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    3 Simple Steps to Protect Your Online Reputation by Klaudia Kovacs

    As your success and online presence increases, so will your number of happy clients, supporters, and fans, who have nothing but wonderful things to say about you, your products, and your services.

    Also, there will be a few, who won’t hold you in high regard, have a complaint, or are just plain miserable. And then, you have the occasional loonies...

    Most likely you will find out what they say about you because someone who does care will tell you eventually. However, you may not want to wait that long for multiple business reasons.  

    When more people are familiar with you and your enterprise, your online reputation is increasingly important. You want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly so you can practice damage control as soon as possible.

    There are several ways you can find out what is being said about you online:

    1. The easiest is to GOOGLE YOURSELF regularly. Google your name, company’s name, programs, and products. While at it, check your Google ranking as well under all the categories: web, news, images, videos, and blogs.

    2. Set up GOOGLE ALERTS, they are free. Again, the alerts should be for your name, company’s name, programs, and products. It takes literally seconds to do it. After completing the setup, when your keywords are mentioned anywhere on the world wide web, you will received an email to your designated email address alerting you of the mention. Daily alerts are the best. This will also help you to see what your competition is up to. 

    3. Track SOCIAL MEDIA posts, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn comments, mentions, videos, audio recordings, etc. There are many sites that help you do just that; one of them I would recommend is Filtered searches for negative posts are also available which might not be your favorite activity but vitally important for damage control when/if necessary. By the way, this is a task you may want to delegate, especially if you are a sensitive person. Your team can determine whether a simple response or legal action is necessary. Either way, you don’t have to do this task alone.

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    Win an Award, Make More Money, Live Longer by Klaudia Kovacs

    Many people in business struggle with finding a way to truly set themselves apart. While there are several tactics to standing out, one of them, for sure, is being an award-winning expert or business.

    First and foremost, getting an accolade, even better, several accolades, will definitely boost your confidence. It will also increase your reputation among your colleagues, circle of referrals, clients and potential customers. People will automatically assume, and rightfully so, that your business delivers higher quality of services/products, and you, the recipient, belong to the ”crème de la crème.”

    Upon wining an industry-specific award, you may want to start marketing your services to a new segment of society that previously may not have been within reach. At the same time, you may want to increase your fees, which quite quickly, could lead to an increased income.

    Italian Director and Actor, Roberto Benigni, at the Academy Awards in 1999Naturally, your new achievements should be included in all your on and offline marketing material, such as your business card, website, social media platforms, bio, curriculum vitae, brochures, etc. When I say included, I don’t mean somewhere at the bottom of the page with small fonts, or end of the brochure with a hardly visible font, but rather display it at a prominent place in a prominent way, next to your name, similarly as the titles “Dr.” or “Ph.D.” are used. 

    While not all accolades are created equal, a small award is still better than no award. You should be proud of your new badge of honor regardless, and share it with others! How you share the good news with your community depends on the reputation and significance of the award. While certain achievements only warrant a quick social media post, others call for a press release.

    Whatever field you may be in, you should be familiar with your industry’s awards, their hierarchy, and have a strategic plan in place to try to obtain some, most, or all of them (if you are ambitious). Which award in your field you decide to focus on first can depend on your target market. Consider whom you currently serve or would like to provide assistance to in the future.

    Either way, getting your peers to acknowledge you will not only bring joy and elevated level of credibility but can extend your life as well. According to a recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, on average, Oscar winners live four years longer than the nominees do for the same category. It’s safe to assume that these findings would be true in other industries as well.   

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    The 7 Secrets of Wikipedia’s Online Power by Klaudia Kovacs

    According to Amazon’s Alexa rankings, Wikipedia is the 6th most visited website in the US after Google, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, and Yahoo and it’s listed before CNN, Twitter, and LinkedIn. That means 18 billion page views and 500 million visitors monthly! 

    If you have ever asked yourself whether you or your company should be listed on Wikipedia, these seven points will make it quite easy for you to decide:

    1. Wikipedia pages pop up in organic searches so it’s an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) power tool that provides you with more online exposure.
    2. The site is free and can be a useful compliment to your website.
    3. Because the pages are easy to navigate, the data is well organized, and the information is presented in a factual way, many people turn to Wikipedia before reading a company’s or person’s website.
    4. Wikipedia uses short and to the point summaries which makes it user-friendly and a primary choice for busy people to gather data from.
    5. Only well-known companies or people can be listed, therefore the site is a fantastic tool to establish credibility.
    6. While not all websites are mobile-friendly, all Wikipedia pages are.
    7. Wikipedia is likely to outlive your website. If you’re in for the long haul it can be an enormous tool.

