The formula for influencing your reputation.

Illustration by Christian Leborg

Personal branding

Improve your work with the “Reputation first” formula

This is the formula for generating more meaning and more money from your creative work by heightening your professional reputation.
You may think that it is more important to focus on learning the details of your newly started job first. Or the activities to establish your new company seem more urgent. Why would you want to shape your personal brand first? You understand that what drives your brand affects your work. Or it affects how you design your business.
The “Reputation First” formula will ensure you have a better creative career. Your colleagues, customers and other stakeholders follow your work. Their opinion will affect your personal brand. 
Define your values
Your professional reputation directly affects the significance and sustainability of your work. But, sometimes your personality prevents you from doing good work. By choosing your values and evaluating your skills, you will establish your purpose.
To improve your reputation, you need to master something that is valuable but not so common. The tasks that colleagues or clients regularly you to do, are what you need to focus on. Know what you need to master to get the reputation you need.
Assess yourself and your position in the job market. If you are envisioning your future ideal work. Do these dreams involve a lifestyle with ingredients that are valuable to you? Focus on values that reflect your personality and not just on status symbols. 
To get a process for how to find and define values check out Passion. Purpose. Profit. by Fiona Killackey.
Envision your ideal work
Let’s say you made fanzines in your teens. It does not mean that you will become a journalist or do editorial design. It may mean that you may have editing skills.
Being competent in a unique area, you can demand better conditions for your work. Define the skills that solve problems or meet the needs of people you care about.
Once you’ve recognised that you have a rare skill that some people are willing to reward you for, your next focus is to become an expert in that area. When you become a master, you may demand better pay and more decent conditions. Find the area where you know that there is a need, and that you are one of the few who can meet.
A steady increase in your income and having better working conditions mean that you can have a more sustainable work. You will have enough money to maintain a normal life. This lifestyle does not compromise your health due to stress. It does not comprise unhealthy habits such as lack of sleep and poor diet.
Envision ideal future work and discover that in the future you are free to work exactly as you think is best. In this daydream, you will experience you can decide to eat delicious food and sleep until you wake up naturally.To learn how to set a goal and stick to a goal, read Think Small by Owain Service and Rory Gallagher.
Influence your image
Once you've improved your work habits, it's time to influence people. You can do this with your communication, your knowledge and your personality. Basically, you can influence others with your "image".
This is an "image" where you have values in common with the people who receive the results of your work. It's the image of you with a rare skill that someone wants, and it's the image of you having a personality that makes you a joy to work with. Communicate your solution by creating a presentation and reducing your presentation to one value word.
Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.
– George Bernhard Shaw
Double the number of people who “know” and “like” your personal brand by using the triggers of word of mouth. There are criteria for triggers you can use to influence people’s perceptions of you. For example, if you use triggers that are notable for ‘epidemic impact’.
The actions that trigger the word-of-mouth method are relevant, or your actions are sensible and repeatable. The triggers for word-of-mouth types include, among others, empathy and usefulness.
There are six steps you need to take to get people talking about you. 1: You have to gather insights, 2: get close to customers, and 3: create candidates for triggers. Then you may 4: test the talking points and 5: turn on the triggers for word-of-mouth to happen, and then 6: amplify them.
To learn more about how to influence people look up Influence by Warren Cass and Talk triggers by Baer/Lemin.
Show proof of your reputation
Establish personal proof that you are as good as they say you are. They have experience from being your employer or having worked with you on several projects.
You gather evidence for your personal brand using the skills, abilities and knowledge you have acquired to perform a specific job. You will gradually strengthen your reputation beyond what you know from your education. Reputation is created by the results of your hard work.
Share the impact of your social proof by communicating your social media follower count. Social proof is also the referrals you have received. The proof is the number of written guest blogs you’ve published and how long your career as a speaker has lasted.
By sharing your social proof, you strengthen your work’s reputation. It shows that your work is something you are a master at and that it has given you the lifestyle you have always dreamed of.
Connections will make your personal brand stronger. Connection to companies and people you have worked with and publications you have written for. You can get even higher recognition of your personal brand when people associate you with reputable people.
You may have appeared in the media on lists of notable people. Traditional or academic awards, as well as anything that shows recognition for being the best at something, will enhance your professional brand.
To know how to prove that you have a strong personal brand check out Platform by Cynthia Johnson.
Design a system to strengthen your reputation
This is the recipe for strengthening your personal brand before executing any other strategies done to climb the career ladder. With a good reputation, you have the power to approach and influence people. You influence people from your networks and partnerships. You do it by improvising effective communication through your words and actions.

The formula to influence your reputation first

  1. Define your values and personality, and assess your competence. What is your position in the industry?
  2. Envision your ideal work where you master those rare but valuable skills that people will reward you for.
  3. Influence your image through word of mouth. There are criteria for word of mouth, types of word of mouth and steps to create them.
  4. Show proof that your reputation delivers what you expected. Find and convey personal and social proof, and develop associations with people with good reputations and recognition from them.
  5. Design a system to strengthen your reputation. Demand more decent income and conditions from the patrons for your work.
What you communicate are your expertise, your values and your personality. You will improve your reputation by focusing on learning and mastering something. Your improved personal brand will make you gain the lifestyle you have only envisioned before and provide more meaning and more money.

Follow the formula to gain significant and sustainable work.

Books about professional reputation:

For your work to align with the values you want to live your life by:Killackey, Fiona. Passion Purpose Profit. Hardie Grant Books. 

How to achieve the goals you set for yourself:Service, Owain; Gallagher, Rory. Think Small: The Surprisingly Simple Ways to Reach Big Goals. 

How to raise your profile, manage your reputation and get noticed Cass, Warren. Influence. Wiley. 

Use word of mouth for the communication to be more consistent and compelling:Baer, Jay; Lemin, Daniel. Talk Triggers. Penguin Publishing Group. 

How you can change the world with your expertise, your reputation, and your influence. Your personal branding is built on four main factors: personal proof, social proof, recognition, and association.Johnson, Cynthia. Platform. Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed.