Are You Living Up Or Down To Your Reputation?

by Steven Wagenheim 7 replies
I'm going to make you all think a little bit with this one.

When we start out on our road to earning a living online, we do so with a
clean slate. Nobody knows us from Adam. In some cases, especially if we
are in non IM niches, that may very well stay that way. I can't honestly
say I know any "big" names from other niches other than IM. I don't know
whether it's because this niche is more visible or because I'm just a hermit.....

Anyway, you start off with a clean slate. Let's say you get into the IM
make money niche and you start to come out with your own products or
maybe you're a big affiliate marketer, or copywriter or whatever. It doesn't
matter what you do specifically. What does matter is that regardless of what
you do, you're going to develop some kind of a reputation, not just overall,
but in individual places as well.

For example, the people here at this forum, at least the ones who are most
visible, have reputations...like it or not. I have one, Paul Myers does,
Big Mike does and the list goes on and on.

This is not about whether a reputation is earned or not. Sometimes we
get reputations because of the people we're associated with, good or bad.

But...once you've gotten that reputation, what are you doing about it?

If it's a good reputation, are you living up to it? For example, if you have a
reputation as somebody who helps others, do you go more out of your way
to do just that? Or do you try to ignore your reputation and hope (if it's
good) that it will continue, even though you're really not doing anything
to earn it? In other words, are you coasting?

If you are, this can be dangerous because reputations can turn very
quickly.

On the other side of the coin, if you have a bad reputation, such as one
who argues with everybody at the forum and is always grumpy, do you
live down to that reputation? Do you just get more ornery and angry,
figuring you have the reputation already so what the hell, or do you try to
turn it around?

When I first got here, I allowed myself to get into every argument that
you can imagine. I was constantly defensive and quite honestly, I was a
royal pain in the ass.

I decided one day that I had to try to turn that around. It wasn't easy.

Why?

I had a reputation. And let me tell you, once you get a reputation, it's hard
to get rid of it, especially if it's a bad one.

What most people don't understand is that YOUR reputation is almost
entirely within YOUR control. YOU decide who you are and how you act.

You can release crap products that people talk about as being crap
products...

Or you can release great products that people talk about as being great
products.

It's your choice. And as far as reputations by association...you can decide
who you hang out with. Nobody is putting a gun to your head to force you
to associate with marketers who have bad reps.

For those of you just starting out...the ones nobody knows from Adam...
you have the choice NOW to decide how YOU want to be thought of, not
only here but all over the Internet. Everything you do and don't do will
add to or subtract from that reputation.

Are you living up or down to YOUR reputation?

You don't have to answer that question here...but make sure you know the
answer for your own good.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #living #reputation
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  • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
    Steven

    I think there are two aspects of this question.

    Are you posting as yourself or as a persona?

    If you are being yourself then maybe you are not so conscious of your reputation, unless people are slagging you off left, right and centre.

    If you are a persona like the Rich Jerk then your persona has to be the Number 1 thought in all your marketing.

    I have one 'persona site' (nothing too outrageous) and here on the WF I am myself to a certain extent.

    I would love to do more fun persona stuff but ,after I jumped around in a Santa suit in front of a load of tourists in Demre (Santa's birthplace), my wife finally put her foot down

    Online it is much easier to act out your fantasies and establish a reputation as something you are not.

    I was thinking about this a lot today and I started wondering if Vegas Vince was really a 46 year old virgin who lived with his mum

    I think I'm tired and could get into trouble if I continue . . .

    Martin
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    • Profile picture of the author Keith Boisvert
      For example, if you have a
      reputation as somebody who helps others, do you go more out of your way
      to do just that? Or do you try to ignore your reputation and hope (if it's
      good) that it will continue, even though you're really not doing anything
      to earn it? In other words, are you coasting?
      To be honest I really don't worry about reputation. For example, I like to help others in my niche. I know deep down inside that I try hard every day to do so. I have not a clue if I have a reputation or not, but either way, I still help out, because I enjoy it.

      I figure so long as I continue to do what I am doing, and I am happy, then whatever happens happens. I wouldn't consider that coasting though.

      I suppose if I did have a good rep for example, I would probably not ignore it, but I certainly wouldn't stop what I am doing and hope it continues. Like I said, I would continue doing what I do because I like it. Simple.


      Keith
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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Bruno
        I try to treat everybody equal regardless of their status, I'll communicate with some of the world's top Internet markers the same way I would with any other marketer.

        They're only human and the reputation doesn't mean squat to me, unless it's a negative one.

        If you associate yourself with negative people online or off-line it will bring you down in some way or another.

        Sometimes people like to voice their opinions about how they truly feel about things without thought of how it will affect how people perceive them. Some people don't care and some people don't realize the're doing it.

        Some people have learned to be conscious about what they say and how it will be perceived by others and how will affect them.

