Nashville-based online reputation management company Reputation Advocate was birthed out of Violated Online author Steven Wyer’s personal need. The company was recently named top five in its industry by TopSEOs.com. In this Q&A, Wyer explains how Reputation Advocate has managed to remain competitive both domestically and internationally.
Q: How did you get into reputation management business?
Steven Wyer: Essentially, I owned a business that was involved in litigation. Without my knowing, legal documents ended up online and placed questions in the mind of my corporate clients. Basically allegations filed in a court of law as a normal course of business hurt my personal reputation online. I grew up believing that we are innocent until proven guilty. I learned the hard way that this is no longer true because of the Internet. People draw conclusions without having all of the information. No one will ask for details, they just make an immediate decision based on what is posted online. I had to find a way to reclaim who I was in the eyes of the public, my peers, and my family. In essence, I was my first client. I now know that if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone.
Q: This is the subject of your book, correct?
Steven Wyer: It is – in the book I talk about my both personal experience as well as stories of hundreds of people that have contacted Reputation advocate seeking answers and help. The book offers readers information on how to protect themselves from such problems.
Q: Is this why you founded Reputation Advocate?
Steven Wyer: At first, my goal was not to start a business. But, I soon found out that there were countless others like me. People who had been embarrassed, slandered online, had made a mistake that they thought was far behind them until it showed up on line or had otherwise had their name damaged. The information found online doesn’t have to be false before it damages you. There is a lot of true information about people that shouldn’t end up online! People started asking if I could help and this eventually led to the formation of Reputation Advocate.
Q: Reputation Advocate has earned quite a reputation itself. We want to congratulate you on your recent recognition.
Steven Wyer: Thank you very much. We were recently named one of the top five of online reputation management companies by TopSEOs.com. The independent evaluation of work process, best practices and client satisfaction combined to position us well as a small company.
Q: That’s pretty impressive considering your company is small then those in the other four positions.
Steven Wyer: Yes, I’m a firm believer that quality will always trump quantity. We take great pride in providing our clients with well reasoned perspective, managed expectations, solid stated goals and services that are explained so that clients understand and participate in their project. All of our employees are industry professionals who understand the crucial yet delicate balance of reclaiming an online reputation while keeping high standards for both content and the sites that present information about clients.
Q: What exactly does an online reputation management company do?
Steven Wyer: In short, we influence how information is presented about our clients. When necessary we can suppress negative information and replace it with a more accurate depiction of the company or individual we represent. However, Reputation Advocate does so much more than that. We focus not only on the immediate search results but the client’s long-term online reputation. The end result of any effort produces a solid digital “brand” for our clients that caries them forward.
Q: So Reputation Advocate actually helps define and craft a clients’ online identity?
Steven Wyer: Absolutely, that is our core perspective. When a client contacts us the main focus is often the immediate need for suppression. The greater reality is that thought should be given to what the end results will be presented as. Negative content can be suppressed and yet the end results can be disappointing. Clients live with what is placed online during a project for a long time. We have actually limited or growth to make sure that client expectations are consistently meant and that we don’t compromise the quality of our work. This allows our project managers to focus personal attention on each project.
Q: With a location just south of Nashville, Tennessee, have you found it difficult to work with clients outside of the Southeast region?
Steven Wyer: No, actually. We have clients all over North America and in over a dozen European countries as well. I have found throughout the years that quality service is an international language.
Q: So really, you are not in the business of simply making undesired information go away – you provide a concrete platform for clients to build a solid digital brand.
Steven Wyer: Yes, we do everything in our power to ensure that our clients are viewed by the public in a way that best represents them. This has led to the development of proprietary processes that successfully assist in the protection of our clients’ reputations.
For more information or to schedule a personal, no obligation consultation, visit reputationadvocate.com or call 888-229-0746.