In the high-level business world, it’s not just how much money you have: it’s what people think about you as a person or what they think about your company as a brand. Indeed, reputation management becomes more and more important as you acquire power and influence.
Unfortunately, the more influence you gain, the more people want to take you down. Internet trolls, lawsuits, and creditors may collectively come after you to drag your reputation through the mud, especially if they can't get access to your physical assets or personal data.
With this in mind, you need to know how to practice key reputation management strategies. In the long run, these will help you maintain a sterling reputation, which will keep your financial and business options open for a long time to come.
Create and Iterate on Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand can best be understood as your core principles, values, and other intangible elements that are central to your corporate identity. As an example, Steve Jobs had a personal brand with attributes like:
Your personal brand might be similar or something completely different. But you need to have one, especially if you plan to become a business dynamo or successful entrepreneur in your industry.
If you’re already affluent, odds are you already have some elements of your personal brand from business deals, your education, and your social network. At this step, it’s important to analyze those elements and make changes if needed.
Is your personal brand a little too affluent or “bougie?” Changing that to make yourself seem more down to earth – for example, wearing regular clothes and forgoing the Gucci bag every once in a while – can do a good job of diverting negative attention away from you and making it harder for your political or financial opponents to launch reputational attacks against your person.
Expect to iterate on your personal brand throughout your life. As your position changes and grows, your brand may also need to evolve with the times. Fortunately, because we live our lives in such a digital environment these days, that’s easier than ever.
Continually Monitor Your “Digital Footprint”
Speaking of living in a digital environment, you must continually monitor your digital footprint. Think of your digital footprint as the signs or signals you leave behind in the digital ecosystem, including on social media, news websites, and so on.
You should perform a regular audit that examines new sites and social media for mentions of your person, your company, or even your family members. This is easier and less complex than you may think, as you can use tools like Google Alerts to track name mentions for you and those close to you.
When you monitor your digital footprint, you can take quick steps to correct issues. For example, has a less-than-reputable news site published a hit piece against you that's blatantly untrue? Rather than learning about this a few days after the fact, if you track your digital footprint online, you can immediately have your PR firm or specialist put out a statement countering those claims on your social media pages.
Monitoring your digital footprint is the best way to prevent both inadvertent and intentional attacks on your character. It’s also the ideal means to safeguard your reputation online for years to come.
Share Social Media Content Strategically
As you might expect, social media platforms will play an important role in your reputation management strategy. Your PR firm or specialist may recommend posting social media content regularly, and that can be a good thing if you want to stay in the news or in the public eye.
But you should also publish your social media content strategically and smartly. You can do this by:
- Identifying the right brands based on your target audience. For example, is TikTok or LinkedIn better for your reputation management purposes as a business entrepreneur? It’s likely the latter!
- Only sharing content that mirrors or supports your crafted personal brand or persona (e.g., not sharing content that runs contrary to what you want people to think of you as)
- Posting content uniformly across all of your social media profiles so people see a consistent, strong message, not a bunch of conflicting messages across different platforms
Give Charitably (but Wisely)
This is in keeping with another key tip: give charitably and frequently, but only wisely. Charitable donations can do wonders for improving your reputation, especially if you are trying to counter a PR hit piece or other catastrophe.
That said, you’ll want to align your charitable giving with your genuine concerns. If, for example, your brand becomes embroiled in a firing dispute, the last thing you want to do is donate thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars to a random charity.
Observers and onlookers will immediately be able to sniff out that you did it just to divert attention from the behavior of your company.
If you make charitable donations to causes and organizations you truly believe in, however, those donations will speak much more highly of your character. As a plus, you’ll also be able to make a true difference with the liquid capital you’ve built up through your successful business operations and expansions.
Have Crisis Management Plans Ready to Go
Sooner or later, your personal brand or your company will face a PR crisis. Maybe an employee accuses you of harassing them, for example, or maybe a competing brand decides to claim that your products are all terrible or made with harmful ingredients.
Whatever the case may be, you need to have some crisis management plans ready to deploy. This can include things like:
- Templates for what you’ll say and how you present the issue to the public
- A list of employees you can rely on to make public statements in your stead
- A breakdown of other actions you’ll take to remedy the issue, whether it’s true or not
If you have crisis management plans in place, you won't spend valuable hours or days scrambling to figure out the official response to an accusation, especially when it damages your reputation.
Rely on Specialists for Reputation Management
It’s easier to set up and maintain those crisis management plans, as well as adopt the other strategies mentioned above, if you hire a reputation management specialist. Such an individual or firm can do a lot of good for your reputation as an affluent individual.
- Track your digital footprint and provide you with regular updates when needed
- Create crisis management plans and ensure everyone they concern is up-to-date with what they require
- Prepare and release PR statements when needed so you don't have to
- Help you craft and adjust your personal brand as needed
Most of all, these specialists can provide you with peace of mind and ensure that your reputation grows strongly and positively over the coming decades.
Protecting Your Assets is Just as Important
As you can see, there are lots of ways in which you can protect your reputation, especially if you have experienced, savvy financial advisors working with you every step of the way. But your reputation is an intangible asset; your physical assets also need to be protected against creditors and lawsuits.
That’s where offshore asset protection trusts come in, and that’s how Dominion can assist. Our knowledgeable specialists can help with setting up an offshore asset protection trust, in which you’ll be able to keep liquid capital, property, and market assets safe in perpetuity. Contact us today to learn more.