Reputation – Your Brand, The Brand of Good Business
As a consultant, my professional reputation and knowledge is my product. It is what I am selling and what my customers are buying. My skills, credentials, experience all contribute to my professional reputation; however, these categories alone do not determine my reputation. The intangibles of what I bring to a job – my personal reputation – matters as well. As a consultant, who I am, how I interact, how I treat others, the trust and confidentiality I bring to a business relationship, all add up to my reputation. My name is my brand!
Some would argue that knowledge is an individual’s most important intangible asset, but in reality, reputation is. Knowledge can be easily bought; reputation is earned. The most effective form of marketing as an individual or business is still word-of-mouth referrals, and that relies almost entirely on reputation.
As an individual, your reputation and the image it carries are important. With every move you make, you are validating in the eyes of your family, friends, neighbors and business colleagues, the image consistent with your reputation. Understanding that all your actions and behavior translate into your reputation is important! The following self-assessment of your personal reputation can help you better understand how others perceive you and how to build your reputation in a positive direction.
--Are you liked, admired and respected? Why?
--Do you provide innovation, quality and value in whatever you do? How?
--Do you consistently contribute to and enhance the personal and professional performance of your family, friends and business colleagues? In what way?
--Are you focused on providing a product or service, which enhances the greater good? ----What is the product or service?
--Do you understand that a good reputation is an absolute must in building the trust of others? How do you build trust?
Developing your reputation requires effort – and the heart and passion to make a difference – especially in the lives of others. If you are to become a person who can impact the lives of others, you must first believe in your ability to influence others. Also, you must develop the ability to be a positive and committed force in your approach toward effecting personal and organizational change.
The very concept of “having a good reputation” implies that you possess a high degree of personal insight in self, and a high degree of credibility in being able to take others to a place they have not been, because they trust your reputation.
The phrase “image is everything” probably, sounds familiar. But with regard to reputation, it refers to more than how you dress. Each of your interactions and communications are noted by your business colleagues, friends and family and help shape your reputation.
As a member of the Air Force it was continually stressed that “our actions in and out of uniform reflected on the image and reputation of not only ourselves but also of the entire United States Air Force.” That’s a powerful statement. Your personal actions can have a big impact on more than just you, but also on the business or organizations you are affiliated with.
Reputation is not an intangible asset, but rather a bankable asset. A great reputation creates demand and…as a business, demand can command continual business and premium pricing. A good reputation will also define the expectation of everything you offer whether you are a one person consulting firm or small organization.
An individual or organizations reputation is a fragile quality…difficult to earn, but easy to lose. "Glass china and reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended." Benjamin Franklin.
What do you think? Is a well-earned good reputation important or not?