The Internet is one of the most useful tools that entrepreneurs can have in their arsenal.
But, it comes with its own set of responsibilities. While digital strategies can greatly benefit a company’s marketing efforts, poor online reputation can hurt them equally as badly.
Thus, proper brand management should always be a priority from the moment you take your brand online. Failing to do so could be crippling for your business.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about managing your personal brand on the internet.
1. Tell Your Story
When people resonate with a brand, it’s because they admire attributes about that brand or see something in it that reminds them of themselves.
Nike, for example, exhibits an atmosphere of perseverance and progress. Thus, people who value those traits are attracted to the brand.
Your brand should be something that your target audience can relate to. While this is highly dependent on what product or service you offer, you should never attempt to tell a story that none of your followers would understand or care about.
If you happen to be a pilot, you’ll find great information from the folks over at ABCI about marketing your brand.
It’s important to stress that we mean you need to tell your story, not the story of who you want to be. Authenticity goes a long way and serves as the foundation for your brand itself.
2. Accept Negative Feedback and Listen to Your Audience
Not much is worse than a company that tries to brush off negative reviews or feedback.
If someone makes a public (or even private) complaint, you should respond courteously and make every effort to resolve the situation in a manner where both parties benefit.
A common scenario is when a product is defective or when a service doesn’t work as intended.
In reality, not everything will always go smoothly when it comes to your business. Products may break or become damaged during shipping, and services might not deliver the results promised in some scenarios. But, you must accept blame.
Deflecting blame onto the customer or an unrelated third-party is a bad practice, as it will make other potential consumers think they’re on their own if the same thing happens to them.
You should be ready to offer refunds during scenarios where it makes sense, such if a product arrives broken. Services that fail to deliver, too, are subject to the same practice.
By showing your audience (and potential customers) that you listen to feedback, you’ll build that much more trust.
3. Stay Human
Most people like to make purchases. But, nobody likes to feel like they’re being sold something. As previously mentioned, transparency is key, and people should be able to look right into your brand and see who’s behind it.
If you brand yourself as a faceless entity that offers nothing but radio silence in between the offers you make, you’re not going to appear very welcoming to your audience. Thus, you need to take off the mask, so to speak.
A great way to do this is to have a detailed “About Us” business page that shows your followers who you are as a human being.
Pictures of you doing different things, such as hobbies, hanging out with friends and family, etc. are essential here because they show people that you’re a normal human just like them.
At the very least, a brief bio about yourself and your major employees can encourage your audience to view you as a brand and not a company looking to make a sale.
4. Run an Occasional Reputation Check on Google
Imagine things are going great so far. Your business analytics are progressing nicely, you communicate with your audience efficiently on a daily basis, and everything in your life seems to be falling into place.
Then, you Google yourself.
To your dismay, you find numerous negative articles about your brand. To make matters worse, they’re right near the top of the front page. At first, this may seem like the end of the world. But, you have some options at your disposal.
You can simply contact the publisher/owner of the site and ask them to take the article down. If it was published out of malice (such as from a misunderstanding between you and a former customer/client), offer them a deal (such as a refund) instead.
If you can’t get the inflammatory content removed, you can attempt to bury it on the search results with more content of your own. Though this takes time, it’s still a viable method to help save face.
5. As Google Would Put It, “Don’t Be Evil”
The infamous slogan that Google adopted years ago was recently dropped, but it’s still good practice for any business to follow it.
While it may seem to set the bar too low by saying “do anything except something bad,” it’s more about always striving to do good.
And, this is something you need to take seriously when it comes to your brand.
By always taking care of your audience and making sure that everything you do is done with righteousness in mind, you’ll be sure to acquire your followers’ trust and maintain ongoing relationships with them.
Managing Your Personal Brand Online Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information in mind, you’ll be well on your way making sure your personal brand stays stellar in the eyes of your audience.