Reputation management for your online business is like reputation management in the physical business; you keep track of what people are saying about you, your products, and your company in order to find out what you can change, what should stay the same and get some new ideas. Unfortunately, as useful as reputation management is, it’s also extremely time consuming, especially on the internet where you could have thousands or even millions of people talking about your products and services or related to yours. These discussions could be taking place over countless blogs, forums, and review sites; it would take a lifetime just to filter all of it alone!

This is why you need to outsource this aspect of your online business. Reputation management is very important, but it’s also incredibly time consuming and requires several people or a team of independent contractors, so you’ll want to go with one firm rather than freelancers. Reputation managers can scour the forums, blogs, comments, and review sites to bring back vital information for your business that you would have a great deal of difficulty obtaining. This includes positive feedback, so you can see what you’re doing right and should continue doing; negative feedback, so you can see what to fix; and ideas and thoughts that people have had on your products and services so you can get more ideas for your business. Reputation managers can also look at things like which products are popular with people, which ones aren’t, and so you can see where to do some trimming of your products so that you have a consistently popular range of items and services to sell to customers.

A firm is the only way to go if you want to outsource your reputation management because the more people who are working together on it, the faster you’ll get your information back to you. Make sure to pick a company you feel comfortable with, that falls in your budget range and that they will be able to do everything you need them to do. When you are shopping around, figure out exactly what you need from your reputation management company so that your employees will be able to bring you back information you want and can use.

Outsourcing reputation management is not only advisable, but if you want someone keeping an eye on your popularity, it’s necessary to outsource it. There is no way you’ll be able to get as much information by yourself as you could get if you have several people looking out for you and these people will also know more places to look for information than you may know if you try to go alone. It’s well worth spending some money if you’re interested in knowing how you’re doing with your public and want to be able to tweak your business to please more people and keep them consistently happy, so outsource your reputation management and get all the information you could want.

© JL Croto, Virtual Assistant Solutions, 2010

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