Last Updated on January 30, 2024 by Asfa Rasheed

Everyone today has a digital footprint. From social media to news articles to public records, there’s an extensive amount of information available about each of us. 

That’s why online reputation management is so critical today.  

What Is Online Reputation Management? 

While potential employers are the most obvious group that may be interested in your reputation, they are not the only ones. Landlords, lenders and even potential romantic partners can scour the internet and easily learn more about you. 

ORM is the process used to ensure that your personal brand is protected from harm. ORM ensures that you’re putting your best foot forward digitally and not losing out on opportunities due to what’s available. 

Steps To Protect Your Online Reputation 

Here’s a closer look at steps you can take to protect your digital footprint and online reputation.  

1. Google Yourself 

While there’s much more to it than self-Googling, Google is a good place to start for managing your reputation. 

Google will be a comprehensive source of information and photos about and by you. Take a look at what’s on the first few pages. If you can find it on Google, you can be sure that others can, too. It’s the simplest way to find information about someone. 

2. Delete Old Accounts 

You may have many old, unwanted social media accounts. If you are no longer using those accounts, consider deleting them — they may contain sensitive information you don’t want shared publicly. 

Old, inactive accounts can be hijacked. If you’re not using those accounts anymore, they may have been compromised, issuing information or posts that aren’t from you or what you represent. 

Remember, don’t just delete the app. You need to go into your account settings and delete the account completely. 

3. Establish Your Personal Brand and Goals 

What persona do you want to convey online? What are your goals for that persona — a new job, a better role in your industry, or thought leadership? No matter what you’re trying to achieve, it’s important to clearly identify what your goals are. From there, you can develop content and positioning that establishes the reputation you’re desiring. 

4. Keep It Professional 

Today, posts last forever. That’s why it’s important to think clearly before you post … anything. Whether it’s a comment on a social media platform, a product review, or a status update, everything you post has a long life. 

Try to avoid posting items when you’re very emotional. Posts driven by anger, frustration, or distress are often regrettable later. They can also lead to replies, comments and feedback that’s unwanted, overly negative, or harmful. 

The last thing you want is for your comments to embarrass you, your employer, or your family. If you’re not sure if something is suitable for posting, check it out with several close friends or confidants first, and heed their advice. 

5. Create a Blog 

A personal or professional blog is an excellent way to express yourself, establish your online persona, and reach for your goals. Blogs that show off your writing acumen, your knowledge, your humor, and your capabilities are a great way to establish or reaffirm an online reputation. By posting regularly and consistently, you’ll see blog posts are frequently among the top search results when someone looks for you online. 

6. Update Your Profiles 

Do you have a LinkedIn profile or other professional online presences? Make sure you’ve updated your personal sites on these platforms. Update details and your photo to ensure potential employers and others know who the current “you” is. Add details about achievements, awards, schooling, volunteer work, and jobs to ensure these sites are accurate. 

7. Get Help When Needed 

Sometimes you need help managing your online reputation. Status Labs provides reputation management for individuals and companies alike. 

With a few simple steps, you can boost your online reputation and ensure that it’s providing you with the opportunities you need for success.