How to Build and Manage Your Local Reputation

By Hugh Duffy
 
Now is the perfect time to proactively build and manage your reputation on a local level. With tax season on the horizon, you should take steps over the next six to eight weeks to positively influence your reputation.
 
Savvy business owners can and do manage their reputations. This extends from restaurants to corporate businesses to doctors and even accounting firms. 
 
One simple way to proactively influence your local reputation is to secure reviews from your existing clients. Ask clients to post their reviews online so others can read them. Yes, it requires effort, but many prospects are searching for accounting firms that have been recommended on Yelp, Google+, and other online review websites as part of their decision-making process. 
 
If there are no reviews about you posted online, it won't instill confidence in prospective clients. In fact, it probably raises questions in their minds as to why you don't have any reviews. 
 
There are many places prospective clients will search on the Internet for reviews, including Yelp, Google+, Yahoo, Insider Pages, Citysearch, Kudzu, and others. If you currently have zero or very few reviews posted online, I recommend you start with Google+ and Intuit's Find-a-ProAdvisor. After you've been successful getting a few posted, expand your efforts to another website to cover your flanks. 
 
We've all gotten comfortable using reviews about books sold on Amazon, seller ratings on eBay, and reviews on places to visit on vacation  hotels, restaurants, and interesting places to see. These reviews are from total strangers, but they can help us make more informed decisions and reduce the potential for an unpleasant experience.
 
It's time for you to proactively manage your reputation by securing reviews from your existing clients and getting them posted on popular review websites. You can positively influence your local reputation if you take proactive steps. 
 
Related articles:
Read more articles by Hugh Duffy.
 
About the author:
Hugh Duffy is cofounder and chief marketing officer of Build Your Firm, an accounting website design and accounting practice development firm. Hugh teaches a series of Accounting Marketing Workshops; has a LinkedIn Discussion Group called Modern Marketing Methods for Accountants; and provides outsourced marketing for accountants. He can be reached at (888) 999-9800 ext. 151 or at hugh@buildyourfirm.com.

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