Have you ever met someone who you’ve already heard about? Perhaps someone told you, “you’ll really like John. He’s well traveled, well spoken and well mannered” or “Watch out for Suzy, she’s really nice to your face although will gossip about you behind your back”. Before meeting John or Suzy, you already have preconceived notions about them, for their reputation preceded them.
The same is true about businesses. If you’re friends tell you that Orange Mango has the best deals on Sunglasses, you’re likely to go to Orange Mango next time you need sunglasses. Similarly, if Yelp reviews show that China North is the best local restaurant, then you will probably try it next time you want Chinese food.
Your reputation is based on how you are perceived. In other words, what others think about you, matters.
However, you don’t need to rely on their sensibilities.
There are ways you can build and shape what others think and know about you. When someone suggests something incongruent with your desired reputation, you can minimize the effect of their statement.
Whether you are a student, professional, or even represent a business (yes, businesses have reputations too!), you should be aware of your reputation and strive to make it as as close to your ideal-self-perception as possible.
Of course, even if your reputation is perfect, you should continue to strengthen it to mitigate the impact of negativity – even undeserved, untrue, unwarranted negativity.
I will continue to provide tips on how to build, strengthen and even mend online reputations. Check back!