When you’re just starting out, you’re an unknown entity. You have no reputation to speak of and to go anywhere in business, you need to start making yourself known to people. This is when you enter into the exhaustive marketing phase of your business.
In these initial stages, you need to be careful and meticulous. There are several things that can damage your online reputation early on. You need to avoid them, or your business wouldn’t take off on the right foot. It’s very difficult to repair a damaged reputation, after all.
If you follow these steps, you can build a good reputation and nurture your business’ identity.
1. Understand Your Brand
Your brand defines your business identity. It’s something that ensures that you stand out amongst the crowd. Today, businesses are faceless and there’s intense competition everywhere. Brand becomes a way for your clients or customers to identify you. Brands also convey a message, they illustrate the values you hold dear and the business ethics you stand by.
You need to determine your brand identity and what you want to portray through it. The best way to determine this is by asking yourself a simple question: What do you want to be known as. If you want to be known as the business that offers the best bargains, or the best customer service, or the best quality of product, etc, build a brand image that projects that.
2. Make Sure your Slate is Really Clean
Your personal online reputation is equally important as your company’s online reputation. If you have any comment or post that can damage your reputation or be used against you, you need to find and remove them. Your reputation and the reputation of your team should be credible and clean before your dive headlong into your marketing efforts.
Don’t think that this detail is insignificant. Eventually, people are curious and when your business starts gaining traction and customers and competitors start taking note of you, they’re going to eventually start looking into you, checking your history. If they spot something bad, they won’t hesitate to publish it online for the world to see.
3. Choose the Name Carefully
Selecting the name of your business might just be one of the most important steps you take. The right business name can reflect on your entire brand identity. Many people forget to check or research names online. They think they have a brilliant name that no one else might have thought of and register it blindly. In the end, there’s always the likelihood that if you think the name’s brilliant, someone has already used it.
4. Build your Online Presence
Start to actively build your online presence before starting a venture. Seek out the places where your potential customers might visit and become active there. You can do this by commenting on different posts, posting new content, and making new connections.
Your online reputation is important. People rarely purchase products or hire services without doing some cursory research online. Your marketing efforts won’t yield good results if your online presence is damaged.