When R.E.M. wrote Shiny, Happy People I’m sure they didn’t have reputation in mind, but it’s such a good description of what a great reputation is and does that I couldn’t resist mentioning it again!
There are a couple of lines in the middle that resonate too:
Everyone around, love them, love them
Put it in your hands, take it, take it.
When you’ve got a great reputation, everyone loves you and work comes to you without effort.
Cynics will say that everyone doesn’t love you – and how can people who have never experienced what you do love you?
That’s the interesting thing – when people read your blog posts, social media feeds, newsletters, articles, emails, etc. – they begin to feel that they know you – even if they’ve never met you.
This isn’t my story – it happened to a lady who was teaching a bunch of us on a coaching call, Alicia. She had a phone call from a woman who asked if Alicia would take her on as a coaching client. Alicia was happy to have a chat with her to explore if they were a good fit and they agreed that they were happy to go ahead.
Before the call ended Alicia asked, “How did you hear about me?” (This is always a great question to ask to help find out where your business is coming from).
“Oh, I’ve known you for about 18 months,” the woman replied.
Alicia was stumped as she didn’t recognise the woman’s name. “I’m really sorry, but I don’t recall when we met,” she admitted.
“We haven’t met,” the woman explained, “I’ve been getting your newsletter for the last year and a half and that’s how I know you.”
It’s interesting that she thought she ‘knew’ Alicia, just by reading her newsletter each month.
Build your reputation marketing plan
The moral of that story is that a newsletter is a good tool – as long as it’s got lots of value. But how else do you reach your audience and start that process of educating them about how good you are?
Blogs: A blog is a great way to start as it offers you the opportunity to share your expertise. A blog that gives tips or explains how to do something has enormous value and demonstrates the level of your knowledge.
Social media: Tips, advice, links to useful resources are all ways to show your followers and connections your value.
Articles: If you know which publications are read, predominantly, by your target audience, try contacting the editor and offering to write an article for them.
Email marketing: When people have signed up to your list, they have given you permission to contact them. A value-based email campaign is a great way to keep them engaged – and you can also make a special offer, just for your list to give them something other people don’t get. This is another way to share your knowledge – and give value.
Enter awards: If there are awards for your industry, put in your entry. The secret of doing well in awards is to ensure you answer the questions that are asked, don’t ramble! If you’re nominated, make the short list or win, it’s all good PR to show people your business has clout.
Present webinars: Offer a low cost/no cost webinar to your connections (via your newsletter, social media and networking) and show your expertise off live. If people aren’t paying tell them what they need to do – but keep the how for paying customers!
Guest on podcasts: Most business podcasters are always looking for interesting guests. Ask your favourite podcasters if they would consider you as a guest. Every piece of exposure is an opportunity to show off your knowledge and expertise.
Check out local radio: Listen to your local stations and find out if they have programmes or features that would be a good match for your business. When you call in aim to speak to the producer, rather than the presenter, as they’re the ones that put the show together.
If you do even some of these things, you’ll be shining up your reputation so people know about you, like what you’ve got to offer and come to you for your kind of help. And that will make you a shiny, happy person!