If you have big goals to reach, you can’t afford to ignore your online reputation. When you apply for a new job, the hiring manager is likely to Google your name. If you compete for a desirable promotion, start your own business or publish a book, you’re going to attract an audience. That audience will look you up in an effort to learn more about your character and what you have to offer. If you follow these four simple steps, you can create positive buzz around your name so that online inquiries work in your favor.
Create social media profiles that are in line with the image you want to portray.
The first step is to determine what image you want to put into the world. Do you want to come off as an educated, knowledgeable professional at the top of your field? Are you a creative artist interested in showcasing your talent and originality? Once you determine what you want others to think of you, create social media profiles that support that image.
You may need to invest in professional pictures, create custom videos and spend some time writing social media posts that appeal to your audience. You may start with Facebook and Twitter, but there are many other social media platforms to consider, including Pinterest and Instagram.
Use content marketing to generate buzz and prove your expertise.
When you update your Facebook page or a friend tags you in a photo, you’re creating content associated with your name. Your content also includes infographics, videos and blog posts that you create and share.
You can generate reputation-building content beyond social media as well. Participate in forums, seek publication in reputable journals and write guest blog posts for high-profile websites. You may also go on a podcast tour, allowing podcast hosts to interview you live.
Give to others so that they’re more willing to give to you.
Take the time to respond to questions left on your social media accounts and give advice to those with less experience. Contribute to forum discussions with insightful information. If you come across a product, service or podcast that you find useful, share it through your social media accounts or blog. The more you help others, the more likely they are to help you in return.
Ask for reviews and personal endorsements.
If you’re trying to gain momentum with a new business, ask members of your target market to use and review your products or services. If you’re interviewing for higher-paying jobs, ask supervisors and colleagues from your current place of employment to write statements in support of your skills and professional value. If you can offer a small incentive to encourage videotaped reviews, you’ll have even better content to use on your website, blog and social media accounts.
While you’re putting these four tips into practice, make sure your social media profiles are clear of negative content from the past. Delete old pictures that don’t support the image you now want to portray, and focus on generating as much new content as possible so that outdated information is pushed to the back pages of Google search results.