Are You Part of the New Reputation Economy?
Imagine a world where banks take into account your online reputation alongside traditional credit ratings to determine your loan; where headhunters hire you based on the expertise you’ve demonstrated on online forums such as Quora; where your status from renting a house through Airbnb helps you become a trusted car renter on WhipCar; where your feedback on eBay can be used to get a head-start selling on Etsy; where traditional business cards are replaced by profiles of your digital trustworthiness, updated in real-time. Where reputation data becomes the window into how we behave, what motivates us, how our peers view us and ultimately whether we can or can’t be trusted.
Welcome to the reputation economy, where your online history becomes more powerful than your credit history.
The above excerpt is from the opening paragraphs of a September 2012 issue of Wired magazine.
Needless to say it gave me pause for thought on many levels.
To begin, it reminded me of one of the main reasons why I became a Leadership, Image and Branding Specialist. Of course twenty years ago, these three areas of personal development had a much different application in terms of how branding, for example, could impact your career. Back then, your reputation within your organization could mean the difference between getting that promotion or being passed over.
Today, our reputation’s influence reach is far more expansive and immediate in terms of defining us and ultimately impacting our daily lives. In other words, there is no place to hide in quiet obscurity just hoping to get by. We have to take the lead in managing our reputation before someone else does. Or as a more recent Forbes Magazine article put it “Your personal brand is all about who you are and what you want to be known for . . . You want to be in control of all those impressions.”
This speaks volumes as to the significance of the emerging reputation economy. It also issues a challenge to everyone to get in the game.
So how do you build and manage you’re online reputation?
To start,  you have to establish a clear personal mission statement. For what do you stand and what personal values do you bring that define you and enable you to have a positive impact on the lives of others?
 When you have established your mission or purpose, you then have to put into action your plan by becoming what the Forbes article referred to as being you’re “own PR guru” actively “managing your image.”
 Once people start to take notice, you then have to execute your plan by delivering on your personal brand’s promise.
It is only when these first three stages have been developed that you will be in a position to realize your maximum potential in the new reputation economy.
Over the coming weeks, with the launch of my new book The Future of You: Creating Your Enduring Brand,” I will delve into these as well as other areas of important focus to help you to position yourself for success through a series of blog posts.
In the meantime, what do you think when you hear the term “reputation economy?”