Good, Bad or Indifferent
By Bob Osgoodby
It has been said that person's reputation is the most important thing they have. Good, Bad or Indifferent, whatever it is, it will shape their life, as well as their future.
Many people who start a business fall into the "Indifferent" category, as they have not had time to build one. This is one reason people who are starting a business hire a spokesperson. It is normally someone who is well known, and respected in his or her field.
If you intend to do business on the web a good reputation is extremely important. The web is a difficult medium to pursue a business on if you are unknown. That is why it is important to have a web site that gives your prospective customers information about, not only your business, but you as well. A short paragraph or two with a picture will go a long way.
But that is just the beginning. You must also be known on the web as a person who is knowledgeable in your field. There are a number of ways to do this, and exposure is the key. How can you get your name in front of people as an expert.
Some go the "spam" route, which is a mistake. You might get to be well known, but most people have a dislike for this type of email. You just may be building a "bad" reputation, and wind up being someone they consciously avoid. I receive information from forged addresses, concerning recasting my home mortgage, on a daily basis. These are the last people I would do business with.
Writing articles is a good way to get known. Publishers have an ongoing need for fresh articles and normally welcome submissions. A search of the web will quickly find publications, which would be suitable for your submissions. You should also publish your articles at web sites that allow submission there. Many publishers frequent these sites looking for content for their publications. A good place to start is Rozey Gean's site at: http://www.marketing-seek.com where you can easily submit your article.
Publishing your own newsletter also helps. It doesn't have to be long or involved, but it should be published on a definite schedule. There is a lot of different thinking on how frequently it should be published. Some people think that a monthly schedule is a waste of time, as people may forget who you are between publications. Some feel that weekly is OK and others, myself included, feel that the more exposure you have the better.
Whatever frequency you select, it is imperative that it is published on a regular basis. If it is once a week, pick a day that it will be published and stick with it. If you are not going to publish in any given week, be sure to notify your subscribers in advance so they don't wonder what happened. Building a subscriber base is normally a slow process. You should have a sign-up process on your website.
You can use either a form for this or have them send you an email. A form is the preferred way as it is immediately identifiable as a subscription when it is received. If you don't use a form, then at least list your email address with subscribe in the subject so it doesn't get "trashed" with the rest of the spam you receive.
Use something that will immediately identify it as a submission like mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Subscribe - this way it will automatically insert the word "Subscribe" in the subject of the email.
Whatever route you take on your road to building your reputation, probably the most important thing to remember is that the memory of most folks is short, and you will be forgotten the "blink of an eye". There are thousands of new prospects becoming available everyday. If you hope to do business on the web, you must not only build a good reputation, but you must be visible to your prospects on an ongoing and regular basis.
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