The old saying ‘actions speak louder than words’ perfectly sums up my thoughts this week. Are you aware of your personal reputation? Have you taken time to build your personal reputation? If you’re a business owner or manager, your business’ credibility relies hugely on your personal reputation, so it’s vital to make it an important focus in running your business.
The easiest way to develop your credibility is to build a reputation that’s consistent with your career goals. If you want to highlight traits that are important to you (for example, you want to be known for your honesty, trustworthiness and consistent performance) then make sure these traits come across in the way you do business. If you work to these standards with all business dealings (with clients, suppliers and employees) you’re going to build a reputation for yourself around the traits that are important to you.
One way to make sure people trust you is to do what you say you will. Only promise what you can actually deliver. While it seems like obvious advice, you wouldn’t believe the number of people I’ve seen who promise something they know they can never carry out. You can’t expect to be viewed as a credible business or leader if you consistently fail to perform.
It’s so important to have a strong reputation for your business in such an online world, where any negative interactions with your business can be splashed across the globe in a tweet, blog post or Facebook update. Keeping an eye on your online reputation is vital, after all it’s so easy for someone to slander your business all over the internet without you having a clue anything is amiss.
Make sure you have a strong online presence – and not just for your business, but for yourself also. List your achievements on your website and I encourage you to delve into the world of social media (create your profile on LinkedIn, maybe write a blog or build a presence on Twitter). Blogging is an excellent way of building a strong reputation and demonstrating your thought leadership because people will be able to follow your business and make an opinion for themselves about you. When a person is investigating your business, the first place many will look is Google, so make sure the first thing that comes up is positive.
An easy and free way to keep on top of relevant online content about you and your business is Google Alerts – if you’re not using this type of service, please do me a favour, finish reading this post and get started now – you might be very surprised (and confronted) by what you find.
Always remember though, while it takes years to build up a good reputation, it only takes seconds to destroy it.