Remember when you could maintain the flow of info about yourself? You could, with very little effort, control precisely what other people knew about you and how they could find out about it. This isn’t the case these days. Now, there are all sorts of ways to dig up all kinds of things about you. This is tricky on a normal scale for people who hold traditional jobs. It’s far harder for individuals who work online. Now, an errant tweet could mean the difference between getting the sale and not getting the sale.
So, what should you do about it? What is the master plan? The real way to keep your reputation pristine is to be as professional as possible both online and offline. Here’s how you do it.
1. Make sure that every piece of writing you craft is grammatically correct and has no spelling errors. It doesn’t matter if you’re just composing a brief instant message to someone or writing your sales page. Proper spelling and grammar matter. The last thing you need is for a potential customer to find something you’ve written and find out that it is overrun with errors. It proves that you don’t know what you are doing.
2. It is important to answer every last online message and phone call. Your responses and conversations should be civil and cordial and positive. Never let an e-mail sit for more than 24 hours without a reply. Don’t allow voice mail messages to stagnate unreturned. Each and every phone call needs to be answered by the third ring. These are little things but they will speak volumes about how dedicated you are to your job.
3. Respond to critiques graciously and nicely. The internet is full of trolls whose only aims are to make you feel awful about yourself. At the same time, there are people who are going to have justified complaints about what you are offering or how you are offering it. It is important to seriously consider every last negative feedback and to look into whether or not it’s possible to make the changes the person wants from you without it being counterproductive to your business. Then communicate with the critic and explain to him or her whether or not you are going to implement changes based on his or her feedback. This shows that you take everybody seriously, not just individuals who give you compliments.
4. Watch your social media! It’s easy, while in the throes of social media, to forget that you’re not just a random individual online user, you’re representing a business. The people you are talking to might be happy with an overly chatty tweet or Facebook message. They may also be viewed by someone who comes across them as proof that you’re not serious about your reputation or business.
5. Let your own personality shine through as much as possible. Nobody has ever said that you need to shove yourself down and not be yourself. The real fact is that perhaps the most effective way to distinguish yourself from the competition is to let your personality shine through. Still, at the same time, remember that you are a representative of your business, so make sure you keep your best face forward.