Reputation911 has spoken in our other blog posts about the importance of using reputation management to build a strong, positive reputation so that when the spotlight is on you or your business, you will not suffer reputation damage. Yet a crisis is not the only time when a spotlight shines on you or your business. In many cases an individual or business receives added exposure because of something positive, and this exposure can be leveraged to build and enhance your online reputation.
“Internet Man of Mystery” Alex Broches had the chance to do just that and we spoke with him recently about online reputation management, celebrity, and how these two realms overlap. A little background on Alex: he studied Geography at Northern Illinois University but was drawn to the world of social media. Alex began experimenting with social media as he tried to figure out how businesses could increase their social media engagement, and worked as the social media intern for comedian Andy Dick. At the time he was also working on a social dating site called “College Junkee” that he started out of his mother’s basement in 2009. A producer from MTV found about Alex’s website and covered his journey in the TV show “True Life.” Following that exposure, his online reputation grew and he transitioned to offering social media consulting and training.
Alex Broches explains how his online reputation caught the attention of MTV:
A random person on Facebook had messaged me and heard some stories about my goals in the online world. These goals included, well, just making it big. In my senior year of college I had started a website called “collegejunkEE”, which at that time was a site where students can upload class notes and files and help other students study online and chat. He forwarded me an MTV producers contact info to “hit up asap” with my interesting story and an MTV producer from New York showed up to my door 2 months later. At the time, my online reputation was “unique”. I was praised by many people as an internet marketing wizard, and at the same time called by many people “controversial and edgy” with some of my websites that I run. I think the bottom line comes down to that face that I am talented at what I do, and I have had proven results for my own websites and past/current clients.
My reputation did change somewhat after the episode aired. I think people thought “now that he’s on TV” he really knows what he’s doing; that kind of thing. Being on TMZ this year and MTV a few years ago helped as far as getting new social media clients. The whole few weeks [after appearing on MTV] were surreal and I was trying to manage all the exposure I had gotten for my business and myself. Before the show, my online reputation was, like I mentioned earlier, “unique and controversial”. After the show, I did get several thousand messages from fans who gave me their input on the show and myself. I had everything from “Your websites are awesome” to “You’re a complete douche”. Also I found my name in quite a few forums after the show with people talking about my websites, which was pretty neat. Sadly, when the show aired, my website was not ready for the amount of traffic the show would bring. My site had crashed multiple times, and was not able to take full advantage of the show. I did however receive upwards of 2,000 emails from fans around the world. A lot of them were internet related questions from fellow internet entrepreneurs who had heard of me previous to the MTV and TMZ show, also received a lot of random messages from fans who wanted to see what I’ve been up to since the show.
On “True Life”, Alex was working on developing his website CollegejunkEE. Here is an update on that site:
CollegeJunkEE has been rebranded, and will be live in just a few short days actually as a college party blog and clothing store for college students. After a few months of planning on where to go with the site, I had teamed up with a talented web designer and we will be showing our fans a NEW and IMPROVED site.
Check back next week to hear from Alex about what it was like to intern with Andy Dick, and to hear the reputation management lessons he learned while doing social media consulting for businesses.
While you wait, ask yourself if you or your business has built up its reputation to a level that will allow it to succeed with increased exposure. A press release or AdWords push might bring more people to your company’s site but you still have to have a positive reputation in place to capitalize on that buzz. Fill out the form on the right side of this page or call 1-866-MY-REP-911 to find out your or your company’s online reputation score.