Your online reputation is an essential element of your personal brand. When you protect it, you safeguard your brand. Listen to this episode to get some tips on how to protect your online reputation.
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Additional Voice: Charles The Voice
Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)
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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of Image Group International and an award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies, and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques, and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image, and reputation.
Hello, everybody, and great to have you here with me today. Before we start our chat icon, he asked you to write the show on the Apple podcast. Once you do, please send us an email confirmation, and we will send you our ebook, The Real World Guide to authentic personal branding. Now let's start our show. Well, our chat today is about protecting your reputation, specifically online. And if you remember in the past, and there have been many cases of this, there are some classic ones I want to mention today is that back in 2009, two employees of Domino's Pizza posted a spoof video on YouTube showing them making unsanitary pizzas. Of course, the video at that time was viewed over a million times before the firm reacted, causing substantial reputational damage. And of course, when I mean substantial reputational damage, I also mean share price damage. Another real historical lesson was a low-cost employee was fired for posting a photo of his paycheck on Instagram, claiming he had breached confidentially agreements in the roles that the company claimed. Now, of course, you know, these are two examples that might seem a little bit extreme. But they really illustrate how social media, when used in a way that's not smart, can be dangerous to your reputation can do damage to it, and certainly worse. And with that, what it means is, you know, there's a lot of digital companies out there digital media companies today that don't understand what reputation management is all about, you know, they start concentrating on SEO, for instance, or quick social media posts, without real intelligence behind them, can do serious damage to your brand, you know, because the most the person that cares the most about your reputation has to be you not some external agency. So you're gonna get really clear how important that is to you. Because the last thing want to do is buff that up. And then you gotta get back trying to clean it up. And that's a very expensive and exhaustive process. Now, think with me for a moment. What is the first thing you usually do? Before signing up for company services, or meeting a potential business associate, you obviously, do a search online, yes, you google him or her. And this is exactly what most people do before they agree to work with them, and happens in my business, it happens in your neighbour's business and happens in your competitor's business. So this means that you might be losing a new career, or definitely business opportunities, without even realizing it because of what shows up online about you. And the last thing you want is anything to be shown online about you that's incongruent with who you are, and what you represent, and what your image personal brand and reputation is all about, you know, because to get that congruence is sometimes, you know, can be a little bit tricky. Certainly, if you don't know what those three things that I just mentioned to you mean, again, you might have a very vague idea, but understanding, you know, what the value of reputation what that actually means most people don't know that real value until they actually lose their reputation. So your online reputation is an essential element of your personal brand. It's actually you know, your personal brand is what really sort of communicates your reputation, you know, it's your personal brand and then reputation, right? It's what you're known for. So when you have to protect it the same way as you would protect, you know, your number one currency in of course, what is your number one currency, of course, it's your reputation. So Protecting Your Online Reputation allows you to remain in the driver's seat when it comes to your online search results as best as possible unless somebody damages you intentionally, okay, that you can fix as well. But we're talking about here what you can control and this is the focus of today's presentation. But don't panic, I say you know because there are simple ways how to protect as a first step, you're your online reputation. So at least, you know, you're stacking the odds in your favour as opposed to keeping things to chance. The first one, as I noted before, is to Google yourself, Google yourself and see what shows up, just have a quick look good. And not only just google yourself from the point of view of the text, but do it in images, videos, et cetera, in all areas, just see what comes up. This is important, you know, and then when you see all of that, of course, is doing, you know, online audits, okay. So if you find something that you just saw right now, that you're not happy with all your regret posting, including social media, you can delete it, if possible, and hopefully do it immediately. And it's important that you do this because although, you know, historically, whatever you've posted is online forever, in the archives, you can still take it off from the point of view of a search because you know, what will happen is people are not going to go into the history of who you are, unless, obviously, they need to do that to find archived material and see what you've posted in the past. So the first impressions and the first perceptions will actually be positive if you can get it all removed. My next tip is to do a social media cleanup, that follows up from what we've just what I've just known, and from all your social networking sites, you know, and delete any negative comments, links, or images that could potentially be harmful to your online reputation. Now, by deleting anything negative, I don't mean anything that was, you know, part of a conversation of intellectual curiosity, for instance, that specifically created the bite, that's not what I'm talking about, I'm talking about things that could do harm to you, because you were partying too much that particular evening, or you said a few comments that really were analyzing, or it was, again, social event. And as you know, some