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Archive for the ‘reputation management’ Category

12 clever ways to brag without “bragging” online

Friday, June 29th, 2012

You want people to be impressed.  You want them to think you are the cat’s meow.  But how do you build a reputation online without sounding, you boastful?  Stuart McHenry shares 12 creative ideas with us.

1) Let your customers brag for you!  Some of the best companies in the world encourage their customers to post reviews of their products or services online.  Nothing can hold a candle to other people that brag for you.

2) Do your friends use your service or products? Ask them to say some nice things for you.  If you cannot get your friends to help you brag then you really stink at bragging.

Pro Tip: Once you get your friends to brag hire a reputation management company to bubble up the results to be more visible online.

3) Use Twitter for interactions and as a reference.  Did you just solve a major issue for a company you work with?  Look for people having similar problems and tweet them a solution.

Example: @smindsrt I had a similar issue but used “XYZ” to solve the issue.  You can read more about it here:

4) Blog to Brag.  A great blog post will include experiences to back up your story.   Have you worked with some of the biggest companies in the world? Blog about it and be sure to include how you helped them.  A personal or corporate blog is a great vehicle to communicate your credentials and accomplishments.

5) Get Interviewed.  Most interviews have a small biography section in the beginning.  Provide some bragging points in the form of a biography but make sure it’s written in first person so it looks like it’s coming from the interviewer.

6) Linkedin is an overlooked place to share business information.  Within linkedin there are several areas you could post information about your business for others to see.  The best way is to join a group and get active.  There are always lots of questions posted and you can easily insert your brag within a helpful reply.  Ie. When we helped “XYZ” company with a similar problem this is what we did.

7) Hire someone to brag for you.  This might sounds extreme but you’d be surprised how often this is done.  Whether it’s someone from Fiverr or a top notch social media consultant others are generally your best bet to help get your credentials out there.

8) Blog Comment Marketing can be very effective when done right.  I’m not saying to run out and spam a bunch of blogs because that would be just wrong.  Rather leave helpful comments on related blogs where you can contribute and become a part of the community.  Again, others can help spread your credentials here as well.

9) Forums can be really good places to help you brag.  I remember when Jeremy Shoemaker was a nobody and he posted a helpful post on a webmaster forum about his earnings.  He also mentioned some tips on how others could do the same.  This got the ball rolling on his popularity and basically a few forum posts helped him boost his business.

10) Public speaking is an excellent way to brag for your business.  Get in front of an audience at an event and tell them why you are there.  What accomplishments have you or your company accomplished.  The great thing about speaking is there are usually people that tweet, blog and share your information online.

11) Writing articles is a simple way to get your bragging across.  When you’re writing the article you can use accomplishments as a case study.  This way you get your points across with some facts but more importantly you get to get your brag out.

12) Use your website slogan to help you brag.  Are you the number one domain register in the world?  Add it to your tag line or company slogan.   Everyone that sees your logo will read it and this is great for brand building too.

 

Guest blogger Stuart McHenry is the President of McKremie.com an Internet Marketing company that also focuses on online reputation management.

 

 


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Reputation Management: How Suze Orman Jeopardized Hers

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

This is the story of how NOT to manage your reputation online, following Suze Orman’s mess last week.

If you don’t know who Suze Orman is, she is (was?) one of the most respected personal finance gurus around.

And if you missed the “mess”, it started out innocently enough. Suze Orman released an “Approved” pre-paid debit card. It was a big publicity moment for her, and should have resulted in accolades and sunshine.

But something went terribly wrong.

Without going too deep into financial details, a pre-paid debit card can be a very useful tool for certain situations, and this card compares favourably to similar card, according to many analysts. But many personal finance bloggers were “shocked” and “surprised” that Suze Orman would be recommending a card like this at all, pointing out numerous less-costly alternatives. (If you wish to read more on the details from a financial perspective, there is a good round-up of related posts at Credit Cards Canada’s overview of the issue, but here are three of my favourites:

At Planting Money Seeds
At Free From Broke
At Hi That’s My Bike

And so the PR war begins.

And here the lesson begins.

