How To Build Your Online Reputation In Social Media to Grow Your Business. Part 1

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social-media-reputation

“Don’t Take This Personally, But People Simply Do Not Care About Your Company. What They Care About Is Themselves. And If You Can Talk To Them About Themselves, You’ll Have Their Full Attention.”

– Jay Conrad Levinson

As you can imagine, building my reputation online is on my mind, and it hopefully is on yours too. This is why I write and blog. The hope is that if I share 90% of what I know and how I accomplish and achieve; You, and Others will gladly pay for the last 10% when you need it. The challenge to selling yourself as a consultant starts with the biggest challenge of all. Establishing Your Credibility. Obviously, the long term play from writing and blogging is to demonstrate not only my expertise, but how I think and tackle problems, so that when you are backed against the wall, you recognize the potential for me to break through that wall for you. Odds are, you have similar goals online. You want to network, you want to build your personal brand and you want to establish your expertise in your field. You want to become the go to guy for your field so that people with throw gobs of money at you, and more importantly appreciate your contribution.

As you can see, I use a visitor survey tool called Qualaroo on the bottom right of my screen asking for post recommendations. One user suggested that I write about how to build your reputation online and through social media. I was excited to get this suggestion because I am very proactively trying to tackle this problem, and not only believe writing about my challenges, opportunities, successes and failures will make for good reading, I am hoping some of you will join me for the ride and share your thoughts and experiences in the comments, so we can all dominate our respective industries in due time.

I know the real meat and potatoes you are looking for is the growth and networking tactics. How to get noticed, recognized and appreciated by the thought leaders in your industry, and how to become one of them, leading the pack and influencing a following of your own. However, I think you need to start with your ABC’s before you can draw too much attention to yourself. After all, if you get noticed in the wrong light, or without the mechanisms in place to leverage it, or influence how you are perceived, you run a real risk of being shot down. Before your advertise, be sure you’ve got the goods.

The current challenge I am facing today is the messaging I use to describe myself to get people to trust me and my expertise. 

The obvious problem is that anything you say about yourself, is inherently untrustworthy. I should clarify what I mean. If I said, “I am a search marketer” you would probably believe me. After all, that claim doesn’t speak to my ability to do a good job, or anything that my obvious bias would influence. It could just mean that I helped set up the family business PPC account that spend $100 a month.  However, if I say, “I am the best search marketer” you won’t believe me. First, if I was the best, wouldn’t others say that for me? Why would I need to say that for myself. Plus, that is a hard claim to verify. More importantly though, the combination of my obvious bias, and the difficulty of proving it making it very unbelievable. However, if I say, “I manage over a million dollars a month in Adwords spend.” that claim is believable, for the simple reason that it’s a statement of fact that can be easily verified or disproved. Still, I would probably want to say I am the best, so how can I do that. Simple, Get someone else to say that for me. Now, we have a third party, expressing their opinion, which I presume is based on personal experiences working with me. The more credible that third party is, or the more people that express that same view, brings much more credence to that statement. More importantly, and this is something we’ll discuss more in a minute, If you hire me based on that information, “Can you defend your decision to people who want you to fail, like a rival coworker, or your brother in law, etc…) This brings us to the more important question… Why is it so important for people to trust me in the first place?!

Stupid Question?! Right? Actually, it is the most important question in this equation. 

For the most part, we make decisions based on emotional triggers. However, we have a conflicting and extremely powerful emotional trigger called, “We Don’t Want To Look Like A Sucker.”  Being humiliated is one of the worst feelings to experience, and no one wants to be the guy everyone is laughing at for sending his life savings to a prince in Nigeria. So, if I chat with a prospect, and they connect with me, and feel that I can take a load off their back. That hiring me means one less thing for them to worry about. He is probably going to play out in his mind, a worst case scenario nightmare of how humiliated he would be if hiring me was an epic mistake. So, He’ll NEED a DEFENSIBLE Position. An excuse to defend his decision. No one was every fired for hiring IBM. So, when I try to establish my credibility to you, I not only need to win you over, I need to give you a rock-solid, bulletproof reason to trust me. One that no one can shoot holes into. So, let’s say the New York times says I am an expert in SEO, and you were thinking of hiring me…You can assume that the New York times probably did their homework, so you don’t have to. You were just given the tools to defend hiring me. So third party validation basically eliminates the fear of humiliation for making a mistake. Even if it flops, it is still understandable. 

So, to recap, here is what we know.

1. We need to give people a bulletproof reason to trust us.

2. No one believes claims or opinions we say about ourselves.

3. The only things people will trust that you say about yourself is facts and verifiable claims.

4. Other people’s credible opinions eliminate the fear of humiliation.

So, now we have a very specific challenge. A) What can we say that will make people trust us? and B) How can we say it in a way that doesn’t talk about boring old me, and focuses on the reader/prospect and what they care about (Themselves). 

