Nine Steps Any Entrepreneur Can Take to Build Their Personal Reputation

Establishing a personal reputation can give business leaders a wider reach and influence in their industry.

Newsweek Expert Forum members share industry insights.
Photos courtesy of the individual members.

Business leaders invest heavily in their businesses, aiming to build professional brands that resonate with their target audiences. As social media is now a necessary component of conducting business, leaders can now leverage these platforms to construct a personal brand or reputation for themselves separate from their business entity.

Though setting oneself apart can be difficult, establishing a personal reputation can give a business leader more reach and influence in their industry. Below, the members of Newsweek Expert Forum share tips on the best way for a leader to build a personal reputation when their work is always top of mind for audiences.

1. Identify What You Excel At

The best way to build a personal reputation is to help solve the problems of your target audience by using a medium you are good at. Some people are good at writing, so they could solve the problems of their target audience by writing blog posts or writing a book. Some people are good presenters, so they can solve the problems of their target audience through videos. - Roshani Pandey, True Root Financial

2. Help Others Achieve Goals

In life, you get noticed by helping others achieve what they want to achieve. Helping your target audience get done what they need to get done builds your brand as someone who enables others' success, which then also enables your success. Our brains quickly build trust with those we see helping us. This ensures your relationship with them is long term, not just transactional and short term. - Chris Roebuck, Simply Success

3. Focus on Every Personal Interaction

I firmly believe that your personal reputation is built in every interaction you have with others, regardless of their position. Your personal reputation grows as you really listen to others, keep your promises and conduct yourself with integrity, no matter the situation. - Jeanne Cygnus, Cygnus Lactation Services LLC

4. Be Authentic and Have Range

Authenticity and range are important. If someone only has a few clipped comments and seems to be recycling their commentary, it comes across as robotic and unauthentic. When someone shares their wider beliefs and their rationale, this is a far more engaging, more human experience for the target audience. - James Larkin, Marlin Hawk Ltd

5. Be Honest

The golden rule of business applies here: Never overpromise and underdeliver. Just be honest with people! Do what you say you're going to do. If you find out that you can't do what you promised, own up to it as quickly as you possibly can so your client can adjust course. Sometimes that means you'll lose the opportunity, but you'll fail with your dignity intact. - Kim Estep, Branig Capital Markets

6. Align Your Personal and Professional Reputation

Ensure that your personal reputation aligns with your professional reputation. Identify your uniqueness and build on that. Be authentic by using your uniqueness to develop your own style of thought leadership. Ensure that your actions speak louder than words. Focus on exposure by networking efficiently, as word-of-mouth is still the strongest marketing tool. Ensure you work on the results of your Google search. - Vipp Jaswal, Interpersonal Intelligence Advisory

7. Build Up Your Presence on One Specific Platform

My advice is to pick a social platform and do everything you can to dominate it with your content. When it comes to advertising, you either pay for ads or you pay in the form of sales lost to your competitors. Every time a consumer sees you, they are not paying attention to your competitors. Make sure to be the best at what you do and help others along the way. - Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

8. Get Personal About Your Passions

To build a personal reputation in a professional way, consider sharing why you are passionate about your job and how it stems from a personal experience. Also, monitor your online presence by offering a glimpse into your personal life without disclosing too much. - Barbara Rubel, Griefwork Center, Inc.

9. Form Relationships Outside of the Business

Too often, work requirements dictate and influence personal relationships and commitments. The best way to develop relationships independent of work is to have relationships that are independent of business. Coaching, assisting a nonprofit and pursuing shared passions with others creates meaningful relationships unrelated to work-based and business-influenced relationships. - Jacob Kupietzky, HCT Executive Interim Management & Consulting

The Newsweek Expert Forum is an invitation-only network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.
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