5 Actions to Build Your Reputation
Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®. Many of us take our image and reputation for granted. Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities.
This is what makes your reputation authentic. What do you want to be known for? What do you want people to think when someone says, “Hey, do you know [your name]?” These are critical questions that need deliberate answers. When you get clear about what you stand for, it is easy to be you Monday to Monday®.
Everything you do and say is a reflection of you. Your name is attached to everything you communicate, whether spoken or written, meeting agenda or email, podcast or social media post. You owe it to yourself to be accountable for the communication you put out there and make sure it is consistent with how you want people to perceive you.
If you have any kind of social media account, give serious thought to every message, picture and post. Think through how your message could be received and perceived by others, especially those who don’t know you. Ask yourself, “Would I be smart to put this on a billboard in the middle of Times Square?” If the answer is “no,” then it’s not smart to post it on social media, either. If you are ever in doubt about whether to post something, ask for feedback from someone you trust.
Today, commit to building and maintaining your reputation by doing the following:
- List two to three adjectives that describe how you want to be perceived by others.
- Ask a few individuals to tell you one word that describes how they perceive you. Does that word match one of the adjectives you wrote down?
- Before you walk out the door each morning, look in the mirror. What kind of first impression will you make? Do you represent the personal brand you described above? If not, make the change needed to be consistent.
- Write down three action steps you can take to grow your personal brand and show up consistently, Monday to Monday.
- This week check all your social media profiles to ensure they are aligned with your personal brand and promote a positive reputation.
I Have A Brand And It Haunts Me
I was talking to my pal “Jonas” who recently decided to freelance (vs building a multi-consultant business) when he left a bigger firm to do his own thing.
Jonas is a global talent guy who works across the planet for some of the world’s most well known companies. He decided his best play—the one that would allow him to focus on what he loves most and live the life he’s planned—is to freelance for other firms.
His plan got off to a bit of a rocky start because—get this—none of the firms he approached believed he’d actually want to “just” freelance. He’d earned his rep by steadily building deep, brand name client relationships, practices and business, not by going off by himself as a solo.
Or as he put it “I have a brand and it haunts me.”
We both had a good belly laugh because he was already rolling in new projects, thrilled with his choice to freelance.
And yet, isn’t that the truth?
Good, bad, indifferent—our brands DO haunt us.
They whisper messages to those in our circle “trust him, he’s the bomb”, “hire her for anything creative as long as your deadline isn’t critical”, “steer clear—he talks a good game but doesn’t deliver”.
And thanks to social media, those messages—good and bad—can accelerate faster than you can imagine. One client, one reader, one buyer can be the pivot point that takes your consulting business to new territory.
So how do you deal with it?
Yep—you go for more of what comes naturally. In Jonas’ case, he stuck with what he’s known for—his work, his relationships, his track record for integrity—and won over any lingering skepticism about his move.
We weather the bumps in the road by staying true to who we are at our core.
So when a potential client says “Sorry, you’re just too expensive for me”, you don’t run out and change your prices. Instead, you listen carefully and realize they aren’t the right fit for your particular brand of expertise and service.
When a social media troll chooses you to lash out at, you ignore them and stay with your true audience—your sweet-spot clients and buyers.
And when your most challenging client tells you it’s time to change your business model to serve them better, you listen closely (there may be some learning here) and—if it doesn’t suit your strengths—you kiss them good-bye.
If your brand isn’t haunting you, is it really much of a brand?
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