Because Suze Orman struck back. Hard. And used some harsh language. She took on her challengers and called them names. The personal finance blogosphere is well-connected. They all read each others’ blogs and comment on them and follow each other on Twitter. If you check out any of the links I posted above, you will see what I mean.

And so, Twitter got real messy. These images are among those shared by Briana at 20 And Engaged.

You know she blew it. I am not saying that she no longer has any respect, but she sure lost a lot of it last week among a very important audience. What lessons can we learn from this?

DON’T GET PERSONAL.

What really set things off was when she called one well-respected blogger an “Idiot”. The rest of the personal finance bloggers circled wagons, especially because they had the same concerns about this whole Suze Orman Approved Card thing as the “Idiot” did.

To their credit, most of the bloggers kept it above the belt, and spent the rest of the week giving their analysis of the card itself and of pre-paid debit cards in general. In other words, they stuck to the issue, which is what Suze should have done. Did she really have a good product or was she just fleecing her starry-eyed followers?

STICK TO SUBSTANCE.

None of the bloggers (to the best of my knowledge) accused Suze of malice, and yet the whole affair left one feeling like she was trying to cash in on her celebrity status, misusing the trust her followers had placed in her and picking their pockets. All because of how she reacted, by throwing back insults rather than responding to the concerns and correcting misperceptions.

Instead of getting out her side of the story, she went off message (yes, this is sooooo like a political campaign screw-up).

RESPECT

OK, so let’s suppose you are really angry at somebody? Do you punch them in the face? Do you tell them to “Got to Hell!”. Do you call them an idiot? Of course not. No matter how angry you might be at the moment, you don’t want to burn bridges for things you will want to do in the future.

Social media is social. And it is amplified. It would be bad enough if Suze Orman had called a blogger an idiot in private. But she did it in public, in front of all her Twitter followers and, more importantly, in front of dozens – maybe even hundreds – of personal finance bloggers.

This showed at best pathetic judgment and at worst a mean and nasty streak.

Interestingly, a number of personal finance bloggers I know made comments to the effect of “I hope that was just some PR advisors that wrote those tweets, and not her.” I have my doubts. The first thing a PR person would advise her would be to stick to the issues, don’t get personal and don’t burn bridges. She did apologize later in the week, which sounds to me like she finally did get some PR advice.

If was her PR advisor, I would have tweeted back to the skeptics that they are missing the key point, and I would make that point. I would contact the blogger off-Twitter and request permission to provide a guest post – not to rebut his argument, but to explain why the card is indeed a good deal and why it is a step forward and look at all the good that can come out of it. He worst that can happen is a “No”…which would be far better than the huge loss of esteem she suffered last week. And the best would have been another platform to get her message out and at least to some degree neutralize the criticism that had been made.

By way of a wrap up, I came away with the impression that Suze Orman really does want to do something big with credit scores (which might be good), but could not resist the chance to make some nice cash from her followers. The combination of feeling righteous because she believes she is doing something positive and defensiveness due to guilt of having stepped over a line would explain her reactions.

But you and I will never know the truth behind all of this. We will only know what impression we are left with. Which is why online reputation management is so critical.

 


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LinkedIn for SEO

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

In addition to being a great website for networking and reputation management, LinkedIn can also serve as a valuable SEO asset. Your profile allows 3 links to your websites. Use them. A few tips for making your profile rank better within LinkedIn, and most likely with external search engines, too.

  • Complete your profile to 100%
  • Join some groups
  • Build a large contact list
  • Recommend your contacts
  • Ask your friends to recommend you
  • When commenting on blogs, make your LinkedIn profile sometimes the URL for your comment

This is also a great way to create a very credible page that will rank well for your name, including great positive recommendations in your favor. See more about this in my post on SEO tactics for reputation management.

You can view my profile at LinkedIn: David Leonhardt. Note, I am only connecting to people I actually know and have worked with.

 


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Reputation Management – more than just SEO

Friday, May 16th, 2008

A couple days ago I blogged about SEO for reputation management.  Today, as I was reading Kimberly Bock’s blog, I was reminded by her It All Comes Out In The Wash post of all the work that goes into protecting one’s reputation before it ever gets to the point where an SEO defense is needed. 

