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3 Things That Build or Batter Your Reputation Online: A Lesson in Professional Branding

social_media_connectionsAre you trusted and valued by your clients? What about your prospects, how do they feel about you? Right, they don’t even know you yet.

Or do they? 

Good prospects are busy professionals. They want to reduce the risk that a meeting might be a waste of their time. You can be almost certain they’ll research you online before agreeing to connect, and especially before agreeing to meet. 

What they find in a simple search online is how they will determine if you can be trusted and valued. Not as a business partner, not just yet. They’re determining if you can be trusted and valued enough just to call back or to accept your invitation to connect.

There are three main areas online in which what you do will either build or batter that reputation you seek as a person who is trusted and valued:

1. Your Profiles:

The first few things to show up in search will be your social media profiles. Are you sharing how you offer value to your clients? Do you have a few testimonials from happy clients? Or are you positioning yourself as the top hunter on the sales team with your clients as the prize?

If you think you’re safe without an online profile, think again. Today, if you don’t show up somewhere in a Google search, you don’t exist. Why would the prospect think you’re someone worth taking the time to meet?

 2. Your Posts: 

Have you posted anything online lately? If someone does find you on LinkedIn or Twitter, what will they find out about you from your last three posts? Is what you post of value? What trends are you following? Your posts online don’t need to be brilliant, but they should be a reflection of your professional interests.

By now, everyone has heard about the dangers of “having just a little too much fun” and posting it online, so focus on what may have real value to others. Some of your posts will be about your personal interests (and they should!), but remember, the internet is a glass house, and there is a false security in being able to delete or posting “just to friends.”

3. Your Connections: 

Who are you connected to online? If a prospect looks you up online and finds that you are connected to other people they know, that builds an implied trust. If they look you up and don’t find anyone they know or anyone remotely related to the groups they consider themselves a part of, that puts your value into question. You are known by the company you keep, so be a bit selective about the groups you join and the strangers you connect with. 

Your profiles, your posts, and your connections are three simple places to be active online, and they're the three biggest pieces of your professional branding. Build an online brand that shows prospective business partners why they should want to connect and meet with you.

Learn more about building your brand. Download "The Art of Asking for Testimonials" today.

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Topics: Digital