The world is moving faster and faster, and access to news and information changes at an astounding rate. If you want to be recognized, remembered and successful, you need to build a strong brand and reputation not only to get in, but to stay in the game. These days, your offline reputation is important, but your presence online, whether personally or for your business, is just as, if not more, important.
A recent Forbes article shows how members of the current generation, in fact, see themselves as a personal brand. Not only that, but employers have put an emphasis in hiring patterns on a prospective employee’s online presence as well. The article states that over half the employers surveyed will not hire someone if the job candidate does not have an online presence. It goes the other way as well; companies with a strong, positive brand and online presence are more likely to attract clients, as well as the best employees.
Building a Strong, Positive Brand Reputation
So what do you do? Once you have established your name, logo, catch phrase, and product or service, what steps should you take to start building a strong, positive brand reputation? If you are the CEO of your company, keep in mind that your image, professionally and personally, is extremely important to the company’s brand image and reputation with the public.
Do what you say you’re going to do, and do it well. Once people know that they can rely on you for consistent, quality work, they are not only bound to return, they are bound to recommend you to others. Word of mouth is a great marketing tool, and so is a positive review on your website or social media. This can help others gain faith in what you are doing and help you start building a positive brand image, both online and offline.
Build Positive Relationships in Your Community and Online
Without positive relationships in your local community and online, your business loses its chance to grow, or perhaps even get started. Build relationships with people and businesses that have similar values and a strong brand, both online and off. Attend networking events in the community with groups that could not only benefit from your services, but could potentially influence others in the community. Presenting at one of these events is a great way to showcase your mission, knowledge, and passion for your industry and business.
To build online relationships, add relevant, quality content to your social media channels and profiles to help your contacts and followers get to know you, understand your brand, and build a positive opinion of your business. Follow and join groups that fit within your industry and can help endorse your brand to more networks. Partake in group discussions, and stay consistent in your mission and how you want others to see your brand. With quality, consistency and time, your network will grow, as will opportunity.
Search Yourself and Your Brand
Be diligent about auditing yourself and your brand’s reputation online. Knowing what others are saying about you is important. You can use Google Alerts, Meltwater or other tools both to see what’s out there and to help you repair any possible negative comments or damage to your reputation. Some of these tools offer free memberships, whereas others are a paid service. Knowing how you are going to respond to negative feedback or comments is something else to consider. Stay consistent with your brand image when responding to these naysayers, so as not to alienate anyone else.
Stay True to Yourself
People want to feel connected to the companies and brands they support. They want to feel like they know you. If you are building a brand that is the complete opposite of who you are or how you live, people can sense that and may avoid it. It can feel insincere, and that is a turn-off. You’ve heard the saying, “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” That can also go for remaining true to yourself personally and professionally. You will enjoy what you are doing and building much more if you feel like you can be yourself while you are doing it. Customers, partners, and employees will appreciate your integrity and will likely embrace your style.
It should be noted that your employees’ “personal brands” are also of importance to your company’s brand. A 2016 study in Entrepreneur found that “Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when posted by an employee versus the brand’s social media channels.” This figure has certainly only gone up since then. Be sure to check the online profiles and reputation of any potential employees before hiring them. Once hired, have them share your blogs, posts, or other content from your company and your brand to get more traction.
Contact our experts at Jennasis & Associates to help you start building not just your brand, but your positive online presence and reputation today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcia Hudgel has been writing stories and poems since she was very young, and has honed the ability to write in a variety of styles, which she has done for a number of websites over the past few years. When not writing, she enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, mindfulness and meditation, especially to women in addiction recovery.