Anybody who has been to college knows the importance of a reputation. But after college, the individual will move to a new city and the reputation will be forever forgotten. There is a significant difference on the internet. The internet remembers reputations and entrepreneurs are rewarded based on them.
Consumers Make Decisions Based On Reviews
People do research before making a major purchase. They want to know what previous customers had to say about a company or a product. If a company has a bad reputation, it might send consumers to competitors. On the other hand, positive reviews have the opposite effect. 83% of consumers take reviews from friends and family seriously. 70% generally trust reviews that they read online.
Deflecting Smear Campaigns
If you do not establish your reputation, somebody else will. That somebody will probably not be very charitable. Large corporations know that emerging rivals will collapse under just a little pressure. A few negative articles could be very damaging. Typically, entrepreneurs develop their reputation with their websites and social media accounts. When consumers search for your company, they will find your website. The smear campaign will be effectively buried in the latter pages of the search engine.
Develop Trust With Your Customers
Consumers are keenly aware of the threat of hackers. Typically, they look for websites with the HTTPS encryption when they are on public WiFi networks. Websites that lose consumer data are likely to be branded as untrustworthy. Companies who invest in data loss prevention and PKI are more likely to be viewed in a positive light. There are a few dlp systems that can protect the information saved on your website.
Establish Yourself As A Thought Leader
As you develop your reputation by producing content, your audience will perceive you as an expert in your industry. This is typically accomplished by writing useful information on your website and social media. For example, if you own a local grocery, you could write articles about nutritional value or getting the most out of coupons. When people see that you have a good handle on the material, they will be more likely to buy from you. This will also put you in a better position to ward off smear campaigns.
Receptive To Constructive Criticism
As a young entrepreneur, you might be sensitive to negative reviews. But as you develop your reputation, you will become more understanding of critics. Consumers have legitimate concerns. Some of them could improve your product. If you respond to these reviews, it will also demonstrate that you care about their concerns.
Entrepreneurship involves developing relationships with the consumers that transcend the business-to-customer paradigm. You can accomplish this by expressing values that you share with them. If you are targeting millennials, you probably know that they respond to emotional impact. Some advertisers suggest that you keep track of social movements, and write about them to show your values. A good reputation will facilitate these deeper connections.
You Do Not Have To Be Reactive
If you are being reactive, it is because your reputation has already been compromised. When a PR blunder happens, a strong reputation will be invulnerable to it. But if you have not developed a strong reputation, you will have to address smear campaigns that should be ignored and try to bury negative articles. Let your reputation speak for you.
This is typically accomplished through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO relates to your rank in search engines. Google uses algorithms to determine these rankings. Researchers have to discern search engine trends to figure out their criteria and apply them to websites. They will include tactics such as anticipating and implementing search terms on your website, linking to popular sites, writing guest posts and much more.
Your reputation is definitional. Think of the impact of a reputation during an election season. The same principle is applicable in business. If you develop a positive online reputation, you will boost your company.