Knowing the Answers to These Questions Could Help Your Online Reputation
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Online Reputation Management Starts With Asking Questions, and This Questionnaire helps to Build an Accurate Web Presence
Building, repairing or managing an online reputation, believe it or not, starts with questions.
Where is your business headed?
Where did you go to school?
What is your birthday?
Why? Because knowing about you and your business is the best way to repair an online reputation.
This might seem odd, arbitrary or both: afteral, when negative links show up in a Google search, time seems of the essence, and your business could be in real danger of losing sales or going under.
But when starting with a financial adviser, gallery owner, television executive–whoever–I need to know as much as possible about their personal and business interests, backgrounds, and goals. So, I ask a lot of questions. Usually it starts with asking business owners to fill out a questionnaire.
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Gathering this type of information is important to build an accurate and engaging online presence. When I build an online reputation, it needs to be based on real-world experiences, so knowing about my clients is crucial.
Because Google values context as well as excellent content, I become familiar with my client (and their business) as much as possible to be able to target specific sites where their clients are likely to be.
For example, I’ve worked with hedge fund managers, so I started building content on Linkedin, StockTwits, Crushbase, Bloomberg, and Twitter; for an advertising executive recently, the web repair process started with Facebook, Pinterest, AdAge, Vimeo, Instagram and Snapchat.
Some questions may seem slightly obscure or less pertinent, but all of them help me get a feel for who you are and where to publish content.
With this in mind, here’s a basic online reputation management questionnaire. It’s helpful to have answers to these and others handy in case you are starting the online reputation repair process. It’s both a time saver for you as well as might steer you to the right place to work with since most serious reputation management firms ask these type of detailed questions–and if they don’t, maybe you shouldn’t work with them.
What is your birthday?
Reason: It’s not necessarily just to send you a birthday card (although that might happen). Knowing your birthday is necessary when completing a range of important social media platform profiles, including Facebook and LinkedIn, and leaving some details blank, such as something as seemingly simple as a birthday, can negatively impact the repair process.
Who are your parents, and where did they grow up and work?
Reason: this info could be added to a Wikipedia article, local neighborhood sites, a school alumni page, or other sites.
Where did you go to high school and college?
Reason: knowing this and most of the education-related questions below are important when completing social site profiles and for creating LinkedIn Groups. Also, perhaps most importantly, many school’s web sites have alumni sections, and creating a presence there is often extremely helpful.
What other classes did you take in undergraduate school and when was it awarded?
Reason: Facebook, LinkedIn and others ask for this, and Google likes a tidy and complete profile.
Did you participate in clubs or special classes?
Reason: Knowing interests, even from the past, is useful in determining which sites to build a presence on. For example, if you were a chess champion or interested in fine art, I might research good blogs to follow, or which are the best Pinterest Boards to create for you.
Where there other noteworthy classmates at your school?
Reason: Perhaps you could be added to their Wikipedia article, or at least link to it. Also, they might be excellent people to follow on social media sites.
If you are married, what is your spouse’s name, education, and other background information?
Reason: this is useful in creating a full social media profile, a possible Wikipedia article, and making a presence on their own alumni site.
If you have children, what is/are their name, age, schooling, location, occupation, and other major accomplishments?
Reason: beyond mentioned above, it might be helpful to build a presence or follow some of their topics (for example, if they were in junior high, and interested in soccer, maybe we’d add updates on appropriate local sports sites, with a link back to your web site).
Hobbies and Personal Interests
What are your hobbies?
Reason: I could create Pinterests Boards, write a related blog post, or follow those subjects on Facebook Groups.
Do you have other awards or honors?
Reason: these are important to add on LinkedIn and other profiles, and might be added to a Wikipedia page.
What are some competitors?
Reason: researching their web presence and followers is extremely useful to analyze and could be a great starting point for our repair process.
What web sites or blogs to you read or feel are important?
Reason: Writing comments on these, which could be indexed by Google, are very helpful (for example, one comment on a related New York Times article is very powerful). Also, they might be a great place to post related blog posts and to follow themselves.
Are there industries or locations that your businesses focuses on?
Reason: I might create a local search site presence for that region, country or city.
Who are your key clients?
Reason: following them on social media platforms guarantees keeping “top of mind,” and helps identify similar business prospects to reach out to and follow.
Do you have key new facilities, products or services that are coming out?
Reason: Besides possibly generating new business connections, knowing where your businesses is headed down the road can help plan what new social media sites to reach out to and follow.
What is your inspiration?
Reason: this gives me some idea about what drives you and can be helpful in creating blog content, identify sites to follow, and what groups to be a part of.
Feel free to reach out to me, Steven W. Giovinco at Recover Reputation, with any questions about this or your reputation.