Throughout my life, my reputation and the businesses I’ve owned and worked with have always been something I’ve protected fiercely. The importance of reputation in business is something I get from my parents. They’ve always been uncompromising in being honourable and ethical in business. As a result, they were always admired by their peers, recommended by their clients and hired for their reputation.
I believe, that in a world full of fake news, charlatans spouting bull s*** and people covering their a***s, having a credible brand reputation, without a doubt, helps you stand out far above the crowd.
Although reputation has always been ‘something that precedes you’ in business, it is more vital than ever in the digital landscape, where everyone is watching you, that you master the art of building (and maintaining) brand reputation. What people think of you matters. Which is why we are now a partner to Trust Pilot. They believe in growing brand trust and reputation as much as we do, through their customer reviews.
It’s also a world where, with a strong brand reputation, ‘The David’s’ can take on the ‘Goliath’s and win. Where a small business, with limited budgets, compared to their rivals, can beat them. (We love that) I’ve done it in my previous business and I’m doing it right now. At FTSQ our methodologies to grow our own reputations use the channels available to us using our smarts rather than throwing huge wedges of cash at them, and we apply the same methodologies to building our client’s reputations. This approach enables them to reduce, over time, the level of resources and money, used for chasing new clients and customers to a more manageable attract vs chase model.
And we base that methodology on four blocks that we believe build on your ‘real world’ behavioural reputation :
Who: Audience – understanding exactly who you want to attract, what makes them tick and what they care about.
You would be shocked how many people we come across that either don’t have a clue who they should be appealing to, or only have a ‘demographic’ understanding of their target audience. If you want to have a strong reputation, stop just thinking about what you want to say and find out what they want to hear. What excites them? What worries them? What inspires them?
Why: Brand storytelling – being able to articulate why you exist, what you offer/sell and how you deliver it in a clear, consistent manner.
Have you ever met someone that every week has a new belief, a new philosophy, a new diet? At best they are confusing, at worst they are b****y annoying. Don’t be ‘that brand’. Know who you are, what you stand for, your purpose and what matters to you. That’s how you become attractive to the kinds of people you want to do business with. (We’re a perfect example of this…FTSQ is a polarising brand, but people are in no doubt at all what we care about, believe in and stand for, and guess what, every single client we work with is exactly the kind of client we love to attract.)
What: Content – having a point of view across a range of audience-relevant topics that are backed by knowledge, insight and experiences.
Remember we mentioned earlier that you need to understand your audience and match what you are saying accordingly. This is where this comes into play the most, in ‘what’ content we decide to create. Having a point of view that matters to the people we want to attract is vital to building the right brand reputation as leaders in your industry. The brand they love and remain loyal to.
How: Distribution – the marketing channels your audience will welcome engagement on.
Every audience is different and by understanding where they already ‘congregate’, ‘play’ and ‘exist’, the formats they most enjoy and the experience they are looking for is key to building the right reputation. There is no point marketing the heck out of Facebook if your audience simply isn’t there.
But, once you have figured out the marketing channels that will allow you to talk to your audience then you will need to all you can to learn how to use those channels as effectively and efficiently as possible, not only as stand-alone channels, but in a way that ensures they work together as an eco-system (the more they channels support each other, the better the results).
So if attracting the kinds of clients and customers you desire and standing out from the crowd is your goal, then perhaps a chat with us about the Masterclass on ‘how to build your brand reputation’ should be the very next thing you do.