What Should You Ask For?
If you’re interested in utilizing a reputation management company for you or for your business, there are likely a ton of questions buzzing through your head. It’s for a good reason, too, because there are a ton of companies to pick from these days and a lot of them seem like there isn’t really all that much of a difference between them. What makes Joe Schmo’s Reputation Management Company any better than John Doe’s Reputation Management Company when their mission statements, services, and pricing are pretty much identical at a first glance?
Furthermore, there are some things that you always have to keep an out on, such as:
• What the company actually offers
• Whether or not the company can accommodate your needs
• What you’re looking to get out of the business arrangement
• The search results of the company you’re investigating
That last point is one that seems slightly obvious but is overlooked by many. Are the results for the reputation management company you’re looking at good or questionable? If they can’t provide their own services to themselves, how can they possibly provide it to you? And somewhat more importantly, is there even any proof that they can provide the service besides the fact their website says they can?
What It Means
For something as important as your online reputation, you don’t want to mess around. A company that uses poorly executed black hat methods or simply doesn’t know what they’re doing will end up doing damage to your reputation rather than protecting it. You’re going to want to make sure that the online reputation management company in charge of your reputation knows what they’re doing well before they do anything that has any impact on your business or yourself.
There’s no harm in wanting that guarantee. Chances are, you’re trying to find professionals for the job because you can’t do it or you’re otherwise incapable of doing it because you haven’t mastered the superpower of slowing down time and doing everything yourself just quite yet. If these professionals do a worse job than you, are you really going to trust other professionals in the future?
So it’s a given, you want some proof that they have what it takes. How can you get this proof? There are a few ways and you’d probably do well by pursuing each option rather than sticking with one. First off, you’re going to want to ask for testimonials. This is important as a first step, because it tells you how they perceive themselves. Many businesses fake their testimonials or embellish them, so this is a good starting point.
Next, you’re going to want to ask for a step by step description of how they’re going to achieve what you want them to do. Of course, you can’t ask them to get into the gritty details, but if they refuse to tell you anything more than “we get the job done”, there might be something afoot.
Lastly, you’re going to want to ask the golden question. “Do you have any references I can contact?” The question rolls off the tongue like butter, and it’s the most important one to ask. Here, you get to find out just how truthful the testimonials from the first question were, and you get to hear a first-hand account of what the company did for someone else. Bonus points if their situation is similar to yours! Be sure to investigate the clients they refer you to, just in case they’re faked.