Online reputation management firms are out there, and there’s a lot of them. How do you know which ones are scammers and which ones are not? Here are a few tip-offs:
They guarantee to erase ALL bad content about you online
Nobody can guarantee a total fix. The Internet is like the Universe itself – it is incredibly massive, and even the most reputable professionals know that there is no way to erase or recall from the Web every negative word that’s been put out about a product, service, or person. Legitimate practitioners know that the best approach is to counter the bad with the good (e.g. negative online reviews with testimonials from satisfied customers).
They seem to extort
Yes, extortion is the right word. They even end up blackmailing the victim who is also their client. Such phony ORM firms will often offer to take care of a single negative content for a small fee, and as soon as you engage them in a deal, more stories appear. This is a very vicious cycle that’s absolutely tough to stop once it starts.
They don’t mention social media at all, or don’t seem to understand it
There’s very little opportunity to protect or redeem a damaged online reputation without utilizing social media. If the company seems unable to engage you about using the various online marketing tools such as social media, or worse, seems openly hostile to the idea, move on to a professional reputation management expert with a more genuine proposal to offer you.