Cover Photo for Your Reputation Precedes You (Part 2)

In my last blog, I discussed some steps you should take to see what your online presence and reputation was like. Now that you have found yourself online and thought about your presence, I will discuss what actions to take to maximize your online brand.

While all this new technology is unquestionably exciting, educational and awe inspiring, it lacks something we humans need and crave and that’s other real sentient beings to talk to, to touch, to share experiences with, to feel and make an emotional connection. And when we do, those connections are the deepest, the most meaningful and the longest lasting.

So if you’re just starting out in business you may have a great idea but you need other people to help you build it, finance it, promote it, sell and service it, ship it and yes, sometimes, take it back because it failed to meet your customers’ expectations.

When building and promoting your reputation make sure that you are not creating some emotionless, superficial avatar designed to fool or mislead people to obtain some momentary objective. Instead pay particular attention to ensure that you are constructing a real persona, one that has feelings and emotions, imperfections and scars, habits you’d like to overcome or skills you may wish to develop and places you wish to go. If not, you’re highly unlikely to make true connections with real people and when those people you are trying so hard to impress actually meet you, they will be greatly disappointed when you don’t measure up to the idealized version you created online.

Unless you’re a professional magician, most people don’t want to be fooled. They seek honesty not perfection, in the relationships they choose to cultivate.

Be honest with yourself. If you consciously or unconsciously delude yourself you will undoubtedly never understand why others haven’t bought into your BS… “better self.”

So if you want to attract those people, entice them to become part of your business or social network you’re going to have to reach out and touch them emotionally. You’re going to have to convince them you have vision, ability and determination. They have to believe you are a leader, that you are trustworthy, flexible, and caring both to your employees and your customers.  And while they may admire your commitment to your ideas they also have to believe that you are equally open to theirs as well.

To accomplish that, you have to have a “reputation” where people feel you are the best person for them to be associated with.  These associations may last for just one transaction or become an integral part of your life forever. It all depends on how you are perceived in relationship with what the other person is seeking at a specific point in time. The question is. “Are you going to shape that perception or are you going to let others? Because like it or not, you do have a reputation. We all do. It’s just that some of us don’t have the reputation we want or have the people we care about know who we truly are.

You are responsible for your destiny. You can’t control it perfectly but you can take specific actions that will ensure you present your best possible image to the people you care about most at the exact time you need them to take a specific action. It all starts (and ends) with you.

So take a deep breath, google yourself and face the unvarnished truth of who you are to others… and it you don’t like what you just read, immediately develop a plan to do something about it.