Why You Need an Online Presence Even if You Think You Don't

In lectures, workshops and one-to-one coaching about online reputation management I explain how anyone can build a solid, professional-looking online reputation simply and cheaply. But from time to time I meet someone who asks why you need an online reputation. "I am a private person", they usually say, "and I don't want to be visible to everyone.".

Perhaps in an ideal world you would have this choice, but alas our world is not so perfect and there are two very good reasons why you need to have a controlled presence.

ABSENCE OF INFORMATION CREATES SUSPICION.  First of all, if someone googles you and finds nothing at all they might assume correctly that you are a very private person. Much more likely they will be suspicious, and assume that either you are not comfortable with technology or you have something to hide. At the very least the absence of online presence is not reassuring and leaves lingering doubts about you. Would you hire someone who doesn't appear to be able to fill in an online form, or has some awful secret they are hiding?

BAD CONTENT WILL FILL THE VACUUM.  Even more important is that if you con't post anything online then searches will return profiles about you that have been created without your knowledge or input by websites known as content scrapers, that take information from public sources and create a profile which is usually inaccurate. Some allow you to take control of these profiles and correct them but it is better not to rise to this bait. The only way to get rid of these profiles and other unwanted results is to push them down on the search results by creating higher quality content yourself.

Creating this higher quality content is surprisingly easy: all you have to do is create profiles on popular social networking and social media sites, a process described in Five Simple Steps to Improve Your Online Reputation.  There are some other techniques, too, that are described in the Related Posts below. Unless you have a very common name or a complicated past these guides will solve your problem in a week or so.

Today whether you like it or not you need to have an online reputation unless you are in some sort of witness protection program or on the run. But then someone not having an online reputation attracts suspicion these days.


Related posts on Branding and Reputation Management:

Choosing Pronounceable Brand Names: Lessons from the Cuil Saga 
Five Simple Steps to Improve Your Online Reputation 
Branding in the Age of Search Engines 
Why Having Accounts on Photo Sharing Sites Is Good for Your Image
Sign Up Now: Joining New Networking Sites Boosts Brand, Reputation 

Lectures, Workshops & Coaching

For one-to-one coaching, lectures and workshops on this topic -- especially if you have a tricky reputation problem that the basic guidelines don't solve -- visit andrewhennigan.com or contact me at conseil@andrewhennigan.com or by phone on 0033 6 79 61 42 81. 


Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks Andrew! Once again very usefull hints :-)

Kind regards from Sao Paulo,
Hanna
Andrew Hennigan said…
Thank you Hanna. I am glad it is useful for you!

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