If there is one thing in business that’s priceless, it’s your reputation.

Whether you have actively developed an online presence or not, one of your most important tasks is protecting that reputation.

Yes, managing your reputation today must include developing and protecting your image online. Just like you strive to protect your credit, you should regularly check for online activity connected to your name and your business. Anyone can post information about you, whether you have a strong Web and social media presence or not.

Ultimately, it’s better to develop your own online reputation, so you are in control of generating positive search results through your online posts and profiles.

One of the easiest ways to monitor your reputation is by setting up a Google Alert to inform you when anything about you has appeared online. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (Web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

How to set up a Google Alert

Go to www.google.com/alerts and set up a free alert for your name and your firm’s name. Whenever anything appears online that you or someone else has posted about you, an email will be sent to you with a link to the online occurrence.

If you are not sure what exists about you in the public space, you may want to start. Your online reputation is a fast way to attract a lot of positive (and negative) attention to you and your firm. Control the message, and you will control your online reputation.

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