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Your reputation is important and should be handled carefully. There’s a great quote from Mike Myatt that says, “A good reputation will precede you, but a bad reputation will simply prohibit your arrival to begin with.”

Managing your reputation is critical to your personal branding success. Start off by finding out what your reputation says about you. If there are aspects you don’t like, set about trying to change those:

• Start by acknowledging your reputation, taking ownership of it and moving to manage it better.
• While there’s some truth in the statement “the Internet never forgets”, it’s not entirely set in stone. If you find things online that might be negatively impacting your reputation, do your best to have them removed. Take down compromising pictures, delete posts that might have been seen as insensitive and change your online behaviour going forward. You can also upload new positive content and become more proactive online, so that older, less flattering info is relegated to pages further down in Google’s ranking.
• If others are responsible for creating your bad reputation, show that you know what is being said about you and then overcome the negativity with positive proof of your character that dispels things people might have being said. Actions speak louder than words and it’s more effective to show up the things that have been said as lies than to get involved in a petty he said / she said argument.
• If you have a bad reputation due to mistakes you’ve made in the past, demonstrate that you are mindful of these errors and have learnt from them. For example, if you managed your finances badly, why not admit it, explain that you have received help and offer to assist others in avoiding the same pitfalls you made.
Don’t get stuck on your reputation. Re-focus on your good points and use those for the betterment of others. Your reputation will automatically come right.

About Donna Rachelson
Donna is a branding and marketing specialist who uses her passion and 25 years of experience in strategy, marketing and change management to empower people and teams to achieve breakthrough results.

She is the founder of Branding & Marketing YOU. The company offers keynote presentations, workshops, strategic marketing consulting, coaching and support services. She is also author of the best-selling book Branding & Marketing YOU, the first South African based personal branding and marketing book.

For more information on Donna or Branding & Marketing YOU, visit www.brandingandmarketingyou.com.