How Freelancers Can Protect Their Reputation Online
The life of the freelance worker is enviable to many–the freedom of being one’s own boss, the flexibility of setting one’s own hours, and the excitement of taking on new tasks every day are all great reasons to make the move into freelance work.
However, living the freelance life also incurs a great amount of responsibility for professionals in all fields. Maintaining a good reputation is vital to the freelancer’s livelihood, and this is not always easy to do, especially on the internet. Lightening fast communications make it easy for reputations to be made or destroyed in the blink of an eye, and it is important for freelancers to protect their reputations online.
Use Free Tools to Monitor Your Reputation Online
The ease of publishing on the internet makes it a difficult task to keep tabs on what is being said about you, and the near infinite amount of web pages does not make the task any easier. However, protecting your reputation doesn’t have to be a Herculean feat of strength.
Start by using general tools like Google Alerts and Analytics for your website to keep tabs on your website’s traffic and any relevant searches that are being conducted about you. This is a great way to monitor what’s going on with your website on a day-to-day basis without much difficulty.
Of course, there are plenty of discussions going on outside of your website, and you never know when you may be the subject of such discussions. You can use services like Google Blog Search or Technorati to easily see if your name is popping up in the blogging world–one of the internet’s biggest soap boxes.
Message boards and forums are possible places where you may find people gossiping, so try tools like BoardTracker to keep an eye on multi-user discussions. You may also want to keep an eye on websites like Yelp, one of the most widely used platforms for people to write and promote reviews of everything from restaurants to real estate agents.
Worst Case Scenario, Use Legal Resources
If you do find yourself being discussed in a negative light, you do of course have the option of defending yourself. However, engaging in arguments on the internet is very often a frivolous game. If you feel you can facilitate a civil discussion and bolster your reputation, by all means do so, but don’t become frustrated if dialogues become unproductive.
Those who find themselves being unfairly slandered on the web do have the option of legal recourse. Online defamation is a serious issue, so if you feel that you have a strong case, preserve your reputation and combat the offenders by enlisting legal assistance.
You can’t please all of the people all the time, but by putting these online reputation management strategies to work, you should be able to at least control the wildfires of internet gossip. As so much freelance work is solicited through the internet, it will be very important to defend your online reputation in order to be successful. Always keep a watchful eye.
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