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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Professional Branding: 3 Things That Are Helping or Hurting Your Reputation Online

Professional Branding

Most of us have posted so much on social media, it’s hard to remember it all. But the internet doesn’t forget. When was the last time you did a brand audit of yourself?

If you’re a professional in sales or leadership, will your online brand send the message you want?

3 Online Areas That Help or Hurt Your Reputation 

You can’t rewrite your entire online footprint, but you can focus on a few key areas to start. It’s a good idea to start with a Google Search on your own name. Sure, you knew that, but when was the last time you did it?

See if what is coming up on page one presents you as someone who can be trusted and valued. Just trusted and valued enough to call back, connect, or accept your meeting invitation.

Google will often favor your social media profiles in a search. So here are three main areas online to see if they are helping or hurting your online reputation.

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1. Your Profiles

Which platforms is Google showing? LinkedIn is still a hub for business networking, but if others are showing up, check those, too. If you’re a salesperson, see them through the eyes of your prospects, and if you’re a manager:

  • Do they describe a desirable potential employer or business partner?
  • Do you use phrases that show how you help your clients?
  • Does it sound like you’re looking for your next job, or that you are a professional ready to help and partner in the business community?

Many of you have done all this, just not recently. Yet some still have very little reputation online. Today, if you don’t show up somewhere in a Google search, you don’t exist. It makes people suspicious.

2. Your Posts

Posts are another place you’ve probably covered, but was it something related to your professional role and what you have to offer? Are you sharing things that are interesting to you and your potential clients and business partners? Look on LinkedIn or another social media you are active on.

  • What would someone conclude about you from your last three posts?
  • What trends are you following?

Your posts don’t need to be brilliant, but they should be a reflection of your professional interests.

Many of your posts will be about your personal interests (and they should) remember, the internet is a glass house, and your prospects may use them to decide if you’re someone they want to know or avoid.

3. Your Connections

Who you are connected to is the last of the three. Do you connect with people as you meet them? People in your industry, in your client’s industries, professionals you admire. You never know where a mutual connection will come from, and when someone finds that you are connected to people they know, it builds an implied trust.

On the other end, if they look you up and don’t find anyone they know or anyone remotely related to the groups they consider important, that can put 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 check on your online reputation. Check and update them this week, to build an online brand that will show 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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*Editor's Note: This blog has been updated since its original post date.

Topics: personal brand