In our reputation-driven economy, the currency to success in any endeavour is credibility. Establishing yourself as a trustworthy, honourable and authentic person to deal with requires two layers of action.
In my experience, most people focus on one layer more than the other. I’d like to encourage you to work at striking a balance between the two and noticing the difference it makes to your progress.
Layer 1: Your digital persona
The first test of credibility is how easily people can find you and what they discover when they get there. It’s surprising that many people still haven’t established a strong online presence for themselves, their business or organisation.
If you’re not working on ways to make yourself stand out across various platforms, you’re missing out on potential opportunities. Generating unique content that brings value to your audience is a great place to start.
Do you look at hotel reviews on TripAdvisor before making a reservation? In our digitally-dependant world, the opinions people share online will often influence what decisions we make. Take that into account for your own sites.
Make sure to display any testimonials, endorsements and positive media coverage you receive. People need to see a sample of credible offerings wherever they look for you. Think of this as a slow-burn practice. You probably won’t get the business offer of a lifetime in the first five minutes of someone checking you out online, but an overall picture will form over time. One day, that may well translate into something tangible.
Conversely, it will count against you if something negative or half-baked comes up. Don’t underestimate the power of establishing a stand-out digital persona.
Layer 2: Your personal offering
Thankfully, we’re still multi-dimensional humans (although watching people crossing the street with their eyeballs glued to their phone does make you wonder sometimes!). Having a strong digital persona is great, but we can’t forget about forming and maintaining real life relationships with others.
Face-to-face interactions are still very important for success. Communicating clearly and persuasively about what you offer is essential, after you have built rapport over time. If that isn’t your strength, seek some training or do whatever is necessary to feel comfortable.
My own business was built on the solid foundation of existing relationships. People who already know and trust you are much more likely to offer you opportunities; whether that’s a promotion within an organisation, an opportunity for a great project, or a business proposal.
Maintaining solid results
Avoid limiting your potential for success. If you want to supercharge your reputation capital, routinely evaluate whether your in-person performance is on par with your digital persona. If you’re stronger in one area, make sure you improve the other. As with most things in life, balance is key.