Managing Your Online Reputation and Why it Matters in Sales

BY Tim Londergan
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A recent online survey found that nearly three-​fourths of Americans are cavalier about their online reputation information when looking for work. To be clear, this is the same information that you or I, or any human resources professional, can dredge up when trying to ascertain a candidate’s suitability for employment. Now, the scope of the study was broader than just employment background checks. Comprehensively, it dealt with the influence of online reviews on purchasing decisions as well as online dating and social networking. But the survey results also point to how impactful your online reputation can be to your sales career.

How many stars will your online reputation receive?

According to online review statistics, “93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product.” Reasonably, people want assurance before pledging their cash to purchase a product. Similarly, 91% of 18- to 34-​year-​olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to Brightlocal. That article also posted: “In 2021, just 3% said they would consider using a business with an average star rating of two or fewer stars. That’s down from 14% in 2020.” This reliance upon reviews and scrutinized online data shows how your potential clients are accustomed to investigating purchases, associations and business relationships. So, how are you managing your online reputation?

Your customers want authenticity

Your personality and authenticity can be discerned from your social media postings, your comments and your LinkedIn profile. Being authentic means staying true to yourself. Moreover, an authentic person exudes confidence and unwavering convictions that build trust. According to soulsalt​.com, speaking your opinions in an honest and healthy way can bolster your online reputation and help others know where you stand. The article presents seven strategies for "finding your authentic self." Here are just a few:

  • Take a personal inventory of when you feel most alive. Be sure to note the situations, people or activities that feel right. Conversely, take note of those instances that feel wrong and what emotions arise that alert you of the discord.
  • Establish a social support system that reflects your core values. Importantly, you should surround yourself with authentic people who encourage your dreams and can support your journey.
  • Distinguish between internal and external influences. Dig deep to understand exactly why you are taking a particular action. Is it because of pressure from others? Money, status, recognition, and expectations of others can deceive us into inauthentic behavior.

You should actively curate your personal brand

If you don’t take steps to bolster your online reputation, you leave to chance less flattering information that others may find. You may not currently be looking for employment, but chances are, there are job recruiters pouring over your profile anyway. According to statuslabs​.com., 75% of the U.S. population have Googled themselves, and nearly half do not like what they find. Significantly, first impressions have a huge impact on how we are perceived. If you are serious about doing business in the modern world, you owe it to yourself to take some steps toward reputation management. Status Labs recently updated their list of tips. Here are several to get you started:

  • Build out your social media profiles with current information and professional images.
  • Register your name as a domain to assure you maintain control.
  • Track down old, irrelevant or negative media or images and delete them.
  • Critically review your “likes” to assure that your endorsements are authentic and align with your brand.
  • Fact check your postings carefully to assure you are not guilty of fostering misleading or inaccurate information.
  • Keep your privacy settings high to disallow tagging and to remain hidden from your boss or co-workers.
  • Set up a Google alert to monitor your name so you can address problems quickly.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash