Once the damage is done, it’s not the end of the world. Yes, something that shows up online is quite difficult, or I would even say impossible to completely erase, especially once it’s gone viral. But, that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. You can one your own or by hiring someone go about some strategies to clean up your online footprint and assure that new, relevant and more appealing content on you is available when people look you up.
How to get started
Like in real life the first thing to do I set things right. Create a great first impression that will allow people to get the image you want them to get of you. In real life, it’s all about having that professional look, showing confidence in your area of expertise and knowing the right people that can help either recommend you or give testimonials con your work. Well, it’s not all that different in digital life. So first things first, we have to find out what’s out there and assess how bad the damage is. There are many tools that can help you in this task, especially Google, by plugging in key words like your name, domain page name, or key words for your company or website. Also, visit your social networks, but check in as a visitor to see what everyone else sees when looking you up. This insight will definitely help you get on your way and evaluate what steps should be taken next.
When digging through search engines, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Don’t focus only on what’s being said, but images or pictures there are of you or that even you yourself have posted and don’t necessarily reflect the professional image you want to show future employers or clients.
If you’re having trouble finding all your information try out Pipl or 123People. These websites will show you all of the information that’s out there related to social media accounts. And remember to not leave out YouTube Search, as well as Google.
Make a new you.
So, you’ve found everything on yourself, and know exactly what it is you want to erase. Start by creating new content. Try Namchk.com to find out which accounts you have on social media. Make sure you delete the ones you no longer use or start using that LinkedIn account that you never log on to. Make sure you have a blog and start using it actively. The idea is not only to write, but to make excellent content that is relevant to the image you want to give. This content will most likely on its own start to pick up, be back-linked or mentioned by others, which is what we want.
Getting to the nitty gritty
You also have to work for it. So get your name out there by networking with the right people and getting them to mention you or link you on their pages. Reach out to them with the intention that they either remove some negative information on you, retract or clarify misinformation or write a different post on your current positive status.
Preparing for the future
Besides all of this, you have to pre-empt this situation towards the future. So take a look at these tools to help you on your way:
- Google Alerts – Choose your keywords carefully and plug those in so you can receive alter emails every time something is published online.
- TweepBeep – This tools works in a similar way to the previous one, while in this case it only looks up the key words on Twitter. This is the best and easiest option to keep track of tweets related to you on this social network.
- Boardreader – This site will allow you to verify what’s being said about you or your company on community forums. Now, especially on this one be aware of not entering in an online argument with someone. This is not what you need.
All of these tools can be helpful when keeping track of your image, but they won’t erase what’s out there. That’s where you have to continue to work on creating content, maybe reaching out to some of the bloggers or people who have posted negatively about you or your company to see if an agreement can be reached, and finally to assure that you’re are turning things around. The negative comments when made by the mass are important to listen to, maybe there’s something behind all of it and by making some adjustments in your service or your profile need to be changed.
At the end of the day, it’s not impossible to keep your online profile clean, but it takes work. If you feel that doing it on your own is too overwhelming, you can always turn to the experts.