If you’re wanting to position yourself as a thought leader or genuine authority in your industry or field of endeavour, then having a strong and trusted reputation is A1 critical.
This won’t just happen by itself, of course, and as we know, merely doing a good job – even being the best at what we do – is simply table-stakes today.
In this micro-presentation (see video below) I outline some ‘building block’ ideas as to how we can strategically grow our profile, credibility and reputation in the marketplace.
Here’s a summary …
In business today, it’s really important that we actively enhance and protect how our personal (or business) brand is perceived.
Let’s face it, we live in a noisy, hyper-competitive, digital-first world, and trust is in very short supply. Therefore, anything we can do to continually build trust in the eyes of the community in which we operate, the marketplace, our clients and our customers, then that’s a win.
Also, given that we live and increasingly transact in an online world, credibility has never been more important. There are a lot of wannabe entrepreneurs and business people beating their chest and telling the world how great they are, that they’re thought leaders and the best in their industry or field.
Therefore, we need to always be looking for ways to package and communicate our professional bona fides – to show, not tell – to proactively build our credibility in the marketplace. And if we want to create more impact, then we really need to start being serious about growing our sphere of influence in a way that’s strategic and sustainable.
I see reputation as doing a lot of the heavy lifting for marketing (and professional advancement).
There are many things that go into building a strong and trusted brand and reputation, all of which represent forerunners to commercial success in one way or another.
Now, we know that in order for people to do business with us, they’ve got to know, like, and trust us. We hear this ad nauseam!
But I’ll also add, that we need to be top of mind with our target audience, and that’s difficult to do in today’s noisy environment.
Plus, we also need to be talked about in a positive way in the marketplace. Think of this as social proof, or perceived third-party endorsement.
So there are a number of elements that we’ve got to take into consideration, and, like I said above, these are forerunners to leads and sales and ultimately, our success.
Back to reputation …
I see that there are four key ‘strategic parts’ that ladder up to building a strong and trusted reputation in the marketplace (remembering that simply being good at your job – while very important – is table-stakes today).
I’ll go over these parts really quickly:
Firstly is recognition. Becoming known and remembered for all the right reasons. Now, this is not just about brand awareness, but being recognised for who you are, what you do, and what you stand for: your values and principles, and perspectives on key issues and topics related to your industry. THINK: Strategic visibility.
The second one is resonance, and being able to cut through the marketplace noise with our story and our message … to be able to grow an audience for our ideas, our insights, our knowledge, expertise and our wisdom.
Next up we have relationships. This goes to the heart of public relations and being able to deepen the level of connection with the people who matter the most to the success of our business (or cause or issue, if that’s relevant).
This, of course, begs the question: who are the people that are important the success of our business? So this requires a bit of audience mapping, and a willingness to be proactive in developing and nurturing key relationships with the right people – in a genuine way, of course.
And fourthly, and this is something that’s not really talked about a lot, but I think it’s very important, and that’s relevance.
We live in a fast-moving world where change is a constant. How do we maintain relevance with our desired target audience?
From a personal branding perspective, there are a number of things we can do to stay relevant in the eyes of our audience, the people who matter most to the success of our business. Things like:
- delivering value through our content and our connections with disparate groups of people (be an open node!)
- communicating publicly our insights and our ideas in order to pique the interest of people in our industry, our profession or the marketplace in which we operate
- Sparking conversation and stimulating debate around topics and issues that are dear to the hearts and minds of your customers (but only if it’s relevant to your brand and your business).
So there you have it folks: four key strategic elements that I see laddering up to building a strong and trusted professional reputation: recognition, resonance, relationships, and relevance.
👋 I’m Trevor, experienced content and digital communications strategist, coach and mentor
✅ I help credible business leaders and industry experts elevate their profile, build their reputation and grow their sphere of influence in a way that’s strategic, sustainable … and respectful.