An apparition or double of a living person. A German folklore.
"he has been replaced by an evil doppelgänger"
So someone with the same name you have just released a sex tape or was arrested for fraud? Everyone is looking at you and wondering why you did that! This can be a devastating setback for your personal brand.
It happens all the time. Some poor souls will be on Twitter or Facebook or TV trying to tell the world, “Yes, we have the same name, but it’s not me. I didn’t do this.”
All of this applies to companies. If a company with a similar does something that causes trouble, you might find yourself trying to explain it.
Welcome to the world of reputation doppelgängers.
Many of us have doppelgängers.
● Family members with the same name
● The same name as a famous person, an actor, a musician, or a politician.
● A common name that thousands of people have.
● Your business has the same or a similar name to a business in another state.
As soon as the negative news breaks, you’re running around putting out fires that you didn’t start.
What a doppelgänger can do to you
Imagine having the name Harvey Weinstein, Jefferey Dahmer, or Charles Manson. Suddenly someone with the same name or a family name is in the news for doing something bad. You’re spending your time telling everyone that you have nothing to do with it.
The internet has made it worse. Almost everyone knows what Harvey Weinstein looks like, but on the internet, it’s hard to tell what account belongs to whom.
If another Mom’s Diner in another state makes a bunch of people sick, you might find yourself getting bad reviews even though your food is excellent.
One group that is very vulnerable is job seekers. Someone looks up a name online and sees a social media profile with a lot of drug use or an arrest. The job might suddenly evaporate.
How you can reclaim your life from a reputation doppelgänger
There are a number of steps you can take to get your life back from a reputation doppelgänger.
If you don’t know that Mike Smith in Las Vegas was just arrested for drugs, you can’t let a potential employer know. Create a Google Alert for your name, all variations of it. That way, when you’re mentioned by a website someplace, you’ll know it right away.
Change your name
You don’t need to legally change your name, but you can use your middle name or middle initial. You might also be able to use your nickname. If there’s a Robert in the world making trouble, you can use Bob or Robert K.
All you need to do is change all of your social media accounts and start signing things with the new variation.
● Build a website with your name on it - A website is the best way to make sure that you have control of your name. You can do the same thing with your company.
● Blog often - Blog with your name often. That will make sure that there’s new, fresh content with your name on it in the world.
● Social media - Update your social media profiles. Post regularly and make sure that you’re on the big sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram). Be sure your profile is complete.
● Ask sites to take down negative content - Many sites aren’t willing to, but you might be able to get negative information removed from a website. If it’s a fake review or it’s a review that’s impacting the wrong person, you might be able to get a company to take the information down.
Take control of your reputation
Once you’ve started managing your reputation, you’ll be able to maintain it easily. With a little effort each month, you’ll find that you’ve taken over how the world talks about you.
If you find that you have a doppelgänger, either a person or business doppelgänger, you can take control of your name with ease. It’s important that if something pops up, you can get out ahead of it.
At NewReputation, we’re passionate about businesses, people and brands being represented fairly online. Every day we see the high-level damage that bad press, negative reviews, social media chatter, etc. do to brands, businesses and people all over the globe. We devote time and resources into developing the best strategy for our customers to improve their online reputation.
If you have negative search results or are vulnerable to a reputation attack, we can help! Contact us today for a consultation.
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