When was the last time you did a reputation check? Do you know what people are saying about you – good and not so good?
Most of us work hard, are nice to our customers and deliver good quality goods and services – but is that enough to create a great reputation? If you think about it, you know of people who have made a lot of money and are very high profile – and yet you know other people who deliver the same services and are struggling to get by. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t as good, in fact, often they are actually a bit better. It just means that their reputation has reached far enough to gain critical mass.
Growing a list
You’ll hear online marketers saying ‘the money is in the list’ and they’re right. The more people that know about you and hear good things about you, the further your fame spreads.
- If you have a list of 300 people those 300 may think you are amazing, but only them and a few of their contacts know about you.
- If you have a list of 50,000 that’s going to mean a huge number of people are listening to what you say.
The first few hundred can be challenging, but there will come a point where your systems gather interest from more and more people. If you know how to grow a list of 50,000, then the next step to 100,000 is pretty easy. Now you’ve got critical mass.
There is a lot of controversy over whether social media is trivia or power. Both can be true depending on how you use them. If you share value to your target audience people will follow you and like and share your posts. The secret is in having a strategy and a plan of action, then sticking to it.
That means regular material being made available and sharing it with as many people as possible.
This might be blogging regularly then sharing the blog link with your Twitter followers, Facebook Page community, Linkedin connections, Google+ circles and pinning the image on Pinterest. It might be sending the blog to your list as a newsletter, it may be talking about it at networking events or running a webinar on it.
The other side of the social media coin is engagement. If you sit in a corner and don’t talk to anyone at a live networking meeting you won’t get anywhere. The same applies online. You need to be active and engage with people in your target market and other people who supply that market.
Recommendations and testimonials
People can recommend you on LinkedIn, customers can give testimonials to you that can be used on your website and marketing material, other people can recommend you in Tweets and posts on other platforms. All these contribute to your reputation. Do you ask for feedback on your services and products? You should!
In the offline world
Everything you do offline counts too. The quality of your business cards and marketing material, the effectiveness of your 60 second presentation, how you look and behave – they all have an impact and help people to form an impression. How much help do you give people who need it? How friendly are you? How well-organised do you appear? It all contributes to your reputation.
How does this affect my reputation?
Try typing your name into Google (other search engines are available!). Even if you have a name that is quite common, the number of mentions you get on the first few pages will give you an indication of how you’re doing, unless your name is Tom Cruise or Jennifer Aniston! If you have a famous name try your name and your main keyword.
Most people are surprised to find that their business website is lower down the list than their social media activity. That’s because sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have so much activity that they are under constant surveillance from the search engines. Your website activity is likely to be minuscule in comparison, so the search engines will only visit from time to time.
The more positive material that is visible to the world, the better your reputation will be and the further it will reach.