Restoring a Tarnished Personal Online Brand

A personal brand is a given part of living in today’s digital landscape. Whether intentional or by default, each person creates the experience that others have of their image, values, and ideas.

Your personal brand is a valuable asset that must be protected and managed over time. But how can you restore your personal brand and avoid the consequences of a tarnished reputation?

What’s Your Personal Brand Worth?

Your personal digital brand is a reputation that’s built upon the value you bring to others. Individuals who actively manage and develop their personal brands establish a legacy that supports their personal and professional endeavors.

Consider your online activities in social media, emails, online forums, and other channels. The words and images you share contribute to your personal brand and today’s technology lets you create and build it with each step you take online.

It’s up to you to grow the value of that brand.

Restoring a Tarnished Personal Brand

There are many risks to your personal brand. But knowing how to restore your brand ensures that you continue growing your online reputation.

  • Start With Honesty

When people are open about the challenges they face, it leads to greater trust from their audiences. Honesty is at the core of strong relationships both on- and offline.

Being honest about the issue that has caused damage to your personal brand is the first step in restoring how others see you. Anyone can share their success stories, but very few are willing (or brave) enough to be honest about their failures.

Honesty and vulnerability allow others to reconnect with you as a person, not just a brand.

  • Develop a Strategy

Identify the things that have tarnished your personal brand in order to correct them. Consider the perceptions people had of you before and after your brand was compromised.

What ideas, values, and beliefs does your audience have about your personal brand?

Put a strategy in place that re-establishes your authenticity in the eyes of your audience. Reconsider your mission and core values to determine how to reinforce them as you move forward.

  • Know Your Audience

There’s nothing wrong with being polarizing. In some industries, it’s important to have a strong opinion on a particular issue that you’re passionate about. But you need to understand who your target audience is in order to manage your personal brand.

That audience shares your convictions and supports what you do. Understanding what they need and expect makes it easier to restore a tarnished personal brand.

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to reach out to your audience directly and find out what they need most. This provides valuable feedback while helping you restore your credibility within your communities.

  • Don’t Stop Branding

It can be tempting to want to run away and hide when your personal brand has been tarnished. But stepping back into the shadows is the least effective way to restore your brand.

Displaying strength in your personal brand by continuing the conversation shows that you’re willing to stand by your ideas and admit when you’ve made a mistake. This makes it easy to face personal brand challenges in the future.

Use social media, blogging, and other channels to continue building your brand and relationships. Invest in your brand on a daily basis so that you’ll continue providing value to your audience.

More importantly, be consistent in your personal branding. Who you are offline should be accurately represented online. This establishes greater credibility among the people you communicate and work with.

Review your online profiles and content on a regular basis. Make sure that your most valuable online assets appear first when your name is typed into the search engines.

Consider the keywords that you want your personal brand to be associated with and use those in your profile titles and summaries.

Building and maintaining your online personal brand is critical to your long-term success. If you’re struggling to rebuild a tarnished personal brand, or if you’d like to learn how to start building one, let us know in the comments below.

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