Reputation management starts with communicating your values and sticking to them.  It means being the reputation you want to have.  If you want to be seen as a square dealer, you have to be one.  If you want to be known for excellence, you better have excellence.  SEO is a protection against the odd fool who will strike as the good and the bad alike.

 


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SEO tactics for reputation management

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

There is nothing more precious than your reputation. What happens when one jealous ex-lover, disgruntled employee or unsatisfied customer decides to get nasty and post something snarky on the Internet about you. And horror of horrors, it shows up #4 at Google or Yahoo when somebody searches for your name or your business name?
That’s when you need an SEO campaign for reputation management. While every campaign is unique, there are a few key steps you should take.

  1. Make sure your own website comes up first.If you have more than one website, first and second is even better.
  2. Maximize the reach of your website(s); optimize two pages on each to show up in the results.
  3. Analyze those positive web pages already in the top 20 for your name and determine which ones could have an extra page optimized for your name.
  4. Analyze which positive web pages already in the top 20 for your name and determine which ones could be pushed above any negative pages through changes to the pages or through link-building.
  5. Analyze those neutral web pages already in the top 20 for your name and determine which ones could be made positive.
  6. Analyze those negative web pages already in the top 20 for your name and determine which ones could be made positive.
  7. Create, optimize and promote profile pages at popular user-generated content websites, such as Squidoo, MySpace and StumbleUpon.
  8. Create blogs in your name. If your main SEO goal is how your name or business name comes up in the search engine, host your blog at BlogSpot and/or WordPress.

Depending on your unique situation, there might be numerous other tactics you can use, as well. This list should help you get started if you want to do it yourself, or if you wish, we can help you with your online reputation management SEO campaign.

 


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Managing an X-rated reputation

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

First, this post is not what you think it it.  By the way, just what do you think it is?

This post os about My Aunt Is Hot, a blog with a stated purpose to manage the reputation of the blogger’s family name.  It seems that his “aunt” stole his name (Ziering) and he wants it back: www.MyAuntIsHot.com – Because Ziering on Google doesn’t have to be porno.

It’s actually a story worth reading.  However, I did a Google search for Ziering and so far the aunt is still hot and the blog is not.  It looks like Mr Ziering could use a fair amount of SEO to reach his stated goals.  In the meantime, at least he is having fun with the concept…and I like that.

 


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Blog advertising

Friday, April 13th, 2007

You might have noticed that we have a new page listed at the top called “blog advertising”.  Yes, we do accept advertising or sponsored posts, and we have set up very specific guidelines to avoid potential conflicts of interest, including transparency, relevance and freedom to say “this website simply does not deliver”.

In preparing to accept advertising, I did some research on what others are doing.  Tim Nash recently made a similar decision to mine, and given that he is a well-respected contributor at Webdigity, one of the more interesting forums around, I asked him if he would be willing to be a guest blogger and share his thoughts on paid blog posts.  What follows is his commentary…

I’m a blogger not a journalist!
 

Once upon a time I started a website it had a single page about me, these days I run several websites participate on 2 blogs regularly and guest blog on numerous others. I spend 60 hours a week working on the web one way or another. Why am I telling you this? Well in all those hours across all those sites I see reviews and I meet people and products and I think cool I will write about that, 90% of the time I don’t but occasionally I get beyond the first few lines. So when some one turns up and offers you a few dollars to write a review about their site or product are you going to say no?
 

I consider myself to be an ethical blogger in that I always declare when a post is paid for I only accept “jobs” where they are after my honest review. In many ways I consider myself simply being given a nudge out of the door of course I can already hear the screams from the anti paid per post lobby.
 

“The PayPerPost model brings up memories of payola in the music industry, something the FCC and state attorney generals are still trying to eliminate or control. Given the distributed and unlicensed nature of the blogosphere, controlling payoffs to bloggers will be exponentially more difficult.”
Tech Crunch – http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/10/12/the-payperpost-virus-spreads/
 

This is one of the biggest arguments against pay per post — are you being bribed and if so does it matter? If a journalist on a big paper was found to be on the pay of a company how would we react, outrage, anger certainly the end of their career, but why?
 

