Applied Reputation – Part 1

Applied Reputation – Part 1

applied-reputationI spend a great deal of my time helping others develop their own sense of personal identity. Most of us find it very simple to recognize a “celebrity” or a “household name,” but a lot of folks fail to realize that we ourselves are a brand as well.

Then again, this is the two-thousand-teens and a whole bunch of you already know that. Half of you are rockin’ 500+ on your LinkedIn profile and feel pretty special with all those Twitter followers. Brand is the biznass and ya’ll got it goin’ on. But how many of us are intentionally applying our reputations?

Applied reputation is using your personal brand on purpose.

It’s harder than it looks! I’m working on a “sizzle reel” for folks that might want to hire your old pal Pink to come and speak on their college or corporate campuses. Doing so requires that I write a script about what makes me so awesome, and while you’d think that somebody with my incredible intellect, charm and stunning good-looks would find it easy to go on for days about his incredible self… alas, “what makes you so special” can be a surprisingly difficult question to answer. ;-)

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I am going to share several “self branding” tips here over the coming weeks as this project comes together, but I’ll start with these two that have really helped me get the process started.

  1. Brand involves something that others think about us. While we may be different things to many different people, we all have a few friends around that like us the most. Those are the folks we should be talking to about what makes us unique. This can be as simple as having them give you feedback on your LinkedIn profile or resume, or it might come out during a long-form conversation. Either way, we all stand to go further, faster, with a little help from our friends. In fact, it was my pal Nate Kalaf of Tall Palms Creative that inspired this very post!

  2. Record the conversation! While interviewing a local business owner for an article that will be published in the next edition of Angling Trade Magazine, I recorded the conversation to make sure I didn’t miss any of his finer points. What happened next really surprised me. There were a few comments made just in passing during the interview that I had completely forgotten about, and one of them ended up becoming the title of the article itself.

I was so surprised by the phenomenon  I used the technique again during a consultation with a client. In 90 minutes of conversation between 3 people, so many little details were covered I would never have remembered them all, even though I was taking notes. The recording shed a whole new light on the opportunities bouncing around for all of us. I even went so far as to have it transcribed and then highlighted the most important themes throughout. The point here isn’t to record every conversation you have from now on, but if you are seeking the opinions of your friends about your personal brand, take the opportunity to record their comments. You might just stumble across a key statement or three that they make about you, or even that you make about yourself. Pretty much all modern smart phones come equipped with a voice recorder these days, and if yours doesn’t have one, the app store of your choice probably has one for free.

There’s more where these tips came from so stay tuned, but the main point to take away today is that defining ourselves can be more challenging than we expect. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help when you need it, and consider recording the conversation to capture the finer points.

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  1. I started recording conversations to turn client content into blog posts and found it was so effective I started doing it for meetings.

    It’s been incredibly helpful, especially in the discovery phase! Whenever i’m confused about something brought up in a meeting, I can usually trace it back to a few times someone has contradicted themselves throughout the meeting. But i would have never caught that if I didn’t go back and listen to it.

    Looking forward to the next posts in the series!

  2. Thanks man! I can’t believe that I was 15 years into my career before I realized that recording a conversation can make a huge difference.

    In fact, the book I’m working on is based heavily on lectures that I have recorded as well. We all speak so differently than we write, even if we enjoy the writing process! It’s just amazing how much more content we produce verbally in a short period of time.

    Case in point… that 90 minute meeting I mentioned above? It clocked in at 13,000 words. An average bestselling business book runs about 70,000 words. So in 90 minutes of talking things out, you might well be 20% of the way to the New York Times Best Seller list. ;-)

    Thanks for your your comment, my friend!

  3. Love the concept, Pinky!

    You know me. I can’t help but offer some unsolicited editorial opinion. So I was thinking…

    The Venn diagram might be more representational of the issue if you made the circles disproportionate and even more overlapped. Even in the largest, well-funded companies, there are very few people focused on managing identity while there are a ton of people assessing reputation. As individuals this gets even more challenging.

    And then, of course, brand is always out of our control ;)

    Looking forward to more!

    • Wise words indeed, my friend! I think you’re absolutely right. Do I have to pay royalties on the modified version or can I just give you credit for being a genius whenever I use the new model?

      10 points to Gryffindor!


  1. Applied Reputation - Part 2 - Pinky Gonzales - [...] last week’s blog post, I began a three part series on how to apply your reputation. Applied reputation is …

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