Whoever you are, you need to do something to fix your online reputation. The benefits are many, but the cost of not doing it and letting it be negative without even realizing can be big.

Online reputation management, or ORM, is about taking control of all the information about you that can be found online, so that people can see the right things and have a positive image about you.

It’s your job to know exactly what’s out there, do something about the possible negative reviews or the gaps, and add what’s necessary.

That can help you find a job as a potential employer will always search for you and might want to dig deeper in your past. It’s also the foundation if you’re trying to build anything online, be it a business or just want to make some money freelancing.

Your online reputation matters even if you’re about to apply for university, take a loan, register as a citizen in another country, want to invest, make a big purchase, be a credit card holder, lease an apartment, or even before a first date.

However, Google doesn’t need to be your enemy in this case. It can become your friend by letting you see what’s already out there about you and in what order. And you get a chance to fix your online reputation by making some changes and monitoring it better from here on.

You don’t need to wait till it becomes negative. But lack of control from you is still a bad sign and might lead to not finding a better job. Let’s do something today to manage your reputation well.

How to Fix Your Online Reputation

1. Set goals.

Online reputation management begins with goals. Know why you want a positive online presence exactly. Then, decide what can potentially be wrong and where you should optimize.

2. Google yourself.

Know what’s out there about you. You might find curious things such as something from the past that you forgot about and which you can easily delete.

The goal here isn’t to remove information, but to strategically add new details and put them on top. But if you can do that, go ahead. That will help you fix your online reputation big time.

3. Check for mistakes you’ve made when sharing your information.

Here are some mistakes you could have made on LinkedIn (which is a pretty important platform for networking and connecting with employers).

4. Improve your online presence.

For a start, appear on important channels such as social media sites. Leave comments on influencers’ blogs, join forums to meet the right people. It all begins by being there. Then, it’s time to take action.

Replace all old photos with a better one. Be consistent with your image. You can’t be too formal in one place, while you post pics from parties on another. All can be found and the negative points might make the positive ones look insignificant.

5. Tell your story, the way you want it to be told.

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To fix your online reputation, start sharing the things about yourself, life and career, than you want to be heard. No one will do it for you.

That happens on social media, on your own site and blog, on YouTube by making videos, or anywhere else you need to be taking action to get noticed. All that becomes part of your reputation and how you’re perceived.

6. Every detail matters.

Even messages you write that seem to be personal, or quick emails you send, or pictures that are about to disappear in a few seconds or a day on a certain social media platform, don’t remain private.

Be aware of the fact that anything shared online can find its way back to you. So think carefully before you take any step in the digital world.

7. Constant monitoring over your online image.

The next stage of the reputation repair process is to keep monitoring. Some simple ways to do that are to build the habit of googling yourself weekly, or even set Google Alerts to do that for you and give you notifications.

The chance to fix your online reputation is in your hands. What will you do first to improve your online presence?