How to build a stellar industry reputation

nyc business coach for creativesWhat does reputation mean to you? Does having a good reputation and winning accolades in your industry motivate you? Does a desire to be seen a certain way inspire how you make decisions and show up?

I know it does for me!

Why? Well, if I’m honest, some of it comes from wanting validation (we’re all human, right?). But more than that, building a solid reputation just makes good business sense.  People connect with, trust, and refer people who have a good reputation.

So, what exactly makes for a great reputation?

As I look back on my own experience as a business owner, as well as the reputations of the high-level talent I used to represent, I realize that demonstrating certain habits and characteristics and being consistent in their expression is at the center of a stellar industry reputation.

If you’re ready to be more proactive in having a stellar industry reputation that draws your ideal client and fantastic opportunities to you, read on for 4 actionable steps you can take right now!

(1) Commit to the thing you want to be known for

We’ve talked a lot about values and how they support the growth of your purpose driven and profitable business. Now, we’re not talking fluffy, nice-to-have values here; we’re talking about the 3 or 4 non-negotiable principles that guide the way you show up and do business (even if that means making a hard decision like passing on a client because they’re not the right fit). The first step to building a great reputation is to define which values are most meaningful to you, identify how they manifest in your personal and professional conduct, and stick to them. Heck, you can even communicate them on your website as my website designer Jill Anderson does.

For example, one of my core values is integrity. So, what that translates into is, I’ll always deliver what I say I will. I will show up when I say I will and do what I say I’ll do. I will be transparent. And I will always be consistent, meaning, I’ll be high-energy, enthusiastic and positive (it’s just the way I roll!).

To do: Review your core values (or identify what they are if you haven’t already) and write down how each one contributes to your showing up in a way that builds your reputation.

(2) Systems and Processes

I went into this topic in much more detail in my last blog post so if you missed it you can check it out here. But the short version is, when you have processes and systems that allow you to streamline your business operations, your client or customer experience will always be consistent. Think about Starbucks. Their value proposition is not that they have the best coffee, but that you’ll always get the same cup of coffee, whether you’re in New York, Hong Kong, or South Dakota. That consistency is what builds trust and brings a steady stream of customers through their doors all over the world.

To do: Pick one system in your business that you could upgrade. Start small! It could be as simple as assigning a day for marketing and blocking that time out in your calendar. Or maybe it’s adding scheduling software such as Acuity to your website to make scheduling client calls a breeze. Pick an easy win and go from there.

(3) Presentation

I’ve received two, out-of-the-blue messages on LinkedIn this week from people saying how much they love my website, how it makes them feel, and how they’d like to work with me one day. I’ve had clients tell me that they chose to work with me, in part because my website and marketing showed an eye for design and attention to detail. Awesome huh?  Now, imagine my beautiful website did all that work paving the way for me and I then showed up unprepared to our introductory call? Or what if I showed up to a Zoom coaching call in my running gear and baseball cap?  What if my supporting worksheets were unbranded and amateur looking? Regardless of my coaching skills, the client could be questioning their investment.  Every touchpoint in your personal and business branding is a point towards (or a point docked) from your stellar reputation.

To do: Take a morning inventory of your personal and professional brand. Could it use some TLC? What small changes could you make on your own? If an expert is needed, who would you want to hire? Make a list and make a plan to upgrade your presentation where it needs it.

(4) Habits and Routines

I’m reading Michelle Obama’s book Becoming right now, and in it she shares how different she and Barack (as I call him, no last names required!) are when it comes to habits and routines. He thrives on uncertainty and high stakes, can work in a room with papers and books stacked everywhere, and operates on his own timeline.  She, on the other hand, is a creature of habit and routine. I can relate. We all have habits and routines, it’s just that they don’t all support the life and business we say we want. So why not bring intention to changing one or two that support your goals?  For example, a routine I adopted almost 2 years ago was the Morning Pages (from the book, The Artist’s Way).  I get up an hour before my kids, pour myself a cup of coffee, and write 3 pages of long-hand of whatever is on my mind. It’s where I process ideas, work out petty grievances, and figure out the next step to solving a problem. Case in point, when I was struggling with a topic for this newsletter, the answer came to me in those pages.

To do: Using a framework of sleep, movement, mindset, and diet (which I heard from Dr. Chatterjee and loved) what habit can you tweak? Maybe it’s going to bed an hour earlier. Or perhaps it’s going for a daily walk that calms you down and puts you in the right frame of mind to show up as your best self. Pick one and try it for a week.

So, as you can see, a stellar reputation and being on the receiving end of sparkling industry accolades is really a result of several small shifts and tweaks that when done with intention add up to a whole lot of good stuff.

If you’re committed to showing up in your business as the best possible version of yourself, but don’t know how, I’d love to help. Click here to share a few things about yourself and let’s chat!


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