How to Repair Online Reputations for Law and Finance Professionals? Eight Tips to Help
See Related Article: Each Negative Link or Review Loses Thirty Customers or $30,000
A damaged online reputation is bad for business. If a negative link shows up on the first page of a Google search page, a client stops calling and just moves on to another lawyer, accountant, financial advisor or other professional. Repairing a poor internet brand is paramount to survival as well as creating a thriving a business.
Here are eight effective and crucial tips that really work for professionals.
1. Remove The Negative Link If Possible
The first step is to remove the harmful post, link, image or blog post. Frankly, however, it’s usually extremely difficult or impossible but is worth a try. Contact the author or webmaster and politely and professionally state your case requesting the item to be removed.
Threatening legal action could be tempting but this could backfire; also most large sites simply ignore it. In some extreme cases, you might have a legitimate legal case, such as if someone posted your bank account, social security number, or other personal information. This route is complex and expensive so check with a lawyer who specializes in internet law.
2. Write Informative Blogs
Posting weekly useful and engaging articles is really the number one way to repair or boost an online reputation. Make sure to use a catchy title, add a good image (don’t swipe it: purchase it or use a Creative Commons image), and insert one or two links back to your business site.
3. Guest Blogging
Writing an article or blog post as a guest on law or finance can be very helpful. Try to follow blogs and topics that appeal to you or your business and pitch them an idea for a topic. Again, be sure to include links back to your site.
See Related Article: 25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools
4. Participate in Relevant Communities and Forums
Join good, interesting and useful online sites, forum and communities for lawyers, financial executives, professionals, accountants, etc. (Forbes.com is a great site, for example). Check them frequently and commit to making one comment daily to show that you are a “thought leader.”
5. Write a Whitepaper
You are an expert in your field—whether it be mortgage backed securities, rental properties in the Hamptons, or divorce litigation. Create a detailed whitepaper or thoroughly written informational document on a topic of your choosing, and then post it to a well regarded industry specific site.
6. Stay Clear of Damaging Comments
Don’t comment on destructive content because it will only push its ranking higher. Tempting as it might be to want to tell your side of the story, this will only make things worse. Refrain from “fanning the flames,” and continue to add good positive information.
7. Create a Wikipedia Entry
A Wikipedia article is extremely useful and since it is highly valued by search engines, it will usually rank on the top of the first page of Google. Creating one can be problematic, however, because you or your practice must be noteworthy. One approach is to focus on major recognizable accomplishments that can be documented, such as lectures you gave at the Bar Association, awards you’ve won and articles published about you in Bloomberg, for example. Note that your article could be taken down if your achievements are not substantiated by administrators or other editors/readers. Also, if many negative articles just came out, you could be “adding fuel to the fire” by creating additional attention.
8. Be Active On LinkedIn
For business connections, nothing beats LinkedIn, naturally. As with any social media platform, be sure completely fill out the profile section; crucially, make sure to include you web site links in your contact information. Get very active posting comments, join relevant Groups, and add article links.
The Bottom Line
Legal and financial professionals are especially susceptible to negative comments and are greatly impacted if a negative link shows up the first page of Google. Following these eight real-world solutions can help repair your online reputation.
See Related Article: “5 Online Reputation Management Tips for Lawyers“