Branding vs Reputation
Someone said to me recently, “reputation doesn’t matter, it’s all about how you brand”.
Wow I thought, that takes the personality out of it, although of course I could understand what they meant. Certainly in business, or for individuals (particularly celebrities), if you create a lot of hype and gloss about something you can get traction even if its not quality information that you are promoting. There are plenty of snake oil salespeople out there but I for one don’t intend to add to them.
“All you have to do is been seen” they said. Yes, true for some people that seems to work, but I certainly do not think it builds any kind of longevity. What you do catches up on you at some point. Just what is it that they are seeing?
There is an audience for those who create hype and gloss, often vulnerable people who are seeking quick answers or desperate for change. That is why there are so many “get rich quick” schemes.
Smoke and mirrors
Puffery abounds in all forms of advertising and never as much as online when often consumer laws are pushed right to the edge in order to make claims about being the “best”, the “top”, make six figures in xx minutes”. For me it’s all about ethical marketing practices, promoting and highlighting the truth of what you do. We all know (or we should) that it takes work to get results. If you pay for a course it won’t guarantee you results unless you take action (unless of course the content is not there and you paid virtually for air, and sadly that happens). You might might six figures in xx minutes if you have a great product, but you wont if there is a mismatch between what you say and what you offer.
When it comes to the online world and social media the only results you can really guarantee is that if you continually stuff up your reputation will get damaged. People talk. People share.
Reputation management is imperative in today’s world and should be part of every business (and every personal) strategy.
There is a famous quote by Warren Buffet “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you will do things differently”. It’s worth starting to think about it if you haven’t already.
If you are a school leaver or job seeker, what is it that will be discovered about you first in a search online? If you are trying to make a name for yourself in any industry, what kind of name do you want associated with your own
This is how I see it, it’s my version of something I read at some point and it really hit home with me.
The most damage to reputations comes from a mismatch or misinterpretation of what is said about your business (or you)
and the reality of others experience of you.
So you can do all that hype, puffery and smoke and mirrors stuff, but at some point, the experience people are having of you and your business will be the defining point. You may get away with it for a while, but do you really want to end up on something like “sixty minutes” as the latest scam?
If you have a great business or product, or you yourself are the product (such as celebrity, actor, job seeker, entrepreneur) then reputation management matters!
A quote from Seth Godin comes to mind also “the key to getting a reputation for being brilliant is actually being brilliant, not just acting like you are“.
That says it all really. Be authentic.
What is it that you say you do? When someone works with you is that what they find?
At iRespectonline we get down to the nitty gritty, we explore the experience others are having of you and we help you to bring the best to the fore, and to take action on any negatives.
We don’t work with just anyone either, we look for synergies within your values and your mindset. Whether it’s producing a blueprint for your image online or our social media workshops and training to bring congruence to the whole team, it’s all about reputation.
So have you been caught up with the “bright and shiny” objects? Have you had an experience where there was a mismatch between what was offered and what was delivered?
We would love to hear your stories. Please share with us your experiences (no name and shaming please, lets keep it to respectful discussion).
If you would like to stay up to date, please sign up to our newsletter mailing list here. We are revamping our newsletter so you can be the first inline in 2015. We don’t spam, our reputation depends on it 🙂
If you would like to work with us, please drop us a line here.
Fiona Lucas is the founder of iRespectOnline. She is passionate about helping small businesses to grow, thrive and build reputation online. Fiona is an ethical marketer providing bespoke online marketing strategies to enable businesses to leverage social media for growth. Underpinning everything she does, as Australia’s first online reputation evangelist she is passionate about driving social change towards a more respectful online environment.
She was named in Mamamia’s Top 50 women to watch online 2013, Finalist Geelong Small Business Awards 2017 – Social Media Influencer and is a virtual community manager for Social Media Marketing World. Fiona presents on digital futures, cybersafety and digital marketing.
Fiona is the author of Futureproof Your Kids – a parents guide to the social media playground.