Being the “it thing” has never ensured long term success. We all glance at the slew of Hollywood fames who splash the cover of all those magazines while we wait in line at the grocery store. For most of those celebrities their fame cycle will have a shorter shelf life then the milk in my cart. Creating a strong reputation, I believe – goes hand in hand with your branding (especially personal branding) because they both center around perception.
The reality is… How people perceive you will makes all the difference in your business for it’s success or failure.
So how can you create the reputation you want?
1. IT’S D.I.Y. TIME BABY! I have great news! You don’t have to wait for the opinions to be formed and then decide if you like what stuck! The greatest leaders of our time did not idly wait for others to determine their fate. They very carefully and precisely casted the mold for which they wanted to be remembered. We can do the same thing! Just as you plan what you’re going to wear, start planning how you’re going to be perceived. Try sitting down and asking yourself…
- What do I want people to say about me?
- How do I want people to think of my business?
- Where do I want to see my business in 5 years?
- Is there a personality that I could look to for inspiration? (look outside the industry)
2. How to be the talk of the town! To build a reputation, you’ve got to get heads turn’n, and I’m not talking about the construction workers offer’n up a whistle as you walk by on your way to a shoot. We’re looking to get noticed by our clients and potential clients.
This is the bottom line… They expect you to do a great job, you are hired to do a great job and nobody talks about a great job! You have to surprise them and excite them if you want to get them talking.
If you really want to become the talk of your town, you need to be looking for opportunities to create the reputation you want. You can do this through charity work, public speaking, using the reputation of your clients, community involvement and always, always serving up exceptional service with “wow hot fudge” drizzled all over the top! (See 5 Ways to Generate Publicity)
Just like anything else, establishing a solid reputation will be so much easier to set into motion if you start with a plan. I know, I know… from business pans to marketing plans to payment plans; everyone’s always talking about having a plan. But it’s because it works. Sitting down and writing some notes of not only how you want to be perceived but also avenues for where to start will make it all more real and doable in your own gorgeous head.
Creating your reputation won’t and shouldn’t be a sprint. Sprints are what end up on the tabloid cover. Instead think of this as a marathon, it takes careful planning and thought but reaping the reward… Well in the words of MasterCard… “Is Priceless!”
What do you think? Applicable for us as photographers? I’d love to get your input, so leave a comment! And if you liked this post, then like us on Facebook (and get the awesome workflow freebie). If you loved it, share it with those nifty gadgets sitting right under this post!