I was honored to be interviewed by TruReview. We had the chance to talk about online reputation management, which is something that I’ve been blogging about a lot lately. You can hear the interview here.
I am actually not super skilled at speaking on the phone. I always tell my clients, “I think with my fingers, not with my brain!” When I listened to the interview I felt like a lot of my answers sounded unintentionally curt and unfriendly. But it’s possible I’m just self-conscious in that way! I hope I come across better in the blog posts I’ve done on the subject (most of them are on other sites, and linked out to my portfolio).
As a content marketer, however, I am on the forefront of the business battle to manage a company’s reputation. The whole “reputation management” thing begins the moment someone logs onto your website.
I’m 37 years old. Let me give you an idea of how I think.
I go looking for a business like yours. You pass test #1 if you have a website at all. If you don’t have one, I will never, ever do business with you. I’ve already come to the conclusion that you are horribly behind the time times and out of touch…and as such, you are unable to help me. Not having the website has impacted your reputation.
The second test is whether or not the website is reasonably visually appealing. I have zero visual intelligence, so this is an easy test to pass in my book. Others have more exacting standards.
The third test is the web copy itself. Stilted, boring, dull, and dry? I’m out of there. And, to the extent that it makes sense, I want to see a blog. I may not read or hang on your every word if you’re, say, a dentist. I might go looking for the specific blog post that talks about my particular, unique tooth pain. I probably won’t comment on it. I definitely won’t share it. But I will vastly appreciate it and I will be more likely to hire you as a result.
The fourth test is whether or not your site has, to the extent that makes sense for your business, made it easier for me to do business with you. For example…don’t make me phone you if you can do business with me via an e-mail, or a web form. Now, when I work with clients I’m happy to phone them if that is what they want. But I’m just as happy to have you e-mail me and to handle the entire process electronically.
Big, big bonus points if I can do all of this on my phone, too. For those in their twenties or younger I imagine not being able to do so is a deal-breaker, but I still prefer to do most of my online work on a great big screen and with a great big keyboard.
I consider reviews and all that other mess only after I consider all of these other things. And I will always go to your website first. I am vastly annoyed if I have to go to Yelp first, or a Google+ page first. So right away, you can do a lot for your reputation just by taking the time to set up your website. And if you’re one of the businesses that still doesn’t have one…dude, you’re driving me crazy right now. Setting one up is incredibly affordable, and I can even refer you to folks who will handle the visual side of it so that I can handle the copy side of it.
For the love of all that is holy, give it some thought. 🙂