As we continue to spend an increasing amount of our lives online, we are discovering that there are not only major drawbacks to all of the over-sharing on social media, but we might not have all that much control over how we appear online either. An individual who wants to damage your reputation won’t encounter many obstacles online, which means your good name can be easily tarnished.
That is where online reputation managers come into play.
Part tech experts, part PR gurus, they specialize in online makeovers – frequently through promoting content that highlights the desired image of a client as well as burying search results that are negative.
In order to learn more about digital disaster repairs, we talked with Michael Fertike, who is the founder of Reputation.com, one of the biggest online reputation management companies in the world.
What do reputation management specialists do exactly?
Michael Fertik said that their customers range from Fortune 500 companies to moms and dads. They try to give them as much control as possible over what individuals see about them online – whether it happens to be information they don’t want people to see, such as a medical past, or information they do want to be seen about one’s professional history.
Why might someone need assistance with managing their digital reputation?
The advancement of the internet and SEO in Fremont CA has resulted in many good things – and many that aren’t so good as well. You good name might end up with individuals you aren’t able to identify – and who are in locations that can’t be found on a map.
If somebody says something about you that is negative or something that is true but obsolete and old – for example you got fired from the last job you had – those things can potentially damage your future. You digital reputation can also create great opportunities as well. People won’t see you putting your best foot ward if you don’t hang your digital shingle properly or capitalize on what your reputation potentially could be.
Why can’t individuals handle their own online reputations?
Fertik says that the best analogy is anti-virus software for a computer. There are probably just 25 people in the world who are able to perform good anti-virus protections themselves due to the fact that deep technical expertise is required. He added that they have dozens of engineers working on each of their products, which have been designed to specifically enhance or fix your digital profile and reputation.
However, certain things you should do yourself, such as having a well-curated and thoughtful LinkedIn profile. Your Twitter hand should also be your name instead of something such as “ILoveCookies,” unless your job involves cookies.
Many people don’t believe they have a problem. They think to themselves that they don’t post any photographs of themselves, so they aren’t going to have any problems on the internet. That is very short-sighted since the internet may be useful to you without really working for you.
When a company has a social media meltdown or receives bad reviews it’s clear what is at stake, but when it comes to individuals, what is at stake for them?
At times the internet can be very vicious, when it comes to someone in your professional or personal life wanting to damage you and might be quite good at it. If you fire an employee he or she could attempt to destroy your life or a former spouse might go after a small business due to a divorce.
However it still matters even when you don’t sell things. Each transaction in life now starts with a search and Laredo TX SEO. Even when the economy is good, prospective employers perform searches on you. Hearing deadening silence may be the best indication of your digital profile not doing the work that it should be doing.
We increasingly live in a pull economy – and customers, employers and individuals find you due to the internet. Say you happen to be a landscape architect, and talk about landscape architecture and identify with it on social media, and also have a solid resume. However, if somebody looks you up, and discovers somebody else (that has your same name) who has an interest in kite surfing, it won’t do you any good. However, if all they find is you have an interest in cooking, that won’t really help you much, either.
It isn’t all about fixing the negative – it is also about accentuating our personal branding and positive truth.
How hard is it erasing something negative after it gets online?
Fertik says that they don’t attempt to erase. The law has significant deficiencies in this area, and lawsuits don’t work. However, fortunately, if it isn’t one page one in Google, basically it doesn’t exist.
What is included in an online makeover?
Fertik says they ensure that their client’s story – their biography that is professionally written – that isn’t over the top or full of purple prose – shows up and will dominate their profile. It may be 5 or 10 of the top things regarding them online – which are either things that exist already that can be pushed to the top or items that are written in consultation with your resume and you.
How much of the work is proactive versus reactive?
Fertik says that many clients have a problem they come to us with. Many times it would have been better for them to ask for our help sooner due to the fact that it may have only cost them $200 to prevent the problem, whereas it may take $5,000 for curing it. However, most our clients want to stay out ahead of any problems.
How can individuals protect themselves from cyber extortionists – individuals who promise they will erase content that is undesirable for a fee, but ask for additional money later on in order to keep it offline?
This problem is quite common. There are websites that publish public domain information. However, it is a stretched definition for public realm. So what might have been public in 1950, when it was necessary to visit the courthouse and become friendly with the court clerk to obtain the information, is something that you can now find while you are sitting down at your computer.
Those websites might be doing something that is illegal when they publish the information and then charge a fee for having it unpublished. This is something the courts are attempting to figure out. There will be legal tools available soon. However, for now, either you need to pay these sites or pay a sheriff in order to defeat him. Our aim is to be that sheriff.
What can individuals do in order to protect their online reputations?
Get a Google alert set up for yourself. Make contributions to things of professional interest to you on occasion. It isn’t necessary for you to tweet on a daily basis – doing this a couple of times per month can be a good idea particularly things that are relevant to the things that you do. Don’t use Facebook too much; or if you do, be sure that your privacy settings are maximized. In addition, don’t pot lots of photographs on social media of your family. In general, don’t over-share. If you aren’t sure who the joker on your social media page is, it’s you.