Reputation Management Bloggers: 3 Ways to Craft Audience Profiles

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Choosing reputation audiences

Let’s pretend for a moment that you’re compiling a reputation management program, and you’re planning to write up a blog once per week, filled with fantastic keywords that will make you or your company look great.

Hey, ORM newbie: You’re on the right track! But there’s one more thing you simply must do. Create an audience profile.

Understanding the ORM Benefits of Audience Profiles

The web is stuffed to the gills with blogs just like yours, and if you’re dealing with a reputation management attack, you’re probably trying to out-rank other blogs that have the very same keywords.

That means your SEO techniques need to be spot on. You’ll need the bots to know what your page is about and why it matters.

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But it also means that you need to capture readers who will dive into your page and stay there, eagerly reading every single word you wrote.

An audience profile can help. This cheat-sheet can spark your writing excellence, as you’ll know just who you are trying to reach with your words. And if you do it right, you’ll have a better chance at ORM dominance.

Think of it this way: With an audience profile, you will create content that is simply designed to be compelling. And that means this is content that is much more likely to be read. So when Google bots plow through your site, you’ll have popularity scores on your side. Your bounce rate will go down, and your share rate will go up.

So when people search for those nasty reputation keywords, your site will come up first. That could make the original attack less effective.

It’s a win-win!

Audience Profiles in 3 Steps

Creating audience profiles is a relatively easy process, but it does involve a little research and planning. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Who do you need to influence?

A reputation attack can be pervasive, touching almost every single aspect of your life. But chances are, there is one specific type of reader that absolutely, positively must have a good impression of you and what you can do. That might be your:

  • Current clients or employers
  • Family members
  • Neighbors
  • Legislators

Dig deep into the attack and think about what specific type of person needs to hear your side of the story in order for you to achieve a real recovery. If your company revenues are dipping, your clients might need to grab your focus. But if you lost a job and need a new one, employers might be more important.

Once you have spotted the group you most need to influence, you have the start of an ORM audience profile.

Step 2: What do these people read and/or enjoy?

Once you have an idea about who you’re planning to talk to, start digging in with the research. Log on to your social site of choice (Facebook or Twitter are my go-to tools here), and pick one or two people as representative samples. Read the articles they like, link to, or share. Scour the pages or people they follow. Look for:

  • Writing style. Do they like things hip or structured?
  • Length. Are short pieces or longer pieces better?
  • Content. Do they like things with celebrities? Sports? Hobbies?
  • Variability. Do they look at the same things over and over, or do they branch out?

You’ll be working to mimic these pieces, so your key audience will like your blog entry. So the more notes you can take, the better.

Step 3: Grab demographics data.

As you research your key market, think about where these people fit into a demographic plan. Are you trying to reach young people or older people? Do they live in cities or on farms? Do they have kids or do they have grandkids?

These are questions that can help you to think up innovative blog topics that still contain your keywords. For example, if you know that your readers are parents, content that discusses children or has photos of children is likely to be better received than content without kids. Demographics can illuminate those paths for you.

Using Your Profiles for ORM

With this information in place, you can come up with an editorial plan that can reach your key influencers in no time at all. You’ll know what they like to read, and chances are, you’ll be able to mimic those pieces and reach the people you’d like to reach. And you’ll know how to write in a style that they find compelling, so you won’t irritate them with your blog entries.

Some writers pull their notes into a storytelling document. They might give their ideal reader a name, a backstory and a list of likes and dislikes. Others use charts and graphs for the same data. My advice is to keep the information to about one page, so you’ll be inspired instead of overwhelmed.

Before you blog, read your notes. And do the same before you hit the “publish” button. Anything that doesn’t seem quite right for your audience probably shouldn’t be published.

So that’s it! If any of you have other tips about audience profiles, I’d love to see them in the comments.

Image credit: Nenetus via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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You Can Change Your Reputation at Work. Here’s How.

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shutterstock_229841482Whether you went off the deep end one day after a little too much liquid at lunch, lost your temper and kicked the trash can across the office, never meet a deadline, are late to work every single day, or you are known for starting rumors faster than the laser printer kicks out pages, you may have a reputation at work.

And it’s not likely the type of reputation you want to have.

Your professional reputation is something that can not only impact you at your current job, but can follow you to your next place of employment. When the damage has been done, figuring out how to repair your image can be tough.

Fortunately, there are some very specific things you can do that will help change your reputation and put you on the path to success.

Own Up to Your Mistake

Keith Wyche, author of Corner Office Rules, said, “We’re a country of second chances, but we are not very fond of third ones.”

People tend to be pretty forgiving. If you admit that you’ve made a mistake, most people will forgive you.

However, it is also good to take it a step further. Explain how you plan to rectify the mistake and how you’ll avoid making the same mistake in future. Be sure to follow through!

Confront False Rumors

Sometimes innocent actions can be construed in the wrong way. A few office rumors start flying and before you know it, you’re are the target of some false ones.

When your reputation suffers for something you didn’t even do, it can be quite frustrating. Another issue is when you are perceived in the wrong way because your actions are misunderstood.

The best thing you can do in this situation is to be upfront with those who have the wrong idea about you. Explain yourself, your motivations, or how — specifically — the information they’ve received is false. At a minimum, those involved will know you are an upfront person and that you care about other people’s opinions.

Stay Calm and Unemotional

If you kicked a trash can across the room, or any one of a million other things that might go wrong at work, you will likely be called into upper management’s office for a discussion and warning about your behavior.

Or, perhaps you’re known as the tattle tale of the office, and you need to speak to the boss about the person who did kick the trash can across the room.

When you are involved in a confrontation at work, you’ll want to go in with only the facts. Leave emotions out of it and don’t highlight everything you think is wrong with your co-workers. Keep things impersonal, matter of fact and unemotional.

Ignore the Clucking

If you’ve made a few bad decisions, the gossip mill at work is likely already running full speed against you. It can be difficult to swim against the current of a negative reputation.

Try to ignore anything negative that is said to you. Find a friend outside of work who you can trust and can confide in. It is best not to confide in anyone at work, because you never know when someone is pretending to be a friend but telling others what you are saying.

Change whatever behavior has been bad in the past and give it some time. It can take a long while before your co-workers begin to trust you again. In the future, be very careful not to give them any fuel for negative gossip.

Get Organized

If you’ve developed a reputation of not following through, some simple organization tips can help change that bad image.

Buy a planner and write everything down. Find one that lets you prioritize tasks from most important to least important, such as a Franklin planner. Buy chalkboard vinyl stickers to keep track of your to-dos, goals and schedules. Get a filing cabinet or a new system for organizing documents.

Be consistent in getting things done and keeping your promises. As you prove that you are reliable, you’ll be given more responsibility.

Go Above and Beyond

One way to repair a professional reputation is to put your best foot forward and be extremely helpful. Help your co-worker edit his report without expecting anything in return. Get to work early. Leave late. Do more than is asked of you. Never complain.

If you can do these things consistently, you’ll go a long way toward repairing your work reputation. At a minimum, you’ll redeem yourself with management and get a decent recommendation for your next job. You’ll also develop better habits that will keep you from making the same mistakes next time.


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