Online reputation management…that’s an interesting concept isn’t it? It’s familiar to anyone in politics, anyone having a good image when applying for a job, or with a business sufficiently large to warrant independent upkeep. But for the average person, private or entrepreneur, there is a certain point that we start to consider something like reputation management. Is it right? Does it work? Are we good candidates for it? What might it accomplish? We’ll cover most of these questions in the ensuing post. Strap yourself aboard and, by the end, you might think it’s time to invest in your own reputation management service.
- Do You Have Customers or Fans? This isn’t meant to be an either/or question. We’re asking if you have customers or fans at all. So whether you’re at the helm of a hot new startup or a YouTube channel, it’s time to look at the people who actually interact with your content, service, or product. If you have people who actually use the thing you make, then you may be ready to think about a reputation management service. But don’t worry. We’re not there yet.
- What Do You Do In Your Company? Even if you’re just an Instagram personality, let’s say this is your “company”. It’s the thing you do in the world, that would collapse if you weren’t there to make it happen. If you’re a young entrepreneur selling chocolates on the internet, chances are you do everything in your company, including social media. If you take to this role naturally and don’t find yourself wasting time with it, maybe it’s not yet time to hire the pros. But if you’re starting the strain under the load…
- How Developed is Your Brand? Your brand is the collection of colors, images, “voices”, and other aspects of vibe that constitute your brand. It’s what pops into people’s heads when they hear your name. A lot of people, in the beginning of their work, don’t have much of a brand. Their stuff is all over the place. If this is the case, you should definitely try to shore up your brand before you pay someone else a lot of money to manage it for you.
- Do You Have Employees? Some businesses will get big enough that they can have employees. If that’s you, well done. This sometimes means that the reputation and branding stuff can be put in the hands of one of these people. However, you may have worked at a company before who hired a “Social Media Director” who ended up being some slack-jawed Millennial who didn’t actually accomplish anything. If your employees aren’t branding experts, and you don’t have the time yourself, maybe it’s time to hire a brand management specialist.
Today’s branding and reputation management is getting really sophisticated. In almost every case, such a company will be able to handle your online brand a lot better than you can yourself. Nonetheless, think carefully about the jump before you sign up. Chances are, it’ll be worth it for you, too.