A Quick Chat With Adam Petrilli, CEO & Founder of NetReputation
Thank you so much for doing this with us! For our readers who do not know your backstory, what is your background and what eventually brought you to starting NetReputation?
My background includes significant experience in digital services innovation, consulting, and online marketing, as well as business operations, management, and development. I’m also what you’d probably call a serial entrepreneur. I’ve built and run several successful businesses during my lifetime, though I take the most pride in what we’ve done at NetReputation, particularly over the last several years. We’ve transformed what was once a modest ORM operation into a leader in the digital services space, and have achieved remarkable growth and market reach in just 3 to 4 years’ time.
Before NetReputation took off in 2015, I was managing a successful logistics firm that was growing fast. We were consistently exceeding performance benchmarks and delivering high rates of customer satisfaction, but we were also struggling to overcome harmful reviews online. No matter what we did, we just couldn’t shake them. So, we started seeking out solutions. After not really finding anything robust or practical enough, I started to map out a plan that would actually help companies deal with unfair reviews and negative content. I knew there were other businesses out there coping with the same issues, and I felt like I was in a position to do something about it.
That brought NetReputation into the fold. It was born not just from personal experience, but from the realization that other entrepreneurs could use a way to defend and protect their brands on the internet. We wanted to give local companies the chance to fight back, and I think we built a good reputation service suite for doing so.
What has been your most memorable experience so far since starting NetReputation?
It’s hard to pinpoint just one. Honestly, there have been so many instances of clients just absolutely stunned by the results they’ve seen, that they’re almost speechless. After fighting against fake reviews or battling with negative articles online for so long and having virtually no recourse, they’re finally rid of those thorns in their side. They can now connect with customers and start building the trust they need to grow their business, and even though we’ve seen it so many times, it never stops being rewarding.
Every time we get to help a client overcome an online obstacle and achieve their goals, it’s memorable. It sticks with you and creates a real sense of pride in what you do.
Of course, seeing NetReputation pop up on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing company list the past few years has also made a big impression. Of all the accolades we’ve pulled in lately, the remarkable growth we’ve accomplished really stands out. And it all starts with the dedication of our amazing team. I couldn’t imagine a better support staff than the one we have now.
What has been the biggest challenge in running NetReputation?
It may not seem like it, but Google and review platforms are constantly changing. They’re always making updates and evolving processes, and those shifts often have enormous consequences for online content and for people, brands, and businesses around the world. Our biggest challenge has always been staying a step ahead of those changes, but it’s also our biggest strength.
We invest heavily in innovation because delivering consistent results demands it. We are always seeking better, faster, more cost-effective ways to eliminate harmful content and help our clients succeed. I’ve said it before, but innovation is in our DNA, and it’s that forward-thinking approach that keeps us going and fuels our success. We relish it and don’t rest until we’ve given each client what they need to pursue their online goals.
What are three misconceptions about the process of improving one’s online reputation?
Here are three common misconceptions I think many have about the reputation repair process:
That it’s easy. Removing malicious items and repairing search results in a robust, meaningful way isn’t easy and isn’t done overnight. Online reputation management campaigns take the work and collaboration of a team of specialists, including experts in content removal, SEO, content creation, content promotion, and more. Without carefully-crafted strategies, research, and months of hard work, achieving a stronger, more positive reputation and brand for the long run is often impossible.
That it’s just about removal. Online Reputation Management (ORM) involves more than just content removal. From managing online reviews and tracking new mentions to creating, posting, and promoting optimized content, ORM is a multi-faceted, multi-layered process that requires many tasks and numerous techniques to deliver lasting results. Removal is crucial, but it’s also just a fraction of a larger, much more complex process.
That you can fix it and forget it. Many believe that once you remove a bad review or push a search result off of page 1, the repair process is over and you can simply move on. The truth is much more complicated. While getting bad results off the web or out of sight is important, keeping them off takes constant monitoring and vigilance. In many cases, it also takes a robust content and SEO firewall to ensure it doesn’t come back to haunt you. Either way, the idea that ORM is a one-and-done process is essentially a myth.
For someone looking to improve their online reputation, what suggestions do you have?
Start by searching yourself online. Often a simple Google search will reveal quite a bit about how you look, as well as the impression you’re giving friends, family, colleagues, managers, companies, and anyone else researching your background on the web. And trust me, they ARE searching.
Once you know what those first ten results show, take steps to manage and remove the info that is already in your control. People often post embarrassing or unwanted items on personal blogs, personal websites, social media profiles, and other self-created assets. And if they’re appearing in search, it’s up to you to comb through those assets and delete the items you don’t want others to find.
For items found on third-party websites, you may have to do some digging to learn about the removal process, or if removal is even possible. If not, suppression is likely your best bet, and creating positive, Google-optimized assets (blogs, profiles, etc.) is the most effective way to push those negative items out of sight.
Of course, the entire ORM process can take a lot of time, effort, and resources to be successful. For those without the time or expertise to tackle such an extensive effort, I would recommend seeking the help of an ORM professional.
Take control of your reputation today by visiting www.netreputation.com