Your reputation is what people say about you, whether verbally or in writing. To build a good reputation you need to influence two groups of people:
- Those who know you and have experienced your expertise
- Those who don’t know you yet
This includes clients – or whatever you call the people who pay (or have paid in the past) for your expertise – if you’re a speaker, it might be your audience.
In order that they have positive thoughts about you after they’ve been on the receiving end of your (or your company’s) services, you need to deliver excellence in everything you do – whether it’s the actual advice or produce you deliver or the invoice process.
Unfortunately, people talk a lot more about bad experiences than they do about good ones. That means that good is not enough – it’s what people expect. The delivery has to be exceptional in some way.
The best way to achieve this is to talk to your customer, ask them what is important to them and deliver exactly what they want, efficiently, effectively and with enthusiasm.
These are people who you may have connected with networking online or offline, who only know what you tell them.
If you’re lucky, other people will reinforce your message, if they know people who have actually been your customer at some point. But mostly their knowledge of you will be gleaned from social media posts, your online profiles, blogs you’ve written and newsletters or email campaigns they receive.
That means that every word you write has to help to make your reputation shine!
Systems to enhance your reputation
How often do you call your customers for a chat – outside work you’re doing together? Find out how things are going, check that the problems you started out solving for them are still important. Discover what their current challenge is.
How often to you make contact with former customers – apart from your newsletter? Calling up old clients is one of the most effective ways to get them back as a live customer.
How many of your online contacts have you had a 1-2-1 with? You don’t have to live locally, a 1-2-1 works just as well using Zoom or Google Meet or MS Teams. Once you’ve had a 1-2-1 the door is open for business and referrals.
All these strategies are not magic – but they do need to be part of your process, a system that will not only shine your reputation as someone who makes an effort and cares, but also as a means of filling your order book!