"Over there! Someone has besmirched my favorite restaurant!"
"The best defense is a good offense" perfectly sums up online reputation defense. To best protect your online reputation, you want to be in control of the information that appears about you on Google's first two pages. First you should assess what is being said about you, or someone who shares your name, online.
A Google search with your name in quotation marks will show you the results people see when searching for you. Now we want to go into action mode to dominate. Here's how.
1) Leverage Social Media: The fastest way to control information on Google is to have properly set up your social media profiles. This goes beyond focusing on the big four: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+. You should have accounts on at least 5 to 8 other social media sites. I recommend Quora, Pinterest and Vizify. For your social media profiles to help you manage your online reputation, you must talk about yourself in the third person in any "about me" or summary sections.
2) Start Blogging: It's best to create your own website with your name as your URL. As an alternative you can use one of the free blogging sites. You should be blogging at least twice a month. Each blog post should be between 250 and 500 words. Make sure that within your blog you are linking to your social media profiles and then take the link from your post and publish it on your social media profiles.
3) Write Press Releases: This does not have to be breaking news, or even intended to be picked up by the media, but you should be writing press releases about events going on in your life. Topics can range from getting a new job to joining a new community service project. There are lots of online resources that can teach you how to write a press release so make sure you research the formatting and styling. You should be paying a service to distribute your press release like PR Newswire. It is also great idea to link to your blog and one social media profile per release. For best results submit one release every six weeks.
4) Video and Pictures: Create a YouTube account and post a video every other month. The video can be about anything and even taken with your smartphone. You should also be taking pictures with your smartphone and uploading them to dedicated image websites like Panoramio or Flickr Remember to include your full name in the descriptions of your videos and photos. It is also helpful to link to your blog or social media profiles.
Jabez LeBret is the author of the Amazon No. 1 bestselling law office marketing book How to Turn Clicks Into Clients. As a partner at Get Noticed Get Found, a legal marketing agency, over the last nine years he has delivered over 800 keynote addresses in six countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing.