10 Reputation Mistakes You're Making Right Now

1. Ignoring gossip: By its nature you cannot hear it, but it affects you whether you are listening or not.

2. Waiting for complaints: People attack in packs. Early intervention means seeking out customer unhappiness while they are still too timid to "make trouble."

3. Making excuses for no metrics: Google Search is a metric. Twitter js one. Social Mention.com is free and easy to understand. It costs you nothing.

4. Avoiding the details: Details are not exciting to big-picture types. But a little nail can puncture your tires. Check the fine print.

5. Not communicating to employees: Communication means listening and talking. You can convey confidence and stability just by creating a space for interchange. Nothing new need be said. You can always collect questions.

6. Surrounding yourself with yes-men: It amazes me that anyone still does this. A friend told me my pin was ugly today. Thank you!

7. Avoiding social media: In 2013 if you still can't find your way around LinkedIn, please pay someone to do a profile at the very least. And connect with at least 50 people.

8. Understaffing the PR function: Call us flacks, hacks or spin-meisters. I really don't care. Someone has to translate the simplistic outside view for people internal to the organization who simply specialize in other things.

9. Devaluing sympathetic audiences: Life is like high school - we chase people who disapprove of us, so we can join the cool clique. That is understandable. But it is also a bias and a potentially fatal mistake. Never take your supporters for granted.

10. Overinvesting in the Web: Oh, your castle. Where you have your couch set up just so, and the bookshelves from Ikea. Guess what? Nobody wants to make the trip to your house! See #7: Get thee a specialist in social media engagement.

Reputation management is for every day. It is like brushing your teeth, or getting on the scale. Make sure to weigh in regularly - before you have to take out your pants.