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How to Choose the Best Reputation Management Consultants


A woman shaking hands with a man at a desk in the presence of reputation management consultants.

When you’re hoping to create and maintain a positive online reputation, hiring reputation management consultants can provide guidance that you may not receive otherwise.

Today, having a positive reputation is integral for both personal and business success. Unfortunately, managing your online reputation can be complex, confusing and time-consuming.

That’s why there are reputation management services out there to help. You don’t have to be in this alone.

Whether you want guidance about how to handle online reputation management on your own or you want an online reputation management company to handle it for you, there are options.

Online reputation management consultants use their expertise to ensure their clients have a positive online image.

What Is Reputation Management?

A businessman drawing the word reputation on a screen.

Reputation management is the process of monitoring, managing and protecting a person’s or business’ reputation. Online reputation management is a component of reputation management, focusing on the online portion of the client’s reputation.

Since so many interactions today take place online, online reputation management is an essential part of reputation management and one that can’t be ignored or dealt with later.

What Is a Reputation Management Consultant?

A professional reputation management consultant works with individuals and businesses to build, maintain and/or repair their online reputation.

A variety of strategies are used to do this, and they’re customized to the specific needs of the client. Services include:

Everything that a reputation management consultant does is for the purpose of creating a positive online presence for their client.

What Do Reputation Management Consultants Do?

There are a number of services that your reputation management consultant may offer. The strategies your consultant will use for you depend on your specific needs.

Knowing the common online reputation management services offered can help you decide if a consultant is a good match for you. Having an idea of what you want or need ahead of time can make choosing a consultant easier.

Proactive vs. Reactive Reputation Management

Online reputation management services typically fall into one of two categories: proactive or reactive.

Proactive Reputation Management

With proactive reputation management, the consultant will build and maintain a positive reputation online. This is a good choice if you (a) need to establish a positive reputation or (b) already have a good online reputation and want to maintain it.

Two reputation management consultants working on a laptop at a desk.

Here are a few examples of proactive reputation management strategies:

  • Creating positive content
  • Running digital PR campaigns
  • Using SEO services to help your content rank

A proactive approach to reputation management means controlling the client’s online image before anything happens to ruin it, like receiving a bunch of negative feedback or negative reviews.

Reactive Reputation Management

With reactive reputation management, the consultant deals with negative content and other negative information that impacts the client’s image. In this case, negative content has already surfaced, and the consultant has to minimize how much damage it causes to the client’s online reputation.

A man, equipped with a magnifying glass, diligently examines an online reputation management consultant's report displayed on his computer screen.

Here are a few examples of reactive reputation management strategies:

Once your online reputation has been negatively impacted, it can be difficult to improve it, especially if you don’t have experience with ORM. Also, if you mistakenly take the wrong approach, you could do even more harm to your online reputation.

5 Services Reputation Management Consultants Provide

A reputation management consultant is holding a domino in front of a wooden table.

ORM consultants will use a variety of services to create a custom approach for their clients. Typically, services either focus on content — creation or removal — or SEO.

Content and Page Creation

There are a lot of opportunities to create positive online content across blogs, social media profiles and websites. Posting high-quality content showcases your authority in your field as well as your positive attributes, leading to an improvement in your online reputation.

Content creation goes hand-in-hand with content marketing and SEO services, too. Together, these strategies improve a website’s visibility and increase traffic.

Online Review Management

This strategy involves monitoring online reviews on websites like Google and Yelp, and it also requires the client to respond appropriately to both positive and negative reviews. ORM consultants help their clients with monitoring so that reviews aren’t missed, and they also provide guidance about how to promptly and professionally address negative comments.

Reputation Monitoring

A big part of ORM is monitoring your reputation. This is the only way to determine if your efforts are working and if there’s any harmful content that you need to act on right away.

ORM consultants have tools for monitoring mentions of you or your brand. That way, you’ll know as soon as something important pops up.

Note that monitoring is only part of what reputation management companies offer in terms of services. If you find that your consultant is only monitoring and not taking action to improve your reputation, that may not be the right company for you.

Suppression

Content marketing and SEO services are used to suppress negative content so it no longer shows up highly on the search engine results page (SERP). By getting positive online content to rank higher, unwanted content gets pushed down enough that it’s ignored by most searchers.

Crisis Management

Nobody wants to face a reputation crisis, but if one does occur, you’ll be happy to be working with ORM consultants who can support you through it. Crisis management strategies include removing fake reviews, publicly responding to attacks on your reputation, and eliminating digital threats as soon as possible.

6 Considerations When Choosing Reputation Management Consultants

When searching for a reputation management consultant who can help get your online reputation where you want it to be, it’s important to conduct research before making any hiring decisions. Check out the Better Business Bureau to see if the company is listed, search Google to see what appears, etc.

One of your top goals should be avoiding more damage being done to your reputation or protecting it from any damage that could arise. Only a vetted company can provide you with the services and outcomes you’re after.

Since there aren’t regulatory agencies or licensing requirements in the ORM industry, it’s up to you to put in the work to find reputable ORM consultants. Here’s what to look for when assessing your options.

Transparency

A website page showcasing a team of reputation management consultants.

Only consider reputation management companies that are transparent about their teams. You should be able to find information about the staff and their backgrounds on the company website.

Transparency is also important when it comes to the services offered. A reliable reputation management company will be detailed when describing the services it offers.

In general, if a reputation management company isn’t forthcoming and clear, it’s a red flag.

Reviews and Testimonials

Visit review websites to read about other peoples’ experiences with the consultant. Look at a mix of customer and employee testimonials, which will give you a well-rounded idea of what it’s like to work with the consultants and for the company.

