Tips On Online Reputation Management For Freelancers

The popularity of freelancing is growing. And soon you can expect it to become very competitive.

Take a look at the statistics:

  • 74% of current freelance workforce started freelancing in the past 5 years
  • 61% of freelancers switched to this lifestyle due to choice rather than necessity
  • 73% of millennials are planning to go straight into freelancing

Among the reasons why people are choosing this lifestyle more and more are:

  • flexibility
  • independence
  • the opportunity to earn more
  • a chance to practice more and become a better and a more skilled professional

It all sounds like a fairy tale – picking projects that you like, never suffer from sleep deprivation, having your own schedule.

Moreover, many freelancers use online platforms to pick projects, so they can work from any part of the world, where there’s a connection to the Internet.

There’s one small stipulation to this last reason, however.

Your online reputation.

How Does Online Reputation Impact Your Ability to Freelance?

It has an unexpectedly big impact. So much so that many freelancers hire reputation managers to help them build their own brand.

Since so many freelancers work remotely online, their online reputation defines how well they are going to stand out from the competition.

Here are more reasons why you should pay more attention to online reputation management:

  • Your work may be visible online. Many companies post the work done by their contributors, mentioning their names. And what goes online once, never goes away.
  • Many freelancers use online platforms, where they have a profile with their ranking. When a company is looking for, let’s say, a freelance website developer, it can check out a web developer’s ranking and reviews. In this case, having a poor online profile and bad online reputation management can even kill your career.
  • People discuss you. Of course, there are platforms like Google and Yelp, where people discuss everything, including freelancers, who they work with. You need to know how to deal with such reviews, especially if they’re negative.

Now, that you understand the urgency of doing proper online reputation management to become a successful freelancer, let’s take a look at the steps you can take to make your online reputation better.

  1. Ensuring a Spotless Social Media Presence

Where do people go first if they want to check out a brand that is new to them?

Social media.

Reportedly, over 40% of consumers go on social media to research new brands.

The same is true for freelancers. However, your social media presence can not only be checked by an average client but by a company as well.

It’s been known for a while that companies like to check out the social media profiles of potential employees before hiring them. According to Career Builder, 70% of companies are ‘snooping’ candidates’ social media profiles.

What’s the reason behind it?

Companies are doing social media background checks to make sure that a candidate will be a good fit for the company’s corporate culture. For freelancers, however, such social media background checks may be even stricter, considering that the company will outsource the work to an independent contractor, whom they cannot control in the office.

So, what should you do?

  • Check your photographs and videos. There was a funny skit on The Ellen Show, where she checked her audience’s Facebook profiles to find funny photos. These photos then appear during her show on national television. It’s far less funny, however, if these photos have an impact on your online reputation and damage your freelance career.
  • Create a professional bio. A winning profile page always has a good bio. A bio is a frame of a social media profile as it defines the owner of this profile. Make sure that what people see on your profile corresponds to how you define it.
  • Double-check everything that you write. Although you have a right to take a stand on important social issues, sometimes commenting on outrageous or controversial topics can be hazardous. We’re not even going to mention grammatical mistakes or using obscene lexicon.

If you want to leave your Facebook and Instagram profiles private but still want to have a professional social media presence, take advantage of LinkedIn. This social media platform was created specifically for professionals who want to build a strong online reputation through social media.

  1. Building Trust Through Expertise

Freelancers usually have to deal with fierce competition. And the best way to stand out is to showcase your expertise.

Having an outlet to build your reputation as an expert is a great tip for online reputation management. You become known for your knowledge and skill, and this helps build trustworthy relationships with clients.

Many companies do it to improve brand image online. For instance, Flatfy, an international real estate company, share their insights as well as statistics and infographics on the state of the real estate market on their website.

You can also launch your YouTube channel or a social media blog to share your knowledge and expertise with others. You may even become an influencer and secure yourself with interesting projects and great connections.

  1. Doing Background Check Regularly

As we mentioned, what goes online once, never goes away. Your task is to know about it. Thus, doing regular background checks is crucial.

There’s one problem. The Internet is so big that you cannot simply keep track of everything that involves your name and your work. However, there are some tools that you can employ to do it for you:

  • To manage your online reputation from desktop, you can use Hootsuite’s review trackers that do a background check of your entire online presence, from social media to review sites.
  • To remain in the know while you don’t have access to your computer, you can do a background check using an online app called Reputation Manager that helps you check all reviews by simply typing in the related keywords.

Do your background checks regularly but don’t get obsessed with them. Once a week is enough to remain aware of the state of your online reputation to manage it properly.

Final Word

As a freelancer, you’re also your own brand and you should not be less concerned with managing your online reputation that other brands.

Hopefully, our tips will help you understand better how to manage your online reputation to stand out from the competition and build a successful brand as a freelancer.

What are your tips to manage online reputation?

Tell your story!

 

Lucy is a passionate writer who likes sharing her thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, she works as a digital marketing specialist at Flatfy.ro. She likes everything related to traveling and new countries.

 

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