Jeff Kramer was kind enough to mention Brand-Yourself in an article he wrote the other day. On a side note, I shadowed him once while pursuing my dream of being a humor writer. He’s a fun guy; he taught me how to get kicked out of a fur shop with dignity, or at least without getting the cops called on us.
In any case, he made a real point in his article: the service Brand-Yourself provides is great for getting your name out there in a positive light. Let’s face it: not everybody has been smart enough to keep the less-flattering information about themselves off the internet. Now, obviously it’s better if you have a squeaky-clean image, but if you’ve made a couple bad decisions (perhaps vis-a-vis your friend Jose), there are a couple online reputation management steps you can take before paying someone else to help:
Remove the offending material if possible
Is there a status update or tagged photo you don’t want splashed on the net? Get rid of it. If it’s a photo you don’t own, untag yourself, click “Report This Photo,” and request that the poster remove it. Hopefully they will, but at the very least attempt to disassociate yourself from it.
Deal with negative reviews quickly
This is a bigger problem for people who sell things (such as eBay seller). Regardless, you should remedy the situation to the best of your ability. If appropriate, offer a refund or some way to make it right, but don’t get into a public pissing contest. Even if you’re right, other buyers are only going to see you being uncooperative.
Bury the bad
This is the most consistently effective tactic for making something go away. And it’s exactly what Brand-Yourself makes it easy for you to do. Generate posts, comments, and pages of material on multiple websites using your real name to make the negative stuff drop as low as possible. When nothing else works, this will at least minimize the effect. If it comes to serious issues like criminal behavior and legal accusations, you just have to do your best to hide it.
Suck it up
Already got fired because you said something you shouldn’t have? It’s too late to change that course of events, but make it a learning experience. Like anything negative, if a future employer asks you about it, you can explain one negative incident away as a learning experience. A series of similar incidents is a behavior, and much harder to put a positive spin on.
As a general rule, you should treat your internet web presence like a resume these days. Online Reputation Management 101: only put up what you want employers to see. If you do feel the overpowering urge to post something risqué, it might be time to get yourself an alter ego.
Create a BrandYourself.com Account to Manage Your Online Reputation!
BrandYourself.com is an award winning toolset that helps you proactively manage your online reputation and promote yourself across the social web. Create an account today to see how we can help you win new opportunities, jobs and clients online. It’s easy and it’s fun!