Hi, I wanted to share this with all our readers.

Just the other day, I looked up a friends business to locate her business phone number to give her a call. When I pulled up her business website, a message popped up saying – We Are No Longer In Business – Thank You For Your Patronage. I was deeply saddened to hear this news but even more so when I found out my friend had poured every penny she had into this business.Her business stayed open for just over 1 year.

And we all know that this is a very regular occurrence – businesses closing within a year or two of being opened.

So I wanted to share with you my latest guide that I have just published. It’s titled – Your Business Reputation Will Either Make Or Break You (Here’s where you can get it – http://bit.ly/2d8czGF (No email optin etc). You see, our reputation is everything these days- it’s an indication of our trust, our credibility and even our likability. And when it comes to selling our services – these 3 factors (Credibility, Trust & Likability) are what determines whether a prospective client chooses you or someone else to do business with! It’s as simple as that!

So have a read through my guide and take what you can from – it might just save your business! – You can download your own copy here –http://bit.ly/2d8czGF (There’s no opt-in whatsoever required)

I hope you find this ebook of some value and if so feel free to share it with our local business owners that you know would benefit from having it!

Take care,

John McKenna MBA

 

 

 

 

John McKenna, MBA


 

Google Alerts is a free tool provided by Google to enable anyone to set up certain keywords in which to conduct continuous searches that will be emailed to you based on the criteria you have set up.  For instance, if you’re in the business of making electromagnetic widgets you can set up an alert for “electromagnetic widgets” to come to you instantly upon the crawler finding the keyword mentioned anyplace they might be crawling.

 

It is recommended that you set up separate alerts for each keyword, including the variations of each, instead of having one huge list of keywords for each search. In this way, you can easily determine which keywords are returning the right results and delete the alerts that do not work for you. When you set up your alerts always set up one with the name you use on the net for both your personal life and for your business life. For instance, if you use your middle initial in your authors block, then it’s important to set up the alert that way too. Be specific for the most accurate alerts.

As you set up each alert, determine how often you need to know the information. When it comes to your personal name, and your business name, you probably want to know immediately when something is mentioned about you on the Internet. But, when it comes to simple industry keywords, you likely do not need to know every single day, immediately, any alerts to do with that keyword. Set these up to be sent to you less often. It is highly recommended that you open up a Google email account only for this service so that you are not distracted, and can deal with alerts during the times of the day and week that you’ve set aside for that task.

 

If you need to set aside time for each different type of alert. Naturally you want to deal with direct mentions of your business name, or personal name, every day. You don’t need to deal with it the moment it comes through to your inbox, but you do want to pick a time of day where you have about 20 to 30 minutes to deal with the mentions. Click through on the alerts to see what the link is really showing. If it’s a post about you and / or your products and you can comment on it, do so. If it’s positive, share it with everyone throughout all your networks and ask your network to do the same.

 

If you find a negative comment, post, or situation read it thoroughly and do as much research as you can on the person doing the negative action before responding. Also, even if the negativity upsets you consider whether it has any validity to it or not. Even the most irate negative reviews can give you insight on how to better serve your clients. Consider how to respond to the negative review carefully. Most of the time, if it is a person who has bought a product or service from you the best thing you can do is return their money and apologize. If the  negative person is a professional hit man then you may have another problem and need to bury them with positive reviews, positive mentions, and positive articles.

 

Using Google to manage your online reputation costs nothing more than time, but if you don’t have time and you find that you have a lot more alerts than you can deal with consider hiring a virtual assistant that only deals with these situations. A good VA can wade through all the alerts, deal with those that are most important, send over the ones you must deal with yourself, and keep you from overwhelm. However you do it, Google Alerts is truly a wonderful tool that Google provides to you free of charge.

Managing your online reputation involves knowing how to behave in general so that you don’t accidentally do something to damage your online reputation on your own. Being online can sometimes feel like an office party and those often go very wrong. It’s important to always be aware of who you are, what you stand for, and to accurately project that to people online. To that end here are the top five online reputation management don’ts.

