Another young and ambitious ref to mentor last weekend. And this time a slightly difficult match. Mostly due to the home coach criticizing the ref all the time. I was positioned behind his dug-out, so registered everything in detail. Continue reading “Critizing the referee doesn’t help, especially with an FA rep reporting – Rodric Leerling”
Tag: Online Reputation Management
If you didn’t know already – we are living in a reputation economy. And Google has become the new background check. Everyone is googling, all the time – to find information, opinions, background info, but also checking out people. Did you know that 80% of people will google you before they decide to meet you? Asking themselves: Who is the person I’m meeting? What makes him or her tick? What does he or she do outside their job? Where are they heading for in life?
Questions that Google can easily answer by showing what’s being posted online. On all social media channels, just recently or maybe some time back. If nothing fresh is being posted, this keeps popping up and you might not like it. Basically, you are who Google says you are. My question to you: is your online reputation in line with you are?
The index (10 hits each page) is based on available online content and is taken from websites and blogs, but also articles, news and social media posts. And this picture drawn on Google page 1 will determine whether people choose to do business with you, or go elsewhere. You might never know why you missed the much needed investment, got skipped for the new job or that board position you pitched for. It’s just inevitable: Google has become the first stage of the background check and the first elimination point.
My advice would be to start producing new, or re-purposing older, content. This will help to get your ‘online-me’ in sync with your ‘offline-me’. Uploading good content (including photos and videos) improves your chances of being found online. And remember that in order to rank on search engines, you need to have fresh content that is relevant to your audience. Google not only indexes your page based on keywords, but also the relevancy of a page’s semantic relevance and back links to credible websites.
Key to all this: a strong online reputation will help generate more business opportunities. And who doesn’t want that?
What if customers, before they decide meeting you, first check you out on Google and LinkedIn. What will they find? Just a brief summary of who you are, because ‘the rest will be added in a personal meeting’? What if potential clients decide it’s too vague and pick your competitor in stead? You will never know.
In order to become more visible and authentic, consider two important issues. First, all online content, from web and ad copy to social media and print materials, everything that’s published about you and your brand will become your brand. You are your own Personal Brand. Just because your company isn’t a media publication doesn’t mean people can’t go there for advice and insight. They will. All the time.
Secondly, in order to create a better and strong online reputation, you should start producing bits of content. Present all aspects about your personality, or have someone interview you. Talk about where you came from, what you do right now and how you envision the future. Cover all dimensions of your life, not just your business. You are more than just your job!
Produce this content (text and preferably also video) on WordPress and distribute it through social media. People will pick it up, read it and by doing so link back to you. This will help you perform well in search and Google will eventually present your ‘online-you’ more in sync with your ‘offline-you’.
And remember: ‘no news’ in search does not mean ‘good news’ on Google page 1. Start the digital clean-up today and build yourself a strong online reputation. It will ultimately generate more business opportunities.
Last night I was assigned to replace a colleague ref on two late night futsal games. Maybe he preferred watching Champions League or the outcome of the Dutch national elections. Two events close to my heart, but I decided to go refereeing anyhow. I need this distraction.
The hall was still empty when I arrived, so this game could have been scheduled earlier. Checked the digital player passes and got the game on track. The away team was ranking low, whereas the home team was close to promotion. But the away team scored early goals and got the other team frustrated. The game needed my full concentration from scratch.
This focus helped me to spot a handball near the home team goal: yellow and penalty kick. Made the call and got compliments from the home team for spotting it and taking the correct measures. But they eventually made more fouls and I had to send off three of their players in total with yellow.
I ignored all their comments and showed yellow where appropriate. The game resulted in a narrow one goal difference victory by the away team. Handshakes from most of them, but still a talking home captain and goalie. I told them I heard enough and said I now understood why the futsal FA sent me to this game. He looked at me surprised. “Seriously? Are we being scrutinized?” He walked off steaming.
I was already into my second game when I saw him walking towards me with his sports bag and wet hair. With a smile this time and a hand on my shoulder. “Sorry ref, we were a bit frustrated.” Sure, I understand, I said. “But what was that about the FA and you reffing us?” Ha ha, got you bro. I pulled your proverbial leg and you went for it. He laughed and wished me a good night. I used my second game to cool down and left for home with a great feeling.
I sure had my moment last Saturday. The beaten home coach referred to this while shaking hand afterwards and said “you surely had your key moments ref”. He was referring to a collision in mid air during the 1st half, in the goal area, between his attacker, an away defender and goalie. The latter fell and dropped the ball as a result, and the attacker scored. I decided a foul in my mind, even before the ball was played again and blew the whistle.
I told him as response that talking about my call mid 1st half was “water under the bridge”. In fact, if his own attackers would have scored the one or two obvious scoring opportunities we wouldn’t have had this conversation.
But I still want to know who pushed who. The attacking player claimed the two away team mates bumped into each other and he “wasn’t involved at all” (which normally means he was). I explained it as attacker pushing defender first. Neither video, nor an assistant to consult. Just me and my mental registration of the split moment. I will have one ‘alternative report’ in the mail though soon – from my assessor. I didn’t noticed him during the game (hidden on the big grandstand) but found a picture on his Facebook page being on the spot, so there’s definitely a report to expect. Let’s see what he thinks of it.
All in all, it was a good game. No cards needed, with just a few verbal cautions in an overall fast and fair game. I felt pretty good about most decisions. Had a slight injury playing up during 2nd half which slowed me down for few minutes. Let’s see if the assessor noticed that too.
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.
All your posted online content like blogs, comments, pictures, videos and social media posts draw a picture of who you are. It will greatly determine whether people want to meet and eventually do business with you.
Are those images really you? Or you, but in a shady situation. Or totally not you because you didn’t tag your own pictures well. So when you are googled (and people do that all the time) does the image people get from Google page 1 fit with what differentiates you in the current market?
Online Reputation Management (or: ORM) is all about creating a strong online presence, one that enhances the ‘off-line me’ and helps create your current business. But even more importantly, it will help your next business goals. Where do you want to be in five years? Positioning yourself should not just be based on your current business successes and skills, but also on other dimensions in life. You are more than just your job title.
Look in the online mirror. Go and google yourself.
It’s been a while since my last referee assessment. Especially for my futsal referee activities.
To my surprise, I just noticed an assessor is assigned to watch and report my futsal game performance next week. That’s one year after the previous report. I double checked and indeed, my last futsal report was Feb 2016. Have they forgotten me? Have I ended up in the ‘deplorables’ category?
Frankly speaking, I don’t really care. I tried to get up one league last year and was put in a special promotion group but was let down by my mentor. The games I’m reffing are mostly handled nicely, with some exceptions due to obnoxious teams or coaches, or sometimes me being not 100% focused. I know most of the time who is to blame and apologize if it was me.
But to make it one more step up, more is required than just reffing a good game. Consider these elements that keep cropping up in reports: making it to the base line regularly, taking correct game management steps (yellow cards, even when advantage is given). Crossing over for a re-start closer to your current sideline. Making sure the subs are done in a proper manner. Using right whistle tones and proper hand signals. Making sure the right distance is being taken at all restarts (5m). Talking to players in a polite but straight way (eye-to-eye). Showing a calm posture in everything. Counting at restarts (4sec) especially when the goalkeeper possesses the ball. And this is all done by just you. No assistants, no colleague refs. Just you. Sometimes in a pressure cooker game of 2×25 minutes.
Do I want to make that step up? Good question. My ego says ‘yes’, but never know what assessors make of it.
I will let you know after reading my first futsal report in 12 months.