The benefits of starting a business and brand on the internet far outweigh the negatives — however, when something bad does happen, it does tend to make you wish you just stuck to a 9-5 job and never opened yourself up to such disasters. While this is something that happens to most online marketers, famous bloggers and businesses at some point, it’s just a temporary feeling as each situation usually passes with time.
One of the biggest problems with putting yourself out there is dealing with all of the haters and potentially fraudulent statements that can be made against your brand at any time. In most cases, these are cowardly individuals hiding behind their computers who will never see your brand and just simply want to go after you as their target for the day.
No matter what their reasoning, what someone says and posts about your brand online can cause a lot of damage and losses over time. So when disaster strikes, you have a few ways to deal with it.
- Ignore it and hope it goes away
- Address it and potentially make it worse
- Hire a reputation management service
Depending on the situation, all three options can be the right answer for different individuals and businesses. All of which are points that I outline in my reputation management tips and resources post.
The most important advice I can recommend is that when someone attacks your personal name or brand online, you need to first think before taking action. I’ll now break down each of these key situations below.
Ignore the situation and hope it goes away
Depending on when, where and how someone writes something about you or your brand online, it might just be in your best interest to ignore the issue. The majority of attacks and fraudulent statements are made on forums and review sites, where other people will usually respond.
This can be both good and bad. Good because others can respond in your defence. Bad because others will see the statements being made.
Another important thing to remember when addressing haters online, is that adding fuel to the fire is exactly what they are looking for.
Address it and potentially make it worse
The opposite of ignoring the issue is trying to address it. This can work both for and against you.
As mentioned, adding fuel to the fire exactly what many complainers and haters want — so address such comments and attacks in an open forum is usually a bad idea as this will only bring more attention to it and help the content rank higher in the search results for your name.
A better way to address the issue is to try and contact the person directly that is making the complaints and seeing how you can solve their problem. You also have the option to contact the site or hosting company where the statements are being made.
Hire an outside reputation management company
The two scenarios above are common for site owners and small businesses that have a good idea on how to handle their own search rankings and reputation online.
For every other business and brand out there, it might be a better option to hire an outside company to actively manage your online mentions while also making sure the content that ranks for your name in Google is all positive — thus giving you a positive first impression when someone searches for your name online.
These are all built-in components of ORM companies, along with dealing with any disasters from haters that might stir up online and creep their way up into the search results.
The use of an online reputation is also recommended when having to deal with complaints found on sites like Yelp or RipOffReport, which are extremely tough to get removed or even to respond to. The main difference between using an ORM and trying to accomplish these same goals yourself, is that the ORM has the necessary connections, resources and experience to accomplish what your average individual or brand simply can not.
One such company that specializes in this type of service is Profiledefenders.com, as they are actively working with brands of all sizes that come across random haters, complaints, and potentially false accusations online.
You can seen an example below of how the service actually used their expertise to help clean up rankings for their own name, when someone posted a RipOffReport about their own company.
In most cases, working alongside a reputation management company will be the best solution for an individual, brand or business that doesn’t know how to manage their own seo or search rankings. Of course this also comes at a higher price as well.
Your First Impression is Page 1 of Google
Whether it’s through haters, online complaints or negative reviews on top ranking sites — whatever is ranking at the top of Google for your name or brand is what people are going to see as your first impression.
Like they say…
“You only get one chance to make a first impression… so make it count!”
With that being said, don’t let the haters destroy your spirit or the online brand and business you worked so hard to build up to what it is today. Perform the necessary search results within Google to make sure you have a good name and also setup Google Alerts to be notified whenever something new ranks on Google around your name.