    Regardless of all these favorable facts, there are several reasons why companies and individuals are not pursuing being listed on Wikipedia:

    A, Some entities may not be aware that they would meet Wikipedia’s criteria.

    B, Some are concerned that it’s a crowd-sourced site which means you will not have full control of your page.

    C, Getting listed on Wikipedia can also be challenging so some don’t even attempt to set up a page.

    While these reasons can be intimidating don’t let them scare you. Give it a try. I personally, as well as my team, have set up several pages for clients already, so I can assure you that it’s not an impossible task though it's more complicated than it seems. (Take a look at the page I set up for my Olympian Mom for Mother’s Day HERE.) If you’re not up to it or you simply don’t have the time, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d be happy to help. 

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    5 Powerful Steps to Achieve Your Goals in 2015 by Klaudia Kovacs

    To welcome the New Year with all its possibilities, I find it necessary to bring closure to the previous year first. Acknowledging the things you have achieved is as important as reviewing where you fell short and what you can do to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Here are 5 steps to have a solid plan for 2015:

    1. Create a few hours of solitude when you won’t be interrupted. Pick your favorite place in your home and beautify it with flowers, candles, or something that makes you feel peaceful. If you have it, grab your list of goals for 2014 and start reviewing them. Take a careful look at the goals in the three major areas of life: Health, Career/Finance, and Personal Relationships.

    2. Name the very decisions and beliefs that helped you to achieve your goals. Then identify the ones that made you lag behind in other areas. Make sure to do the second part of the process without self-judgment and with acceptance. Take a look at the “cost” of these unfulfilled goals. Now examine how your life would be different if you have met those goals. Linger right here and imagine the benefits of how those goals would effect your life, if they were fulfilled.

    3. Now, write a list of things you need to do to accomplish them in the future and add additional goals for 2015, if you want to. Be careful not to have too many goals, since too many of them can be overwhelming and set you up for failure. Be specific about your new ones and carefully examine what you need to give up to meet those goals. Feel energized by your renewed commitment and pick a theme, a song, a color, or something relating to your senses that will remind you throughout the year what you’re trying to achieve. Creating a vision board would be a fantastic reminder.

    4. Identify the community or people who will be your support system in 2015. Find the individuals whom you can exchange regular empowerment “sessions” with.

    5. Last but not least, find a way to really reward yourself for what you did accomplish last year. Give yourself a gift or several gifts if you want. Spoil yourself especially if your accomplishments feel significant. You deserve it! 

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    9 Steps to Get Your Business Ready for a Successful New Year By Klaudia Kovacs and Andrea Sturdivant

    Most businesses slow down between Christmas and New Year’s. Here are 9 steps to utilize this time and get ready for a successful first quarter.

    1. Clean out your pending emails and inbox. Organize your messages into folders. You can also sort them by numerals such as important dates, quarters or months.

    2. Declutter your office, files, shelves, drawers, and desk. You can also organize your files by sorting by order of importance, subject, size, etc.

    3. Go through your computer, delete duplicates and unnecessary files, backup data on a flash drive or CD-ROM, update programs, upgrade laptop, install new programs, etc.

    4. Express your appreciation to your clients for their business. Send thank you cards, gifts, or special notes. Putting a personal touch on these makes a difference for many.

    5. Get informed on new sales techniques, online technology and also remember to inform your business associates. Review your customers’ questions and update your marketing material accordingly. Let your customers know that you keep yourself updated on the latest news and research of your industry.

    6. Polish your website and social media sites. You may also want to create new social media accounts and get acquainted with the new platforms.

    7. Evaluate your team, business conducts, time management, and effectiveness and make changes is necessary. Start with the basics by reviewing your expectations and requirements for the New Year.

    8. Revisit your marketing methods, tools and make adjustments if necessary.

    9. And here is one of my favorites: Beautify your work environment. Taking your personality into account, create a space that empowers YOU. If you like beauty buy a beautiful picture. If empowerment is your thing, post quotes on your wall. If serenity smoothes your soul, get some candles and plants. If you are a sports fan why not decorate your office with your favorite sports team?

    Last but not least, remember to enjoy the holidays! There is no need to put in long days during the last few days of the year. Just pick those steps that are most important to you. Whether you do all of them or just a few, either way they will help you to start a fruitful 2015. 

    If you liked these suggestions, comment below and forward this article to a friend.