Human beings are curious creatures – they’re always gossiping about each other.  Even if you don’t think you are – when you discuss someone else with another person, whether on the phone, in person, at a networking event or on social media – you’re gossiping!

When Peter Roper and I wrote The Reputation Game we came to the conclusion that reputation is really gossip.  In other words it’s what other people are saying about you.

Gossip isn’t good or bad, true or false; – it’s anything anyone says about you. 

I received an email from a networking contact several years ago that went something like:

I just wanted you to know that whenever I mention your name everyone knows who you are and always have good things to say.

I got a warm glow from that.  That’s the kind of reputation money can’t buy – but you can influence what people say.

Say something often …

As a marketing strategy you need a clear message and then you need to deliver it consistently, in many places, using different media – and often.

The more people hear your message, the more they will think they know you.  And the more likely they are to think of you when someone asks for a recommendation for someone with your expertise – or, indeed, if they need your kind of help themselves.

That message needs to be clear and you need to invest time in polishing it to a fine shine.  When your core message is clear, then you can create content to support it for:

  • Your website
  • Your blog
  • Social media posts
  • Profiles and biographies
  • Networking 60 seconds
  • Presentations
  • Regular newsletters
  • Email campaigns
  • Articles for publication
  • Client proposals

It’s all about congruency and authenticity.

Personal v. Professional

If it’s your business, your personality will influence your message.  There is nothing worse than an energetic, bubbly person whose website is very formal and corporate.  If you’re a quiet and thoughtful person, your website, social media posts and other material needs to convey that too.

The disconnect when someone reads the website and then meets the business owner makes them uncomfortable.  They may not be conscious of why, but the result is likely to be that they will continue looking elsewhere for help.

That doesn’t mean you have to be someone you’re not – that’s definitely a bad idea – but the tone of your message needs to match your personal approach.

When people gossip about you – you want them to say what’s true and positive.