Agents – Manage Your Online Identity For a Better Branding
Getting your name out there can be a struggle as you strive to get better rankings, have a more usable website and keep on top of social networking. However, personal branding can be damaging too, as it encourages people to delve deeper into your personal online life. Managing your presence on the Internet so it shows a positive image of you can be challenging.
The amount of information that someone can find out about you on the Internet can be scary. Some people have everything from their addresses to nude photos of themselves online. If someone puts two and two together… well, it could be very damaging if you want to maintain a professional image in the community.
Google your name to see what comes up. If it’s your social networking pages and nothing else, great! If other people come up, that’s okay; you can create a strong branding to associate your name + Real Estate Agent or Realty. If questionable photos, blog posts or forum posts come up, you have a problem.
Work to get rid of problem posts; enlist the help of the site owner if possible. You may also want to look into getting a lawyer if your problem is Internet slander or stolen photos. Some companies claim to be able to manage your online identity, but be careful and check them out first before sending them money.
Many agents use Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites in their personal and professional lives. Make sure that your Facebook privacy settings reflect the level of security you need and check up on what Facebook is doing with its privacy policies regularly.
You don’t have to shut down your social life; just maintain a discreet online presence. You may want to go so far as to have separate accounts for your business and personal life, but ensure that your personal life is kept private. See that online photos of you do not reflect embarrassing or compromising situations.
When you post on a bulletin board or your blog, be aware that you are not just responding to one person or even an entire bulletin board. Your response could potentially be read by millions, so don’t say anything you don’t want dragged through the dirt. On the contrary; reinforce your professional image by being polite and informative.
Don’t let this make you paranoid; let it make you cautious. A professional presentation is more than a great website or regular Twitter posts; it involves presenting yourself in a professional manner on the Net as well as off of it.