Since you don’t want to put complete stock in online reviews, pay attention to repeat information. If several clients or employees had the same experience, chances are that’s reliable feedback.

Face-to-Face Meetings

A woman wearing headphones is sitting at a desk with a laptop, seeking assistance from reputation management consultants.

It’s difficult to get a feel for the person and determine if you’re a good fit without speaking directly to them first. Schedule a face-to-face meeting, either in person or virtually via Zoom, with the potential reputation consultant.

Here are a few questions to ask during your meeting:

  • What strategies do you use for online reputation management?
  • Can you show me examples of successful online reputation management campaigns you’ve managed?
  • How do you deal with negative online content and negative reviews?
  • What do you use to measure the outcomes of your online reputation management campaigns?
  • How will my information stay confidential and secure?
  • What are your pricing and payment options?
  • Do you offer a refund if I don’t see the results I’m after?

This is also a good way to determine if it’s easy to connect with your consultant. Since you’ll be speaking with them a lot if you hire them, you need them to be accessible.

If your time zones or schedules don’t align well, you have to use a specific app to speak with an overseas consultant, or the connection is always low-quality, that’s a sign that communication is going to be difficult once you’re working together.

Scope of Work

The scope of work you’re told to expect should be realistic. If what the consultant is promising sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There’s no such thing as a 100% guarantee in the ORM field, so if you’re promised specific, perfect results, be wary.

At the same time, your ORM consultant shouldn’t harm your brand or online reputation to the point where more work is needed.

Ultimately, the scope of work should be something that you and your consultant can maintain control of.

White Hat Reputation Management Strategies

Our reputation management consultants utilize a step-by-step process to enhance and maintain your online image.

No reputable consultant will rely on black hat strategies to improve your online reputation.

Ask about the reputation-building tactics they use and do your own research as well. If it seems like they’re relying on strategies that aren’t white hat, choose another provider.

For example, it’s a black hat strategy if the reputation management company takes control of your website and locks you out of it. They may say it’s for your own good, but you should always have access to the personal and brand elements you own.

Here are a few more black-hat ORM strategies:

  • Buying followers on social media
  • Creating plagiarized content
  • Paying for backlinks on other websites
  • Posting fake reviews on your behalf

Some companies will even go so far as to create negative content about their clients so they can get the credit for having that content removed, all without the client knowing what’s actually happening.

Pricing and Payment Options

You should know how much the reputation management company charges for its services and your payment options before making a final decision about hiring them.

When it comes to pricing, it’s common to be offered a few different packages at a range of price points. The more expensive the package, the more services will be included.

It’s not a bad choice to go with the least-expensive, base package to start — that can be a good way to get started with ORM and test it out before committing to more, as long as the services you need are included in that tier.

However, make sure that you won’t be hit with any unexpected fees or add-on charges. Get clear on what’s included in the base package, and get everything in writing so you can refer to it later if needed.

What Does Reputation Management Cost?

The cost of online reputation management services will vary based on the company, the services you need and the difficulty of the project. For example, crisis management may cost more than content creation because it’s a more complex and time-sensitive endeavor.

Reputation management services can range from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands per month, with the best reputation management companies being on the higher end of that range.

While it’s important to go with a reputation management company within your price range, don’t choose the least expensive one just to save some money. Quality ORM services won’t be dirt cheap, and in this industry, you get what you pay for.

Also, the best reputation management companies will offer a refund if they’re not able to meet the objectives you set forward at the start of the campaign. This is a sign that the company is confident in its ORM abilities.

Do I Need Reputation Management Consultants?

In today’s world, managing your online reputation is critical. A poor reputation can spread fast online, and it can be difficult to reverse the harm once it’s been done. Sales could drop, you could be excluded from social or networking gatherings, and others may go out of their way to avoid you or your business.

On the other hand, a positive reputation can create incredible opportunities, both in your personal life and your professional one. Think of a good online reputation as an open door. You’ll build trust and respect with your peers and customers, and you’ll set yourself up for long-term success.

Most people and brands will benefit from working with reputation management companies, no matter what the current status of their online reputation is. Here’s why:

Advantages of Working With Reputation Management Consultants

  • You don’t have to learn the ins and outs of managing your brand reputation, and you don’t have to put in the time to become an online reputation expert.
  • SEO content and social media posts can be created for you. The positive branded content that’s created will establish trust with your customers, potential customers and stakeholders.
  • An improved online reputation can lead to more customers and higher profitability. You’ll also retain your current customers and employees by properly dealing with negative issues before they get out of hand.
  • ORM consultants know how to optimize your content so it shows up high on the SERP. That means the right audience will find you and read positive information about you or your brand.
  • Negative feedback can be tackled right away and in the appropriate manner so you don’t cause more harm.
  • You’ll take control of your online image and narrative, shining a spotlight on your accomplishments and strengths.

Contact NetReputation Today to Work With Skilled Reputation Management Consultants!

The professionals at NetReputation have comprehensive solutions for building, managing and repairing your online reputation.

You don’t have to be a victim of negative online content. We have a deep understanding of online reputation management and a proven track record of improving online reputations.

Call us today at 844-461-3632 to schedule a free consultation.

There is 1 comment for this article

  1. Avatar MIchael says:

    It’s great to see that NetReputation is a one-stop shop that knows how to handle everything with one’s online presence. It adds to one’s peace of mind knowing that a company can handle every hiccup, and every speed bump that may occur along the way of repairing your online reputation.

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