It’s down to trust and authority we believe our newspapers to be independent of such things this is of course not true but perception is everything. The journalist may never write a positive review about the company but we perceive our trust has been breached we have been let down.
 

But I’m a blogger! I write in my spare time and if some one says here some money to write about xxx then sure I will write about it. If you don’t like it don’t read it! The problem comes when the personal integrity of the blogger is breached which is summed up nicely by Stuntdubl
 

“If everybody writes positive reviews of CRAP – it’s a surefire way for the whole idea to suck. It’s not a surprise that people will accept money to write reviews or analysis – the big question will be HOW MUCH it costs for a review. “
Stuntdubl http://www.stuntdubl.com/2006/11/10/reviewme-2/
 

Here it is laid out on a plate If I accept $30 for an impartial review that’s cool what if I’m given $500 or $1000 can I really remain impartial when offered larger sums of money; I’ll let you know
 

Advice for Bloggers
So here some advice if you’re going to try Pay per post or similar.

  • Set up a disclaimer page discuss which services you use
  • Offer a way to view the site without PPP
  • Make PPP very clear and obvious (I use the tag PPP plus disclaimer)
  • Try to make your posts interesting and on topic, just because its paid for doesn’t mean it can’t be part of your normal blogging cycle.

 

A final cautioning word of warning, some search engines believe Paid links should not be allowed and to steps to prevent these links and pages appearing in the index  Grey Wolf has a great post on this; so is paid per post worth it?
http://www.wolf-howl.com/seo/googles-policy-on-no-follow-and-reviews-is-hypocritical-and-wrong/
 

 

About Me
Tim Nash is a reputation management consultant, co-founder and primary consultant for Venture Skills, a “New media” IT company which specialises in search engine optimisation, reputation management, and technical side of online marketing. When not working at Venture Skills, posting site reviews on forums he can be found teaching at a local university where he lecturers in Search Engine Optimisation and Information Retrieval.
 

http://www.timnash.me.uk
http://ventureskills.wordpress.com
 

 

 


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SEO for Reputation Management: Part III

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Yikes! It’s been two weeks since I posted SEO for Reputation Management: Part II.  So your patience has earned you a good post.

In SEO for Reputation Management: Part I, we made the strategic decisions of what Amanda wanted people toi see when they Search Google or Yahoo for her name.  In Part II, we took inventory of what is already on the Information Highway that she can use to that end.

Now it’s time to put together the plan. Time has slipped through my fingers, and Amanda (not her real name, remember?) has already begun implementing some of the plan.  At the end of this post, I’ll share with you her interim results.

I won’t go through all the details, but some of the major recommendations were…

1. Her blog was being used very, very sporadically.  More frequent posts, occasionally speaking in the third person, would help (I probably should mention that this is David Leonhardt’s blog in every post and put my name in the Blog Title above as Amanda does, but I never put together a reputation management plan for myself!).  In fact, I recommended a post about herself, something I should do one of these days, too. This should secure a second listing in Google’s top 10 for her blog.

2. She owns the domain of her name, but it points to her blog.  I recommended developing her domain to include certain content that would help her get double listings Google’s top 10 for her name.

3. I suggested ways to make her two blogger profiles work to her advantage.

4. I suggested ways to boost the rankings also of a few of the various places where she has articles right now (or then) on the Internet.

5. I suggested a few places where she could build a good reputation directly, that could also rank highly in the search engines or support the rankings of her other pages.  For instance, I pointed out my pages at MySpace, Zaadz, Squidoo, MyBlogLog and TagWorld.  I haven’t done near enough with any of these, mind you, but I will.  Honest.

6. I also recommended a multi-faceted linking campaign, geared to the various types of pages Amanda was trying to boost in the rankings.

SEO Reputation Management Plan Progress report.

On Google’s top 10 right now…

1.  Amanda’s Blogger profile.  She has another Blogger profile, but it has not been worked on yet and it is not ranking.

2. Her blog.  She has been doing more posts, but not yet what is needed for a second page to rank.  I have offered some additional details.

