Amazon CEO & Founder Jeff Bezos once said “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
And: “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
Let’s be clear – in this digital day and age it’s sheer impossible to do business without having some form of digital presence. A positive online reputation is your most valuable asset in today’s digital world. So you’d better start working on it and establish yourself as someone that should be followed for your experience and industry knowledge. And at the same time being the dependable and trustworthy professional that should be remembered and called when a business opportunity arises.
Reading what Google might find on you could be a scary thought. But this is what other people like yourself do all the time. Before purchasing something, booking a trip or even meeting other business people. To some people the actual results might come as a shock. The information Google collects in a split second and presents on page 1 can be inaccurate, or at the least stale and not reflecting who your are today. Old pictures, with people you don’t want to be associated anymore. Or not telling the story of who you are today, with your ambitions and your contribution to society.
Telling the gospel of online reputation is something CoolBrands People started doing in the Netherlands back in 2014. With the experience of storytelling in print under their belt, the need for quality content was extended online. Entrepreneurs they met on their international travels said they needed trusted advisors to do this for them and train them in creating a sound online reputation. Act as their ‘reputation wing-man’, so to say.
Stories have always been the most powerful communication tool in the history of man. People simply love good stories (and jokes!). So what’s your story?
Here’s a great definition I read somewhere: “Your story is the personal branding narrative that affirms your authenticity, which in turn affirms your trustworthiness.”
That’s exactly what people in business want today. Anything can be published online, but is the online you the same as the offline you? Being consistent in writing and presenting yourself on video will confirm who you are and what you do in real life.
That’s what I’m doing currently at CoolBrands People. It’s a pleasure working with Anouk Pappers and Maarten Schafer, true online reputation pioneers, helping them to spread the online reputation gospel. And writing a story or two myself.