Reputation – so hard to build up, and oh so easy to lose. Your reputation online greases the wheels of business and personal networking – it’s capital, it’s currency, it helps get things done – so look after it.
Take one example, online business reviews. As these become more visible within search results, business owners are starting to tune into their importance for lead generation purposes; a typical first reaction to this new dynamic is to want to give your own business a shining review (and/or diss a competitor). My advice is to avoid doing either. Firstly, it’s just not professional; secondly, the risks are too high; if you get found out – and chances are that you will – you’ll start eating into any store of reputational capital you may have built up over time. People talk, online amplifies talk, and online brand stains are indelible. This in turn will make it more difficult to engage meaningfully in various forms of social media and online networking – both for you and for your brands. Here are my guidelines for online business reviews:
– Never write reviews for yourself.
– Never bad-mouth a competitor.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews.
– Never incentivise anyone for a positive review.
– Post positive reviews for those businesses around you that do good by you.
I’m not a spiritual person, but I do believe in online karma.
Illustration by mushon