A good reputation can distinguish one professional from another, influence customers and colleagues, and ultimately affect job offers, promotions, growth, and profits. In a highly competitive environment, a person or business's reputation can unarguably help people make decisions. In this article, we explore why having a good reputation matters, the benefits of it, and actionable steps we can take to build or increase our own reputation.
Why is it important to build a good professional reputation?
Having a good professional reputation can influence various aspects of your career, such as job offers, promotions, team morale, and customer base. People with strong reputations tend to attract better people or opportunities, command a higher salary or selling price, attain leadership roles and influence, keep loyal customers who buy more products and services, gain new customers who value the company's standing, promote funding and better sales figures, lead to better market values, and lower capital costs. In contrast, a tarnished reputation can lead you into an abyss of distrust, low morale, and lost opportunities. Therefore, it's paramount to shape and manage your reputation continuously.
18 ways to improve your reputation
Building a positive reputation takes consistent effort, dedication, and commitment, but it's doable. Here are 18 actionable steps to help you build or improve your reputation as an individual or a business:
Be open and friendly Small actions such as welcoming and introducing yourself to new colleagues can lead to meaningful relationships. Engage with coworkers and customers in positive and creative ways, be generous with your resources, and work within your community to show you value it. These actions make people feel valued and respected and can result in better productivity and positivity.
Exhibit transparency Being truthful and honest can build trust and improve a business's or individual's reputation. Appropriately exercise full disclosure and refrain from concealing information and results from employees, customers, or investors. For example, if a repair shop owner ordered a specific part for a customer's car and it won't arrive for a week, openly sharing this information with the customer can build trust, despite the potential inconvenience.
Keep your promises Follow through on commitments and timelines, whether it means meeting deadlines, reviewing a colleague's work, or resolving a customer service issue. Both your reputation and credibility grow when you fulfill commitments, and you can become known for dependable, reliable, and trustworthy work.
Give more than what's expected Another way you can build a reputation is by doing more than what's expected or asked of you. People appreciate added effort and generosity; small gestures can impact your reputation by highlighting that you value your connection with customers. For example, if a client asks for a 3% savings discount, offering a 5% discount might lead to further business.
Have a strong character Showing concern and doing the right thing, even when it is difficult or unpopular, shows strong character and integrity, both as an individual and as a company. Reputations can improve by being ethical and not compromising morals.
Practice good body language Body language can convey a message without words, and people with strong reputations are mindful of their body language. Maintain eye contact and nod to show you are actively listening when others are talking. Effective body language can add strength to your verbal messages and directives, put others at ease, and convey confidence.
Cultivate a positive outlook Maintaining a positive outlook can go a long way towards building a good reputation. Businesses and leaders with excellent reputations typically keep a positive outlook and don't engage in gossip. Company morale can decrease if complaining is common, or your reputation might be put at risk if you degrade others.
Help others Helping other people and businesses meet their goals is a great way to build your reputation. Proving that you can work in a team environment and showing goodwill beyond your own interests can foster great relationships.
Prioritize accuracy Accuracy in business is important, and you can build a reputation by paying attention to the details. Spell names correctly, proofread documents and materials, and review calculations to make sure they are correct. Being known as someone with a strong sense of skill, precision, and efficiency can increase performance, productivity, and profits.
Be reliable and consistent Consistency and reliability are good traits to have in business, and both affect a reputation. Continuously meeting deadlines, producing valuable work, being helpful, and doing well in performance reviews help improve your status and reputation.
Take responsibility Be humble and admit mistakes when they happen. Possessing responsibility is an act of integrity and can increase your reputation more than the error can harm it.
Find solutions to problems Anticipating an issue and reducing its impact or resolving it completely is an important skill in business. Develop ideas for solutions and be willing to share them. Whether an idea solves the problem is not as important as maintaining your reputation and being considered a creative helper and problem solver.
Turn negative feedback into opportunities Negative feedback or reviews can become opportunities. With the right approach, criticism can convert into chances to learn and grow.
Welcome challenges Consider taking on additional projects or challenges, both in your personal and professional life. Taking risks might get you noticed, as it shows you can handle responsibility while supporting others. This might lead to more opportunities in the future and a stronger reputation.
Humanize yourself and your business Be accessible to your customers and coworkers by eliminating marketing phrases or promotional messages that can prevent your company from building an authentic reputation.
Present a powerful digital image Your online image can affect your reputation significantly. Maintaining consistency and presenting a professional image can show careful planning and thoughtful professionalism.
Participate and earn recognition in peer-reviewed award programs. As an individual or business, participating in peer-reviewed award programs can significantly boost your reputation. These programs showcase your work to other professionals in your industry, showcasing your skills and expertise to a wider audience.
As a business striving for excellence, it's essential to be recognized by reputable organizations. One such organization that recognizes top-notch businesses is 'Best in Category' Awards. Best in Category Awards honors outstanding businesses that have set themselves apart in their respective fields. By recognizing and awarding such businesses, Best in Category inspires other businesses to continuously strive for excellence and create a positive impact on their customers, employees, and communities.