online reputation management company has grown steadily since its inception | Business Observer
The name of the game is search engine manipulation for NetReputation, which bills itself as an online reputation company.
Attracted by those who need a boost in how they are perceived online, or at least a positive review, founder Adam Petrilli has done quite well at this game: the company has gone from startup in 2015 to $11 million in revenue last year. It provides $15 million this year.
Part of that growth comes from removing negative customer information on Google, which is only part of the online search repair services the company runs. It charges between $1,500 and $100,000, depending on the difficulty of the request. Projects range from one-time campaigns to monthly campaigns with annual agreements.
“Reputation management is, for lack of a better terminology, a manipulation of search engines where we want certain results to show up in our favor,” says Petrilli. “It’s our core product. We control the first page of Google for people’s names and brands. So when you Google things like celebrity reputation management, we’re on page 1. The ability to being good at search engine optimization from a marketing perspective, as well as a product, had a huge impact.
NetReputation welcomes anyone who wants to improve their online reputation, whether it’s personal information, negative reviews or unwanted content. “Most of our clients have something online about them or their brand that they want removed or removed from search results,” Petrilli wrote in a follow-up email with the Business Observer. But there are some limitations as to who the company will work with; anyone involved in violent or sexual offenses, for one, is a no-no.
So how does it work? The team, through a five-step process, highlights positive information and removes any negative using search engine optimization processes and what they call digital asset creation.
The first step includes an in-depth analysis of the customer’s online reputation to determine all the factors contributing to how that customer is perceived online, whether positive or negative. Then a strategy is put in place to eliminate the threats and rebuild their brand. The next step is to identify any positive factors such as business listings or social profiles that work in favor of the client to build their wealth. Next, NetReputation enters into content creation to develop high-quality articles, blogs, and other content to strengthen the client’s brand that appears in Google search results. The final two steps include a publishing plan and promotional techniques to spread brand awareness and engagement.
Being new to an industry can come with challenges, but it’s also an opportunity to grow tremendously, Petrilli learned. By the time the online reputation management company reached its first anniversary in 2016, revenue had passed the $1 million mark at $1.4 million. In 2017, Petrilli says the business hit $3.5 million, up 150%.
“In the grand scheme of just being a small business, going from zero to $1.4 million — there was a lot to do there,” he says. “It’s very hectic to maintain a certain level of growth.”
The biggest challenge? Determine the number of employees to add to support growth. Petrilli also faced an uphill battle figuring out what processes to put in place for its business model.
“We were in a new industry, so there wasn’t really a playbook,” he says. Today, the company has 68 employees, with offices in Sarasota and Kansas City and a new one in Brazil.
The majority of clients coming to NetReputation have already seen their online reputation take a hit, while around 10% of clients use the company as a preventative. Petrilli says many of its clients are high net worth individuals and brands of all sizes. The list includes executives, entrepreneurs, professionals (even teachers) who come to the company for help, he says.
“The severity of it and what they need will vary from customer to customer depending on the issue,” he says. “If you have a big reputation, like a big business or a celebrity, you’ll need more resources than the high school teacher in Sarasota who may have done something he wasn’t supposed to.”
The majority of customers come to them, but Petrilli says if someone is involved in something nationally, the company might reach out on its own.
In terms of revenue, Petrilli says his company has only two major competitors: Reputation.com, which surpassed $100 million in annual recurring revenue earlier this year, in addition to a $150 minority growth investment. millions of dollars ; and Reputation Defender, a company that Pertrilli says is slightly ahead of NetReputation in revenue.
“We’re on track to become the second-largest full-service reputation management agency in America,” he says, a stat he provided by revenue. “It’s proof that the company is focused on growth.”
In addition to the team and the market opportunity, another big driver of success, says Petrilli, is reinvesting in the organization. This includes a recent move to a larger office in Sarasota, hiring more employees, increasing advertising and marketing budgets, and adding product training. The company moved to 1100 N. Tuttle Ave., moving from its former headquarters in the downtown SH Kress and Co. Building.
And with people making bad choices every day – hello Florida man – more growth is likely to come. “More people than ever are online,” says Petrilli, “so more people than ever need a solution to get online.”