 

  1. Don’t Lie and BS — If you lie, puff up and exaggerate anything online it will catch up to you. Pretty much everything you post online is going to be there forever. It can be tempting to puff up your success, but don’t go too far toward lying and utter BS. Be positive, and chose your words carefully, but don’t say anything you can’t back up with proof. Telling people they can make a million dollars a month, because you do, better mean that you really do.

 

  1. Don’t forget who you are — Remember your why! Why are you in business? Why are you doing what you do? Who are you doing it for? What results do you hope to achieve? If you always remember who you are, and your why for being, you’ll go far in managing your online reputation in a positive manner. If you’re not sure who you are yet, figure it out by writing a mission statement. Mission statement writing can help clear up any confusion that you might have.

 

  1. Don’t attack others — Even when you get a bad review, and when you get popular online, it will happen eventually, do not go on the attack. Not everyone can like you. Not everyone will act like you do, either. Today, there are cases where competitors who have fuzzy ethics actually hire people to give bad reviews to their competition. When a bad review is public, it is important to be careful. Do not attack back. Take a breath, and a moment or even 48 hours before you deal with a particularly hard situation. Remember, it’s not personal, it’s business. However, if you can prove someone is a hired gun, by all means, out them.

 

  1. Don’t forget the golden rule — You know the deal. Do to others what you’d have them do to you. Share their good news, pump up their brand. In return, they may do the same thing for you. If you do need to give someone a critical review, do so in a constructive way rather than a negative way. Always try to do it privately first, then escalate as needed, just as you’d want someone to do for you.

 

  1. Don’t ignore the buzz — Set up alerts on Google Alerts so that industry keyword news, and mention of your name and or business and services goes to your inbox at the moment it happens. Take a glance at these every day at least once a day, or if you can’t do it that much, once a week. Paying attention to buzz will do several things for you: it will give you a chance to comment, will give you ideas about what to blog about, and will avoid any negative issues from going unnoticed including instances of plagiarism or bad comments about you.

 

 

When someone recommends a new contractor to you what is the first thing you do? I know, Google them!  We all do it, and you can bet that when someone refers you to another person, or they find your website (usually through Google), the smart consumer will do another Google search about you to see if they find anything negative or off-putting about you. The problem here is that negative can truly at times be in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, it is imperative that you become aware of what Google Search and other search results show about you and then deal with the situation at hand.

 

Try doing a Google Search on your own business without the personalized results that come up for each individual so you can see what others possibly see. Google bases its search results on your past behavior, so it’s important to remove this criteria from your search before you begin. Here are the instructions. Once you’ve removed this history, now you can get a mostly clear view of what other people might see. Remember though, that their search results are also colored by their own search history.

 

Now, do a search on your business name. Take a look at the different results on the first through fifth pages to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary. What descriptions are showing up for Google? Can you make these search results better using SEO? Google now shows a few links, in addition to the main page, in their search results. Are you using the right anchor text and descriptions to maximize your results?

 

Using a piece of paper or an online method make notes of each item that you can change and make better. Then once you have a list of these items go make them better. If you do not know how to change the anchor text or the descriptions showing up for your Google Search Results then ask your webmaster or an SEO professional for help. If you know what to do then go do it as soon as possible because it will take time for the updates to actually show up in search results so the sooner you do it the better.

 

Once you’ve handled the SEO keep up this by making sure to always consider what the titles of new WebPages and blog posts will be, as well as the description that might show up. Sometimes Google takes from your code but lately they are taking the first few words in your blog post or article as the description. It’s important to consider this and make both reflective of what you want to be seen at first glance.

 

Note: Don’t forget to also search images! The reason for this, is that if others have tagged you in photos, you want to know about it. If you don’t like the photos you’re tagged in remember that you can set up your social networks using the privacy settings to your advantage so that others cannot tag you inappropriately. Don’t be scared to ask friends and relatives and others to remove photographs that you find unflattering or a poor depiction of the brand you’re trying to project. No one has a right to post pictures of you that you do not approve.

