panel. The purpose of branding sites is to provide information about yourself and interests in your search results. By having multiple branding sites in your search results you are dominating what people read about you online.
Step Four: Monitor Your Online Reputation.
There are plenty of ways to participate in online reputation monitoring and anyone who truly cares about their personal brand will invest in an online reputation monitoring strategy that works. However, while there are paid-for services available all over the Internet, it does not have to be an expensive endeavor. Google Alerts is a free service that can be set up for any number of keywords simultaneously. Alerts can be sent as they occur, daily, or weekly to an email account of your choosing in order to keep you appraised of mentions about your personal brand online. Google Alerts' advantage is mainly that it is both free and seemingly all-encompassing. Since Google is such a dominant company and exhaustive search engine, you can be sure that the online reputation monitoring that it provides is accurate. Signing up for Google Alerts is simple, easy, and quick, too, with no high level technology knowledge required. Trackur is another popular tool used by the more tech-savvy crowd and it is also incredibly effective. Repumatic also has a built in tool that will send you an alert any time you or your company is mentioned on a danger site like Yelp, Complaintsboard, Ripoffreport, etc.
Step Five: Don’t abandon the Process
The process of building your online brand is important and should be perpetual. There is not necessarily a finish line when it comes to building your personal brand. You can almost fully control how you look online with tools like Repumatic at your disposal. However, it’s not enough to just setup accounts on sites like Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Repumatic, etc. You need to use those tools to build your brand and keep them all updated with fresh and original content.
If you follow these five easy steps to protecting your personal brand, then you will not have many problems regarding online defamation, slander, or libel. You will be able to control your personal brand online easily and effectively.
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