3. One of the pages I mentioned in item #4 above.

4. and 5. A new appearance by another offensive blogger, posted two years ago. How these two postings got up in the rankings is anybody’s guess, but it is likely the result of something that happened sitewide (as opposed to something related to these two specific posts).  As the linking campaign kicks in, the two offensive posts should sink.

6. Amanda’s MySpace profile.  More can be done to make this a double listing.  Possibly.

7. Amanda’s under construction and 99% unoptimized site on her own-name domain.  When the site is finished, there should be two pages from this domain in the top 10.

8. and 9. Two more of the pages I mentioned in item #4 above.

10. Amanda’s MySpace page. More can be done to make this a double listing.  Definitely.  I’ve made some additional suggestions.

So there you have it.  Some promising interim results.  One can do much to manage one’s reputation using sound, responsible SEO techniques.

 

 

 

 

 


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SEO for Reputation Management: Part II

Monday, February 5th, 2007

We’ve been following Amanda and her quest to manage her online reputation when a potential client searches for her name.  We covered the first part of her strategy in SEO for Reputation Management: Part I.

Now it’s time for Amanda to take inventory.  She is actually in an enviable position.  She starts out with her own domain name, a blogspot.com blog with a blogger.com profile, contributions at a couple other group blogs, and several articles she has written (Amanda is a writer, remember?)

Remember that search engines will list one or two pages from any single domain, so to make sure the right information fills the first page (top 10 results), it requires at least five domains and at most 10.

In Amanda’s case, her domain points to her blog, so she is wasting an obvious opportunity.  If she develops her domain, she should be able to occupy two of the top spots for her name.  Her blog should be able to occupy two of the top spots and her blogger.com profile should be able to occupy just one. 

That leaves five more pages required, ideally her own writings or testimonials to her writing.  The problem with working to get some of Amanda’s best writing to the top of the rankings is that she cannot control the content or format of the pages…nor can she even be sure they will exist six month hence.

We identified those articles and group blog posts with the most likelihood of lasting, as well as a page where readers debated the merits of one of her articles, given that there is no better testimonial to the quality of a writer’s work than it’s ability to generate interest, even debate. 

 

 

 


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SEO for Reputation Management: Part I

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Anyone whose business depends on trust and credibility needs to be concerned about reputation management.  Most people don’t give two thoughts to the search engines when they think of protecting or enhancing their good names.  But consider where you would go to check up on someone you plan to trust with a valuable project.  That’s right…Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN.

This SEO for reputation management blog series will interest you if you are… 

  • an accountant   

  • a lawyer   

  • a therapist, naturopath or any other health service provider   

  • and SEO specialist   

  • a consultant of any kind   

  • a personal trainer   

  • a writer or editor   

  • an artist of any kind   

  • a web designer or programmer   

  • a virtual assistant    

  • a home inspector   

  • anyone else in the service sector   

What do people find when they Google your name?  One writer (let’s call her “Amanda”) came to us because they found her blog in the top two spots, but in positions 3 and 4 they found a very disparaging blog post.  (Blogging is about being real; it does not have to be about being rude!)  

Obviously, she wanted to move that blog post down, out of Google’s top ten for her name.  That’s not how SEO works.  SEO is about moving a website up in the rankings, not down.  The only way to move a website out of Google’s top ten, is by moving ten web pages ahead of it into Google’s top ten.  We told Amanda that we could help restore her maligned reputation using SEO techniques.

We knew what Amanda did not want potential clients to see when they Googled her name. Amanda’s reputation management SEO campaign began by identifying what she did want them to see:   

  • Her own website that lays out her credentials in a professional manner, so that potential clients see that they would be dealing with a professional in whom they can trust their project.   

  • Samples of her work, so that potential clients see the quality of her work (easy for a writer, as well as for an artist; much harder for a medical practitioner or an accountant.   

  • Testimonials.  Better yet, rave reviews.  Any third-party testaments to the quality of her work and her professionalism. 

 This is David Leonhardt, of The Happy Guy Marketing.

 

 

 


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