Jul 25, 2011

Secrets to Creating the Reputation You Want

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!

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  1. Vanessa says:

    Everything you have been posting about lately has been hitting home. This is fantastic…and I really need to get things sorted fast…or I’m going to be left in the dust.

  2. Kate Kerr says:

    love it so true!!! I have been taking baby steps, but it is time to hit it!! 🙂 thanks so much!

  3. You are so right about creating our own reputation…we can’t just let it happen, we can actually MAKE it happen! Outside of the customer service things I’ve noticed that little things I’ve done unintentionally (like wearing sequin converse tennies to my sessions) get my clients talking…and I love it when my clients are talking about their sessions! Even when they would never dream of wearing sequin shoes themselves they always end up talking about them to their friends. I even had one referral client that showed up and her daughter said “Mom, she wore the shoes!”. My point is…there’s all sorts of ways to be memorable we just need to be creative. Thanks for sparking the motivation to create our own Buzz!

    • Leah Remillet says:

      That’s awesome Christy! I love the sequin tennies story! I can relate but with all my Mustard Yellow! It all falls under personal branding… which will be a future post and it can be a ton of fun!

  4. Lea Hartman says:

    So true, yet sometimes so hard. I like the part about getting involved in your community especially. Being a military wife and moving around a lot makes it hard to get established again in new locations – I always feel like just when I get things nailed down I’m back to starting from scratch. But community work would be a great creative outlet while also getting my name out there!

    • Leah Remillet says:

      I might be the only one in the world who thinks like this. But I’ve gotten excited when it was time to break into a new market! I can take every mistake I already made and wash my hands of them and start fresh with the hindsight to rock it better then I ever had before. And yes… community work is an awesome way to catapult you into right where you want to be!

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