The good news is, yes — it can be done. The not-so-good news is that it’s not the easiest thing to do. But it can be done. Here is some advice to help you out if you see your business rep faltering.
Unfortunately, there is a lot online that is out of your control. Anyone can post things or blog about an experience, whether it’s true or not. A disgruntled employee or unhappy client can write whatever he wishes and publish it online. You can’t really do anything about that.
The good news is that you can publish as well. Just as there is damaging press out there, you can make sure you are getting good press as well. Whether you publish your own blog or have a PR person that does it for you, make sure there are more positive results in a search than negative ones.
The ultimate goal, besides having all bad press removed, is to push it down the search engine ranks. The farther away results are from the top ranks, the less likely a person is to see them. Most people don’t look past the first page or two on a search, so if you can fill the first results with positive press on your reputation, you’ll be in pretty good standing.
Face Up and Be an Adult
Sometimes your business reputation gets hurt because you did something you shouldn’t have. Maybe it was a mistake, maybe it wasn’t. Whatever happened, you may just need to face it and make amends.
When it comes to business, the old adage — the customer is always right —still rings true. If you have an unhappy customer, make amends. Not only may they change their tune and take away the damaging comments they made public, your other customers can see that it is important to you to follow things through and take responsibility. Perhaps an apology is in order, maybe just an explanation, but be the bigger person and make it better.
Promote, Promote, Promote…
Maybe for whatever reason some bad press is making its way around the Internet. As mentioned above, combat it with good press. You can use social media, a blog, or whatever venue works best — even your company’s website. Let the community know about the positive impact you are making. Maybe you volunteer or sponsor a non-profit organization that has nothing to do with your business, but has a lot to do with you personally. Let the public see this side of you. Just as negative things about your personal life can hurt you, positive aspects can improve your online reputation. Promote yourself.
Once the damage is done, it can be difficult to remedy. But it’s not impossible. Stay focused and vigilant; don’t be afraid to promote yourself. Before long, that negative content will be forgotten and your reputation will be back on the positive side.
Heather Legg is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics, including staying positive no matter what happens.