things were out of your control, and you were sort of part of them, you know, the whole atmosphere, and potentially, you can get dragged into something that really, you didn't have much to do with. So I'm talking about more things like that. And, of course, you know, a lot of the damage that does happen occasionally, other than the corporate examples I gave you earlier, you know, with employees and so on, will also happen just from a social perspective, even with family and friends. So just be conscious of that, you know, because you're going to look at it from the perspective, is this really what you want to see on the front page of a newspaper? You know, and that's a fairly good example, to utilize, in reference to your reputation. Is this something that I want? Do you know, what I want to see? And if the answer is no, no, I think you've answered your own question. So my fourth tip is to manage your social media settings, okay. And that virtually manages them in a way that you know, exactly, you know, what's coming up what nullification are happening, you know, that you're gonna be in control. And, of course, automate that as much as possible. Because if you don't do that, you're going to be very hands-on with it. And of course, that's when a lot of mistakes can happen. But for managing your reputation Overall, though, I certainly do recommend hands-on as well, because leaving it to Tech in itself is not enough, you still gotta you know, that you're still gonna have a human being looking at it, automation can only do so much. Now another golden tip for you is to make sure your website blog is Google friendly. And Google-friendly means it fits in with the right keywords, basically, it's got all the mirrors set up, and everything specifically communicates exactly what you're on about. And that includes your you know, your goods and services, make sure that's all spelled out. This is fair, you know, simple advice. But it's, it's golden from the perspective, I can't tell you, you know, how many people post something online, and haven't got the tech mechanics in place. And my last tip is pretty obvious. Think twice before you post anything. And my advice, there would be this don't post for the sake of posting, there's already so much noise and junk online. You know, if you're gonna post something, make it worthwhile make it counts. And this is where your reputation comes into play. And of course, if you care about thought leadership, really take notice of that because just a post is not thought leadership, thought leadership is about obviously building on to your reputation. And of course, you'll see a lot of posts today that do actually the opposite of that and might even claim that you know, the thought leaders, so please look at that. And also finally, I want to share power. You know, I helped our team help a client with a negative reputation online. And this particular client, you know, very well known client in the community had a fairly, you know, obviously recognized name, but also at times from a social media perspective, especially from a social perspective, you know, the partying stuff that I mentioned earlier, believe it or not, yes, even highly successful people at times can get this wrong. They have, you know, they had a lot of social media that was really out of line, potentially damaging, but not only damaging to them, and their business, but also to their family, including their kids. So that, you know, there were images online that were, you know, taken innocently that did serious damage from the perspective of gravitas. In other words, they came across, you know, this is reputable people renowned, but some of the images and some of the posts made them look flimsy, flighty, and what I would call unstable. Okay, and this is essential. So what we did was we cleaned all that up, we created some positive content, of course, from a storytelling perspective, and also coached from the perspective of Are you serious about getting your life in order, including online? Or are you going to continue playing the big shot here, and potentially damaging many, many opportunities that are available to you, and certainly, you know, maybe available in the future. And if you don't get your act together here, I can tell you for a fact, okay, you're not going to get those opportunities, because we already have done their research that clearly shows that that's going to be the story. So this is important, you know, and from the perspective of cleaning up the story, and recreating, we did our work in the process. But of course, the client did the real work, because they were willing to listen, to hear from our perspective, what the blind spots were, and of course, also look deeper, at your reference to their ego, and a console game that they were playing, were really, they thought they had it all under control, but they didn't, you know, and that's what I believe, some tough love came into play. I think my clients know me very well, we don't mince our words, you know, if we're gonna make a difference, we've got to really have an impact with our language, and of course, our energy and our whole communication strategy people, you know, for people to trust you and go that deep with you. He can only do it one way. And that's been authentic. You know, so I think, you know, this is an essential component, because it's not, you know, this is not, this is a relational relationship, and to create impact, you got to communicate in that way. So, I think the client obviously heard that when I heard that, and the rest, obviously, is history, because today the sort of a revamped reputation that actually wasn't actually laundered, it was actually transformed.
So I want to thank you all today. This is all for today, folks. I hope this episode was useful for you. If you liked it, please share it with your colleagues and friends. That's always appreciated. And also, please keep in mind that I'm here to help you in your reputational journey just sent me an email and if we're a good fit, we may even work together. You can find me on social media. You can follow me on Twitter and Jon_Michail on LinkedIn as Jon Michail and on Facebook as Image Group International. I want to thank you all I wish you a great week. Until next time, cheers.
Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass" Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists, based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world. To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops please visit imagegroup.com.au or call 1800 631 311.