10 Tips for Maintaining a Professional Image Online


Control Your Branding

You're continually marketing yourself online, whether you know it or not.
You're continually marketing yourself online, whether you know it or not.
John Rowley/Photodisc/Thinkstock

Managing your professional reputation isn't all about avoidance and prevention. You should also think of your online reputation as a product that constantly needs to be marketed in the right way.

Join professional sites, such as LinkedIn, create a business fan page on Facebook and write a blog. Connect all of them together through links and favorites lists.

As you create this content, be consistent with your message and your profiles. Use the same slogan, logos and fonts with every kind of content. A coherent message will cut through the Web's clutter and even perhaps overshadow the things you don't want professional acquaintances to see.

Have your colleagues and clients view the content you create and review your services or goods, or offer testimonials to your expertise. Do not undervalue the power of honest reviews and testimonials. Likewise, don't ask your friends to lie in reviews. Not only is this unethical, but smart Web surfers will quickly spot fake reviews.

Perform other proactive tasks. Search for your name and your business name regularly. In other words, monitor your reputation. Create Google Alerts for your name and business to see what people are saying.

When a customer or peer offers criticism, don't lash out in anger. Respond respectfully to negative reviews and do your best to correct the problem.