Reputation is the foundation that you will build your success on.
Growing your reputation is something you can do every day.
How to Grow Your Reputation
There are two stages:
- Getting your name known
- Becoming known as one of the good guys
Getting Your Name Known
There are over 7.4 billion people on Earth today. How do you get your name known?
You talk to people, you discuss things with people and you make sure that the people you want get to actually see your name.
And once isn’t enough. They need to see it and to keep on seeing it in many positive situations.
Social media is sold as the answer to reputation building. It can be part of the picture in that it can get your name to be recognised, but it can only be part of the solution.
Becoming Known as One of the Good Guys
This is the tough part, the part that cannot be automated. You have to help people.
You need to listen to people who need help, to come up with a way to help them and then be seen to offer that help. Yes, you can do all that by social media contacts, but there are better ways.
The Social Media Solution
Twitter is full of noise where getting yourself seen is theoretically simple, but your life at the top of most people’s Twitter feeds is measured in seconds. Being seen depends on the Twitter user looking at his feed in the two seconds when your tweet is near the top.
Most people try to get around this problem by tweeting more often. Twitter automation makes frequent tweeting too easy but this doesn’t do a lot to increase your visibility and it just adds to the noise.
Having a large number of followers is only part of the solution, because most will never engage with your tweets. Yes, adding images will help, but only if you hit the magic 2 second time slot and yes using hashtags does help to an extent as well. But you need more creativity
One way is to get your name linked with trending hash tags by being visually creative or funny, so people retweet your tweets. Another way is to take part in Twitter chats using a tool such as TWChat to make following the discussion easier. You can see a calendar of chats that use the free TWChat tool here.
Facebook is the social site of choice for most people, so it can be a great place to get yourself seen, but it has to be in the right context. The right context on Facebook is a social one because that’s the reason people are on there.
With every social media channel post you should aim to be helping people in some way. That is the best way to get positive engagement with your posts and to maximise the number of people who see your name.
Using social media amplifiers like ViralContentBuzz.com will help to get your name and thoughts in front of more people. Viral Content Buzz has free and paid levels of membership. You submit your best article content and it is displayed to other VCB members who share it if they like it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Google Plus. The shares you get are genuine ones because they are all from real accounts that belong to people who value their reputations. Talk to members who share your work in the forum and start to build relationships with them.
Using Unconventional Social Media to Show You Are a Good Guy
Becoming known as one of the good guys means you have to help people and be seen to do that. Private messages on Facebook and Twitter are useful to develop relationships with individuals, but those messages are private and do nothing for your broader reputation.
A forum is a great place to grow your rep because public interactions are the norm. A good forum has mhigh-qualitylity members who will see and remember the help you give to others. THAT is what reputation is about.
MyBlogU.com is another free site where people help one another. It is set up differently from a forum, but is at least as effective in terms of reputation building power. There is a forum full of helpful people but the most important features of the site are its Brainstorms and Interviews features. Members post problems, questions and issues they are having and everyone brainstorms ideas. Interviews have a slightly more formal structure where a member posts a series of questions as an Interview. People respond and answer the interview questions, the member uses the interview answers as the basis of a blog post and all contributors are named and get a link back to their own sites or social media profiles. MyBlogU members who help others get better answers for the interviews and brainstorms that they in turn post.
Building Your Reputation is a Long-Term Process
You will come across many ‘takers’ in the online world and they stand out a mile because they never give any help to anyone. People who are in it to grow their reputation give, give again and give some more, and only occasionally ask for help.
Are you a ‘giver’ or a ‘taker’? Whichever you are will be obvious to everyone, so if you are trying to hack your reputation you need to give help to others from the very first day. People will see it and remember.
In the real world, you need to pitch your business ideas, but this doesn’t mean being a pushy salesperson. It does mean learning to send off the right signals when you are talking about your business ideas. You should participate in pitching workshops like this one in Cork at every opportunity.
How Are You Building YOUR Reputation?
Please share using the comment box below. How many of these ideas are you using? Do you have any other brilliant ways of hacking your reputation?