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In building your service based business, your reputation is important. It used to be that your reputation was just between you and your local customers or clients. Now, though, even if you have a mostly offline business, there is still a chance that you will receive online reviews. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on your online reputation and do what you can to build and enhance it.

Here are several ways to do that:

* Publish quality content online regularly – One of the best ways to build your reputation online is to develop a content marketing strategy that addresses your target audience and engages them through every step of their buyer’s cycle. This may include social media posts, blog posts, guest posts, podcasts, Facebook Live, YouTube and more. It’s up to you how far you go, but at least have a simple website, a few social media profiles, and update them even monthly. You really do need your own domain and website. The best choice is to use self-hosted WordPress. (If you need help getting this set up, please check out our website design services)

* Actively listen and monitor your reputation – As you work on building your reputation, you’ll want to listen to your customers and monitor your online reputation. You can do that by setting up a Google Alert for your name, your business name, and your industry, to watch what is being said so you have a chance to respond.

* Engage and react to your audience – You’ve likely seen this advice elsewhere, but let’s be clear. Engaging and reacting to your audience in public doesn’t mean soliciting them and offering services anytime they need help. Instead, be free with your advice in person and in online groups so that other people can view for themselves your intelligence and knowledge in your niche. Ensure that your profiles are sufficient so that people can view them and easily contact you.

* Generate real business reviews– Ask your happy clients to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business page, and also add these to your website. Social proof like this goes a long way to building a positive online presence. Set up a system to automatically ask your customers for feedback as well as testimonials. You can do this via an autoresponder system. Get your customers on a special list so that you can communicate with them throughout your working relationship, giving them the option to respond to surveys, submit testimonials, and help you improve your services.

* Respond appropriately to negative reviews– Of course, they hurt. Sometimes they’re even wrong and unfair. But, they happen. The best way to answer these types of reviews is to respond in a way that is as helpful as possible, to delete them if it’s just spam, and to try to make it right if you made a mistake. Most bad reviews are a chance to show how willing you are to help people and to overlook other people’s rudeness.

These 5 steps, done consistently, can go a long way to building your business reputation.

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