Build a reputation of serving, trust, and excellence.
With droves of people jumping into social media, many are looking for ways to leverage this medium to actually improve their sales, marketing impact, and overall internet awareness. While these tools will help people find you online and discover your products and services, it’s important to realize there are some fundamental behaviors that drive long-term value in your network and for people you interact with on a daily basis.
First, build a reputation for helping and serving others. My primary goal is to serve others. I firmly believe that by serving others, personal and professional growth will follow. Of course, you have to manage this into your schedule, but think of all the people you interact with on a daily basis who ask for insight, advice or outright technical help. In my case, I have always been known for my knowledge of applications, technology, etc. I am often sought out for expertise and gladly provide it when I can. At the end of our lives God will ask us what we have done with his gifts and I plan to say that I shared this area of strength. It also helps that I enjoy teaching too.
Second, be someone people can trust. Trustworthiness has many different meanings. In professional relationships this means keeping your word, following through on a commitment, and meeting expectations. In order to be successful you must manage expectations with those you work with and be honest when you won’t be able to deliver. It’s always better to be upfront and honest than to completely under deliver or under perform. The same can be said for personal relationships, but communication skills become that much more important. Here are some great books on relationship building by Gary Chapman.
Lastly, strive for excellence. If you are able to prioritize and pick those few actions that deliver the most value, then you can aim for stellar performance. When you recognize that you can make a significant impact to a program or project, you will find it will keep you up at night. This is when you must take action. I think back to when I was working on the Dell’s Campus ArchitectureTMprogram as the higher education marketing manager. One night I couldn’t sleep as I was trying to wrap my head around building a go to market message for Higher Education that encapsulated our complete capabilities. I hopped out of bed and started working on a manifesto. This was very similar to what Jerry McGuire experienced when writing “the memo”. What started as an idea turned into an eighteen page positioning document that we handed over to Hill Holiday to craft a set of collateral and deliverables. This messaging became very critical in how we described Dell’s value proposition in higher education.
It is in these moments that you build confidence and truly feel you have delivered. Think back to those moments and how you felt receiving that recognition or award. Now if you are saying to yourself, well I can’t really think of those, then you may be too hard on yourself. If you are just starting out a new career look for projects that nobody else wants to take. I do not recall the author but I always think about this phrase “Successful people do what unsuccessful people don’t want to”. There are all sorts of challenges in business today or unmet needs in the market. Seize your opportunity to build your personal brand and do something about it.
Do all three of these things in stride and demand for your talent, services, products and relationship will grow. After all is said and done, people do business with people. If they have a good experience they will mention you to others they know. For example, I just had a great experience at a new local frozen yogurt shop called Spoonfull. So much so that I shared that experience with others in hopes they would visit this new entrepreneur’s establishment. The same goes for individuals. If people value the results you drive, they will tell others.
Here’s your call to action: If you know someone who is doing an outstanding job, first tell them so. Moreover, recommend them or their services to three people you know. Put your money where your mouth is and recommend them on LinkedIn.com so it can become part of their personal brand online as well.