How reputation management works and why you need to work yours!
I admit I was that mother that told her children, “It doesn’t matter what other people think about you. It just matters what you believe about yourself.” I was wrong.
Perception lives in the minds of the people we encounter – our clients, colleagues, managers, brokers, etc. – and their perception of who we are and what we have to offer directly influences their willingness to give us what we want. Do your clients consider you trustworthy, knowledgeable and confident in your recommendations? Or, do they see you as difficult to deal with and non-responsive? The impact of reputation to your career and business is significant! Managing and directing the way your target audience perceives you could be the most critical career tool you use.
Reputation management, and personal branding, takes much of the mystery and randomness out of the perception equation. Intentionally influencing the way others see you, creates a “brand” or reputation that aligns with your goals and objectives.
What is a reputation management?
Everyone has a personal brand – it is your reputation, what others use to assign you value and relevance. A brand is an emotional connection you have with others and it sets the expectation of an experience of working with you. When you direct and manage your personal brand, you deploy an intentional reputation management strategy that allows you to remain authentic, target your efforts and measure results from your brand.
Your personal brand already exists in the minds of your colleagues, peers, clients, friends and other stakeholders. As people experience being with you and your behavior over time, you earn a reputation.
Emotions vs. Logic
We hire investors, consultants and experts who not only have the qualifications, but who make us feel a certain way. We know them to be professional and capable, but what causes us to “buy” – to hire them – is how we expect we will feel working with them. It has been said, “We act on logic… and we buy on emotion.” For example, I might seek an attorney who is a pit bull in the courtroom, but makes me feel safe when I ask a dumb question. I might solicit an accountant who is expert at tax structure, and makes me feel validated that I’m on the right track with my business.
Ultimately, your brand is your legacy. It is the way you are known today, and how you will be remembered… Your legacy is the most real representation of how you lived, behaved and interacted with others, and how they felt about you.
–“Reputation 360: Creating power through personal branding”, (Palisades Publishing) by Lida Citroën
Professionals understand the importance of differentiation and value in gaining competitive advantage. And, successful executives across the globe are embracing the power of “personal branding” to intentionally build a reputation for themselves and their companies that maintains this competitive advantage – in person, through experience, and in the online world.
Personal branding and reputation management are not spin or “PR”. Personal branding does not make you into something you’re not. It begins by understanding what you are passionate about, what you value and how you live an authentic life.
Creating a powerful reputation
Professionals achieve relevancy through confidence and experience and by being focused and careful about their interactions with key audiences. They don’t try to please everyone, win every client and satisfy every customer’s needs. They focus on the highest value they have to offer and target a specific audience with the lowest threshold.
Begin to create power and relevance in your personal brand by paying attention to how you show up in every experience – from your LinkedIn posts, to how you engage with others networking events, to the way you answer the question, “What do you do?” when meeting a prospective client. Consider how you want others to perceive you.
In your search for innovative tools to grow your business, consider the impact and effectiveness of your reputation. Reputation management differentiates you from your competition, attracts opportunities to you and enables you to receive recognition for your accomplishments. Personal branding uncovers your desired goals and brings you benefits over your entire life – personal and professional.
Lida Citroen, Principal, LIDA360, LLC