 

Dealing with Google Search results and making them as flattering as possible will do wonders for your online reputation. If you’ve discovered your business name doesn’t even come up in search results then you have some work to do. Start blogging, article marketing, sending out press releases and have an all out re-launch of your products, services and website so that you can start showing up!

 

 

 

 

  1. Google Alerts — Using a search term, a name, and variations of each you can set up individual alerts that go directly to your inbox. Set up the alerts then check them at least once a week, clicking through to read the information that is out there about you, your business, and / or your industry. Not only will this help you quickly catch any negative issues, but it will enable you to promote good buzz further.

 

  1. Keyword Search — Every now and then, about once a month, conduct a keyword search using the major search engines and look past the first page to the fourth and fifth pages. Remove all personalization from your search results so that you can get a reliable search without biased information designed just for you. Use your search results to help you comment on other people’s writing, or pictures, or information in a positive way.

 

  1. Yahoo! Alerts — This is a lot like Google Alerts, but you can actually niche down your search more by choosing the type of alerts you want from breaking news to keyword alerts. You can also get these alerts delivered to your mobile device and be up to the minute with what’s happening. When you get usable alerts, think about how to respond. If you find something positive, share, if you see something negative consider the alternatives: either bury it, or comment, but always keep it positive.

 

  1. WatchThatPage — This makes keeping track of your favorite web pages easier. Set up a watch, and get notified by email when changes occur. What’s more, it organizes these changes so you can view what has changed from one site. Sign up free to learn more about this interesting way to manage your online reputation.

 

  1. Yotify — You can monitor many things from this one site with “scouts” which will notify you when information is discovered that is relevant to your scout. Instead of having to come up with tons of alternative keywords scouts do all the work for you and deliver them to you. While it is free, you have to sign up for membership just like other social media websites. You can pick from different topics.

 

  1. Facebook — Yes, you can use Facebook to monitor your buzz and manage your online reputation. First, if you do not have a business Facebook Page it is time to get one. Automate it so that new blog posts, new articles and information is posted to your Facebook Wall. Make an update at least once a day and ask for feedback from those who have “liked” you. Having an active Facebook Page full of cheerleaders will do wonders for your reputation. Share nice comments about you and your business and make nice comments to others.

 

Remember: Comments you make on other pages show up in search engines, even if you have your privacy settings set that things on your own wall are not shared with the public, this goes out the window when you comment on someone else’s page. Use this to your advantage and make well thought out, keyword rich comments!

 

  1. Twitter — Have a business only twitter, just like with Facebook you can automate a lot of the updates, but do go in and occasionally do a search on your business name, your name, or industry keywords to see what topics are trending. Create a hash tag and share it with your network to use when they are talking about you. Re-tweet good news, yours and others at least three times a day.

 

  1. Your Blog — That’s right, you can use your blog to monitor your reputation by making your blog very positively about your business. Using appropriate industry keywords to talk about your products and services you can create a rush of content that can overshadow, and even bury, any negativity that might exist on the Internet about you. Blogs are a fast and simple (not to mention inexpensive way) to get news out to your readers fast. You can even automate a blog post to go out in the form of a newsletter to your readers with Aweber. This is very useful if you use the Google and Yahoo! Alerts to help you find positive news to report about.

 

  1. Whostalkin — This is a search engine that searches social media for your keywords to find out who is talking about you. Simply go to the page and type in your keyword to the search window and click search. Try using your own name, or an industry keyword. This can give you great blogs and articles in which you can make comments. Remember comments show up in search engines too.

 

  1. Your Network — All business owners have their own networks of people online. If you start sharing search results you’ve found about them in a nice way, they will start returning the favor. Say, for instance, your friend Jim had a super successful product launch and you found a press release about it, or a positive blog about it, share it with your network, and other networks as a favor. Hopefully people will then do the same for you.

Monitor your Buzz  — Using either Google Alerts, or a professional service, monitor your name, your business name, various keywords and variations on each so that you can catch both the good and bad said about you. Promote the good, and answer to, if needed, the bad.