That is a tough challenge. The good news is that we are always looking for clues and shortcuts to help us make easier choices.

People will naturally look for any clues that someone else has already done their homework on you, so they don’t have to. 

 

The simplest solution people go to is to point out their client list. After all, if they do SEO for Coke, odds are you can trust them too. There are two possible issues with these claims. The first is that Coke probably isn’t policing everyone who claims to have done work for them, it is the internet after all. Verifying this detail is even more difficult. As people get exposed to more and more shady consultants and freelancers online, the claims of who your clients are become much less credible unless you have a testimonial or can provide a direct reference in that big company.

Another option, which most people do is talk about themselves and their accomplishments, or even their past clients. But this messaging fails to interest prospects, since it’s not about them and what you can do for them. I currently make this mistake and hope to correct it soon.

I plan on rewriting my current bio in the next few days. Below you will find my current bio I use in different places. Next post, we’ll go through all the claims top marketers make about themselves and why they work so well, and hopefully we will be able to come up with a comparable claim that both speaks to my experience, expertise, third party validation/ social proof and most importantly, speaks to the reader about THEM, Not ME!!!

Here is what I say about myself on Linkedin. Please critique in the comments, specifically around credibility of claims. (They are all true, the more important question is… Do you believe them, or believe them enough to ask for proof, or do they scare you off?)

“I’m The Most Expensive SEO You’ll Ever Hire…Guaranteed! That’s Right, if you find someone more expensive, I guarantee to raise my rates. Seriously though, SEO is not a game, and it is just too important and too VALUABLE to not give it all you got. My clients get at least a Tenfold Return on their investment, mostly because they take the investment seriously. When you are ready to do what it takes, I am here to make it work! No Excuses; Just Results.”

I continue, when I describe Tenfold Traffic, my search marketing agency.

“I influence over a billion dollars a year in online spending; Why not claim your share?! I work closely with a select few, hand-picked, clients, Generating Millions of Dollars in Profits Directly Attributed to My Search Marketing Efforts!

Tenfold Traffic is my Web Strategy and Management Consultancy – An Inbound Marketing Consultancy with proven consistent results driving growth and profits through Search Engine Marketing with a focus on highly specialized SEO services including, link bait, lnternational and multi-lingual Search Engine Marketing, link profile analysis and viral growth strategies. Some of my clients include:
FastCashForJunkcars.com
Insurance-Forums.net
JiffyBail.com
NYFA.edu
Freefax.com
Nottinghill.com
Appliance.com and others.”

Here is my current WordPress Bio…

“Hi, I am David Melamed, a Search Marketing Executive with Proven Profitable Results, Ranking Websites, Driving Traffic, and Generating Profits for clients in 8 languages targeting over 20 countries. I Am Responsible For A Handful of Websites Generating Millions of Dollars in Profits Directly Attributed to My Search Marketing Efforts! I Love Marketing, I Love Emerging Technology, and Love Teaching People How to Market Themselves and Their Businesses.”

and here is my bio I used on my Shoemoney guest post…

“David Melamed is the author of Why Is This Search Marketer Telling You To Stay Away From SEO and PPC?, an avid blogger at DavidMelamed.com about leveraging emerging technology to find customers and boost sales, as well as the psychology that compels consumers to take action. David Melamed is also the Founder ofTenfold Traffic, A search marketing agency focused on specialized services including Linkbait, Link Profile Analysis, Site Speed Optimization, Multinational/Multilingual SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.”

Let me know your thoughts, or share your bio for a critique in the comments.

Next post well analyze some big boys and their personal claims. Like Dan Kennedy, Jay Abraham, Shoemoney, John Chow, and some of the most connected linkedin members.

 

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

Comments

  1. I love that in a sense, all of this comes back to doing a good job with your service and making customers happy to the point where they will be the ones that provide that bullet proof recommendation and help you move up in the industry. It’s something people forget, how much you actually rely on your customers. They’re so much more than just a stack of cash that you’re getting after doing some work. They are what makes and breaks a business and the only thing that can be truly instrumental in growth, because everything comes back to them. And with those claims, it really is important to be confident and if you know you’re good at what you do, the results will be the same even if people want to disprove you rather than believe you when you tell them. On a side note, it’s great that you take into account what your readers want to be reading about, even if only one person requests it. It amazes me how many bloggers actually don’t do that, and even if you only get one request for a post, chances are there are quite a few other people that want to be reading it, and those that would benefit from it if they saw it pop up on your blog.

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