Check out the interview:
- What got you interested in helping other with online reputation management? Share your story.
I’ve been doing Search Engine Marketing since 1999 running various eCommerce companies and I noticed that when consumers have an issue with their order, delivery or a pricing complaint a good portion of them didn’t contact us, they instead posted a complaint online. In 2005 I took over a digital marketing agency and a number of customers were asking for Online Reputation Management help. After I left the marketing agency I saw the need grow amongst online companies and as review sites grew in popularity more and more brick and morotor companies started seeing online complaints becoming more popular. After selling another ecommerce company I decided I wanted to get back into online marketing in an agency capacity but I didn’t want to focus on the traditional online marketing services as there was too much competition in the vertical. I started sourcing online reputation management work through freelancer sites and was able to establish that there was a strong need for these services. That is when I met my business partner and we formed Reputation Adocate.
- What are some ways you help people show up when others search for their name online?
We take a look at what each client does for a living, what charities they are involved in and their hobbies. From this information we are able to determine which sites the client wants to rank for their name in each area, we then determine which sites we can place content on for them. We then work the client to develop high quality content which is then placed on each property. What we want to leave each client with is search engine results that appear natural and are truthful to who they are as a professional and person. We have a lot of relationships we have developed over the years with sites in a wide variety of niches and of course the popular online media sites.
- How do you handle names that are very common? For example there is a celebrity with my same name, how would you handle a case like this?
Honestly, it is extremely rare for a client to call us with this problem. Usually they just understand that because they are not THE Bill Gates that they will never be able to brand themselves online. What we recommend and what most people do when they share a name with someone very famous is they tend to use their middle name or initial regularly. We also recommend that they brand their name + the city and state that they live in. Cause if you are looking up information on Bill Gates from Kansas City, MO, you aren’t going to type in Bill Gates and expect their information to appear. I can only think of one client that we have had in over 7 years of business that fell into this category.
When speaking about sharing names with someone let me give you a recent example of a client we just finished. When engaging with the client he stated that he has been looking for a job at a law firm for over a year now and couldn’t figure out why he was getting no calls back. A friend told him on Facebook to Google his name and that what popups up might be the reason. When he Googled his name he saw a mugshot of a person with the same name, same state, same race and of the same approximate age. Obviously this is a prime example of how someone with a similar name can affect not only your online reputation but your life.
- How do you go about marketing your services and what’s working for you?
We have a good mix of online leads and offline leads. Referalls from previously clients have by far generated the best business for us. We rank organically in the search engines, run pay per click marketing campaigns, do guest blogging and have numerous partnerships with organizations. We tried proactively reaching out to businesses of various sizes that have bad online reputations and found that the response was quite negative so our marketing is focused on reaching businesses that have identified their online reputation as a problem and are already seeking a firm the help.
- What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond?
We will continue to refine our service for faster results. In addition to our online reputation management services we have launched The Review Solution which helps businesses collect real reviews from their customers and is optimized to get customers to post their reviews on reviews sites such as Yelp and Google+.
Find Aaron at http://aaronjameskocourek.com/