Nurturing your reputation – and keeping it warm too!

Posted: 12th July 2016

Carole Renshaw: Award Winning Celebrant of Sincere MomentsDo you know what people are saying about you out of ear shot?

 Can you locate where those conversations are happening?

 Are you that bothered about it anyway?

 I hope you answered ‘Yes’ to every question!

I’ve been earning my own income for just over the last 10 years now. So I know how important our reputations are to our businesses and how they can massage growth for the long term, or diminish returns over night. So I’m rightly bothered about those conversations rumbling away about me in the background!

Early this year saw me reach a 5 year milestone in my second venture as a Civil Celebrant in my business Sincere Moments. That means that I write and deliver Funeral Services and Wedding Ceremonies where people don’t want a standard religious or ‘run of the mill’ experience.

In that time:

I’ve become an award winning business

  • where just under 47,000 people have seen me in action.
  • That means that I’ve delivered hundreds of ceremonies across Staffordshire and the UK
  • where 97% of all those bookings have always come from introductions and recommendations. I’ve never paid a penny to advertise and never will!

The holy grail of having people introduce and recommend you, is that they’re voluntarily spreading the word about you or your product, while you can carry on working ‘on’ your business. Quite simply, they’re your ‘Volunteer Army’ who create that ripple effect for you that widens your strategic reach.

But for them to do that, you need to have built a reputation that enhances their own standing point. We all like to talk about good things – but not only that, we like to be associated with them too. A buoyant reputation works those pockets for you.

So here’s how I built a reputation and brand that helped me to reach that 97% milestone in my bookings.

  •  Value the insightful question about how you work and perform. “What could I do more of or less than, to improve what I do?” Steer clear of the closed questions that just get you the standard response – be different. Be comfortable in triggering these kind of conversations.
  •  Be consistent in all your communications. Whether you’re corresponding with someone, communicating through social media or being present in someone’s company – be the person that you truly are. Whether people meet you in person or in a digital sense, they should feel that they’re getting the real ‘you’. When they feel that they know you, they’ll be much happier to recommend you.
  • Value peoples’ opinions of you. I use my Linkedin and Facebook pages to request and capture recommendations and reviews. I never put testimonials on my web site because they’re not current enough. The world moves at such a fast pace now and real time feedback has so much more currency than outdated comments.

So get confident in asking people to write reviews for you. But not only that, never ever forget to thank them. Not just at the point of them doing it but as time moves on too. Keep them warm and respect their loyalty to you.

At certain times of the year, I make a point of acknowledging my client base on different digital and social media platforms for all the ways they’ve helped me to grow my business. Your ‘fans’ will be talking about you when you have no idea that they’re doing it. But being out of ear shot shouldn’t mean out of mind.

In their own ways your clients will be creating news, stories and noise about your business through avenues that you simply can’t access. Never underestimate that potential and how it helps to grow your business.

So if you’re not bothered about what people are saying about your business, or if you’ve not managed to locate where those conversations are happening, then I’d urge you to take some time out to work ‘on’ your business rather than ‘in’ it.

Who in their right minds, wouldn’t want people shouting from the roof tops about their business?

Carole Renshaw

Civil Celebrant