 

Think Twice — Before you post something whether a picture, a quote, a comment, or an entire blog post think twice about it if it’s controversial. Stories abound of people who made an innocent comment on Twitter then became the top trending topic over night, and not in a good way. If you wouldn’t say it or share it openly, perhaps you might not want to say it or share it, at all.

 

Use Privacy Settings — Most social media networks have privacy settings that you can use to control some aspects of what gets out to the world. But it is important to know that if you say it, share it, or comment on it anyplace on the net — whether a discussion board, social media, or a blog post — it can be seen by the public if the right search has been conducted. You are never anonymous on the Internet.

 

Build your Brand — Keep building your brand through positive blog posts, articles, press releases, comments, and proactive sharing that matches the image you are trying to project for your business. The more positive content you have out there on the web, the more likely anything that is negative will be buried.

 

Monitor Photo Tags —  Be aware that on Facebook, other people can tag you in photos without your permission if you do not set up your privacy settings correctly. This can be especially problematic when a well meaning friend uses the tagging function as a way to get you to look at the picture which might be completely off-brand and even in bad taste. It might just be a simple picture of you off work drinking the super bowl of margaritas on Cinco de Mayo that causes the issue. While in some cases, you may not care who sees the picture, in other situations, you may not want it public. What you want people to see depends on what image you’re trying to promote.

 

Be Active — It is so easy to automate a lot of social media today, that we could technically ignore social media for weeks without anyone being the wiser about our absence. We’re sharing blog posts, Tweets, and new articles automatically, but are we active enough in our online presence to share other people’s good news?

 

Ask for Reviews — Not only should you ask clients and customers for reviews, you should promote those good reviews in all channels. By promoting the good reviews that you get, you’ll put a lot of good news into the search results for anyone searching for you.

 

Mind your SEO — Search Engine Optimization is more important than ever. As the old ways of getting search engine attention go by the wayside, new ways come to the forefront. Ensure that you keep abreast of changes so that you can keep your search engine optimization working for you.

 

Google Yourself — First remove the personalization from the search in order to get the right results. Learn how to phrase your searches properly so that you can find out what people really see when they search for you, your business, products and / or services.

As a business owner, managing your online reputation is an essential component of brand management. Today, when someone wants to know about you or your business, they don’t just look at your resume, or simply call your references, or even trust your testimonials on your website, as much as they trust their own Internet searches. From social media, to your webpage, to online review sites, you have a lot of buzz to manage.

 

Take a look at the feedback businesses are receiving on sites such as Yelp! and you’ll see that certain types of businesses can’t seem to get a good review if they try. Some business people have responded to bad reviews in a way that only makes matters worse. Other businesses seem to be managing their reviews nicely and seem to be on top of their game. Like most things in business, online reputation management is something you have to first know that you need to do, and then know how to do it.



Do a search on your own business name (or personal name) via Google Search, as you type,  notice what is coming up in Google’s instant search. Is it what you want people to see, or is something else coming up that may give people a bad impression of you and / or your business?  If the words that come up, and the sites that you see are good, be glad and work toward keeping it that way. If, however, the search results that are popping up are less than ideal, you know you need to work harder on online reputation management.

 

Have you combined your business social media with your personal social media? If so, you need to work toward separation as soon as possible. In addition, separate or not, if people know your name it is important to be careful what you do and say on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. In fact, even an innocent response to a news article can show up in search engines and alienate potential clients.

 

The days of Internet privacy may be over, but there are some things you can do to keep some semblance of privacy. Each email account, each social media account and each forum or group that you join offers privacy controls. Learn to use them on day one to avoid embarrassing issues. Also, don’t share anything, pictures or otherwise on social media that you wouldn’t tell your Mother. Don’t even forward a questionable joke, email, or photo of yourself if you don’t want it to be public knowledge.

 

Being careful about what you say in public sounds like censorship to a lot of people, but it’s truly in your hands, and up to you what you share and say. If you would not normally say something in publicly in a group, why say it online? If you know your opinions on a particular matter would alienate your target audience, why say it? If you want to do whatever you want and say whatever you want, perhaps you need a new target audience. Managing your online reputation is imperative to your success.