People who run their own business should be aware of their online reputation. It can determine gaining new business or losing it to the competitor. Still, the return on investment building a sound online reputation is not always clear.
There are two sides in the ROI calculation: ‘estimated lost revenue’ – from negative articles and reviews, and ‘potential earned revenue’ – from a clear and positive presence. Research asking people how far they read using Google showed only 36% to look further than page 1, and 50% no further than page 1. The same survey asked people what a negative article or product review could do to their purchase decisions. Result: one negative article on page 1 means losing 22% of business. Consumers will stop calling you and turn to a competitor.
In the online business world, it’s not so much your price or state of the economy but simply attention. Your future customers need to know about you before they contact you. What makes you tick and what do you stand for? That’s why social media is so important to sales people these days. Marketers who focus on blogging (inbound marketing) are likely to get much more positive ROI by getting useful content in front of potential clients. Broadening the customer horizon and filling the sales pipeline.
Key to all this: who are you in real life and is this image the same online? What do you aspire to and where do you want to be in five years from now? Start working on that now. Decide on your key assets and define them. Make sure your Google images reflect who you are today. Start writing (small) blogs, check your online images, tag them well. Start googling yourself regularly and you will see the changes in the next 2-3 months.