You’re at the top of your field. You either run your own company or are at the upper echelons of a large company and you make very important decision that affect a large number of people everyday. 20 years ago, the only thing you really had to worry about at this point was a heart attack from all the stress. But today the business and social landscape are very different and your stature in the business community can be threatened not only by younger executives vying for your position, but the online community that could set its targets on you at any moment.
At this point in your career, you need to think about not just your reputation within the business community, but your online reputation as well. A modicum of misleading information about you on the internet could result in both your position and your future being threatened. And because of the ease and abundance of easy online publishing tools, like blogs and social media, the chances that a disgruntled employee, competitor, or an anonymous detractor will publish misleading and damaging information about you online is extremely high. You need to implement a reputation management strategy now to prevent future attacks from doing any harm.
The More Important You Are, The Bigger the Target on Your Back
The fact of the matter is that the more important you are in your company or in the business world, the more people will have it out for you. It doesn’t matter that you have a clean personal life and can be found faultless of any conceivable wrongdoing. Simply because of the virtue of your position, others will try and tear you down. They may do it because they perceive they’ve been wronged by you in some obscure way or maybe a competitor wants to ruin your reputation for their own purposes.
What matters is not that they want to tarnish your reputation, but that you are ready for it when the attack comes. You can be ready by implementing strong reputation management strategies now—before a crisis happens. Clean your SERPs, get active on social media and blogs, and make sure that when people search your name online, they only see positive information—not the information that others want to use to tear you down.
Your Online Reputation is a Resume
Just as important to your continued success as your resume, is your online reputation. Gone are the days when a gentlemen’s agreement was enough to secure trust in your talents and abilities to do your job. Today, you’re not only judged on the experience you have, but on the reputation you leave behind. Prospective employers are evaluating you online before offering you better positions and more prestige. So, if your online reputation is not as clean as the resume you hand over to them, more than likely they’ll pass you over in favor of someone who’s SERPs are positive.
Online reputation management isn’t just about keeping bad information out of the SERPs for your name, it’s also about building an image that you can be proud of—an image that will attract more partners and more opportunities.
Don’t Forget Your Personal Brand While You Are Managing Someone Else’s
All-in-all, it can be tempting to get lost in your current position doing what you do best. But keep in mind that you are not only running a company, you should be building your personal brand at the same time. And the better you can build that brand, the more opportunities will come your way in the future because of the positive online reputation you’ve built.