207/365 Building a Reputation

“Your Reputation defines who you are and it is your responsibility to protect and manage it”

Your Reputation has become more important than it has been ever before, not because you have just become a celebrity. But because now there are so many ways in which it can be damaged. Without you knowing your name or your reputation would be in discussion, NOW at this moment.

People might be searching your name on Google or Bing or Yahoo. Do you know what they might be finding? Do you remember about a comment you made a while ago on a blog post that has been creating quite a reaction? May be not, but do you think that might slowly start defining your image on the internet…

The social media and social websites are where people talk whether you are in there or not, and there is a small chance you might be a topic. So rule number one to guard your reputation is to be involved where people talk, or the social media to be precise. You have to be out there and be connected if you want to guard your reputation. I agree that not everyone can do this all the time and it is time consuming. But having your presence is important to know what is happening around you

So do you have a Reputation?

Seriously! there are many people who think this way, because they are not a celebrity or not in business… reputation is not a matter… But that is changing. Reputation is not a celebrity characteristic; it is an individual common man issue today. Assuming you are not well known there are two main reasons you should still care about Your Reputation

  1. You are not well known today does not mean you will not be well known tomorrow
  2. Your identity will move online tomorrow whether you want it or not; whether you do anything or not…

That being said businesses and celebrities who are more likely to get their reputation hacked more often and more severely than the common guy might hire a company that does this for them. But what about you and me who are known to only a known number of people in the world. How do we go about and manage our reputation so we are both building and protecting your reputation.. Here are a few steps that are quite cost effective but very effective in building and managing your reputation

Your Reputation is Your Name

Do you have a domain with your full name like fullname.com. This in my opinion is one of the most important action to start with because people will search you on Google by what you are known. For example I registered www.vinodnarayan.com a long time back and have been blogging actively; Now a search of my full name on any search engine, the first few hits throw my blog and profiles on social sites. Yes you type my name in a search engine you get to me and I am far from famous…

Yes LinkedIn also helps a lot in this…. So even if you do not have your own domain LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter all will come up, better if you are there with your full name… Again may be my full name was not that common and that helped me a bit. But if I had not taken this step, someone would have because I am not the only person with that name in the whole world.

Think how you would feel tomorrow when you search your name and you don’t figure in the first twenty results. Interestingly my Google Analytics results show that there are some people who come to my site searching my full name, never thought someone would do that…

So Now I don’t carry a card, I ask people to search my name on Google, which I think is cool!… especially for people like me who is just another guy….

Your full name on Social Sites

It is not necessary to have your face on every social site that is there, but you should have your presence (as yourself and not pseudo names) in the major ones. I think primarily you will need Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to start with. There was a time when people preferred a unique catchy handle over their name, but that has changed.

I had a LinkedIn before I started my blog and I took a shorter handle and used /vinodn instead of my full name /vinodnarayan and when I checked later (after I figured how important the full name is) I can’t get LinkedIn url with my fullname, Someone took it, I also don’t have my gmail with my full name… 😦

Setting up Alerts to know Your Reputation

Setting up an Alert on your name (I used to used Google Alerts and then I used to use Feedly) and have that send you an email or through their reader see if you are being referenced anywhere. You might think why someone would talk about you. But you would be surprised by the fact that you are known and come in discussions with many people.

If people were to talk about you or reference you in real life, they would do so and forget, but online if someone types your name and then that content remains there. Now you can understand why not just celebrities and businesses but you also have to take reputation seriously.

Finally Be Transparent, Be Good

This for some might sound silly but the fact remains that all this technology and social connections make life and the world transparent. To maintain any sort of reputation, you should first be able to stand by everything you say. This means what you have said in past as well. You should refrain from gossiping as they always say. Don’t make a statement that you are not sure about.

But life can come in between and we might blurt out things that we wished we should not have. So being a true human and owning up can take us a long way. Also understanding that individually it is not as important to be perfect as it is to be the person identified by our own words. You can argue, you can and should have an opinion, and even tell someone is wrong when they are, but you do that because you believe so and not because you want to tarnish someone else’s reputation. So the final thought of managing your reputation is acknowledging that others have one too whether they are online or not. Be good and build Your Reputation



Categories: Work & Career

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