        I think a good rule of thumb is just be yourself, and if your not a nice person, then you should try to convey respect regardless.

        If your a good person it will naturally shine through.

        Obviously everybody has a good day and a bad day and sometimes emotions can let loose but that's only natural. The important thing is that you realize it and try to make amends if it created an issue.


        Frank Bruno
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        • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
          How can you live up or down to something you have no idea about?

          How can you know what people think about you or expect of you? and should you care?

          It's something that is created and destroyed in the minds of other people. Sure you can purposely do things to bump up your image and you could easily find things to do to give people reason to think badly of you - but is it really something to focus on?

          I suppose if you're trying to make a name for yourself you might want to manipulate peoples views, but aren't most people just going about their business doing what they think is best for them given their situation and goals?

          Andy
          Signature

          nothing to see here.

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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
            How can you live up or down to something you have no idea about?
            Maybe I'm crazy, but I see posts here all the time from members raving
            about so and so marketer either that he's a great writer or he's honest or
            whatever. I also have seen plenty of posts about people like Danny Wall.

            Think he doesn't know he has a horrible reputation here?

            So I'm not sure I agree with the above statement. I think we are very much
            aware of our reputations, especially in a public forum such as this. Now, maybe
            we don't know what the whole Internet population thinks of us, but all I
            have to do is go to Google and look up my name and I can see if there
            is a lot of negative or positive press about me.

            It's not a definitive indicator by any means, but it does give us something
            to go off of.

            ** EDIT ** Let me add to that, you yourself have a great reputation here for helping members.
            Certainly you must know that.
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            • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
              It's ok - you're allowed to disagree, but I disagree back

              I have no idea what people here or anywhere else think of me. I have a good idea what people I've met think of me and what people I speak to online and call friends would think.

              But how could I ever know what 'the forum' thinks?

              I'm pretty sure that people I've helped would think good things, but I also know that there are going to be a lot of people who are looking for nothing but positive advice and comments, so I'm sure that many of my posts where I've been giving people a reality check or advising them to question the assumptions they've made about why they're failing would have made some people think less of me.

              So, when you sum it up - I have absolutely no idea of what the 'perception' is.

              Perception is a personal thing. Some people that you may think highly of, I may have reason to think differently about - and vice versa.

              I don't like to pretend I can read minds, so I'm not even going to try and guess what the perception of me is.

              Maybe your mindreading skills are more advanced and you can do it.

              Andy
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              nothing to see here.

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              • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

                It's ok - you're allowed to disagree, but I disagree back

                I have no idea what people here or anywhere else think of me. I have a good idea what people I've met think of me and what people I speak to online and call friends would think.

                But how could I ever know what 'the forum' thinks?

                I'm pretty sure that people I've helped would think good things, but I also know that there are going to be a lot of people who are looking for nothing but positive advice and comments, so I'm sure that many of my posts where I've been giving people a reality check or advising them to question the assumptions they've made about why they're failing would have made some people think less of me.

                So, when you sum it up - I have absolutely no idea of what the 'perception' is.

                Perception is a personal thing. Some people that you may think highly of, I may have reason to think differently about - and vice versa.

                I don't like to pretend I can read minds, so I'm not even going to try and guess what the perception of me is.

                Maybe your mindreading skills are more advanced and you can do it.

                Andy

                You know, this actually brings up an interesting question. Let's say you're
                right and we really don't know what people think of us.

                Where does the phrase "He has a bad reputation" come from? I mean you
                hear it all the time. Or, "His reputation precedes him."

                I mean certainly we perceive people as having good or bad reputations.

                When Richard Nixon was caught in the Watergate scandal, he certainly
                had a bad reputation after that, in spite of what good he did while
                President.

                Now, as to whether or not they themselves knew how others perceived
                them, well, I'd think Nixon would have had to be pretty naive to think
                that more than a handful of people thought positively about him. But, I
                could be wrong. Some people are so egotistical they probably believe that
                nothing they do will give them a bad rep.

                It is an interesting topic.

                Ultimately, you are right about one thing. All we can do is do our best and
                be ourselves and whatever people want to think they'll think. Of course
                I am sure there are those of us who think having a negative rep is a good
                thing. Just look at all the shock jocks and other characters in this world
                we live in. I think Howard Stern is a total jerk but some people love him.

                One man's devil is another man's angel.
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                • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
                  I can see that on a professional level, reputation can be important.

                  But outside of that, it's none of my business what anyone else thinks of me.

                  And in the context of this forum, there's a danger of confusing reputation with ego.

                  Frank
                  Signature
                  I've just put Richard Branson's number on speed-dial. I call it my "Get-Rich-Quick" scheme.

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                  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
                    Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

                    I can see that on a professional level, reputation can be important.

                    But outside of that, it's none of my business what anyone else thinks of me.

                    And in the context of this forum, there's a danger of confusing reputation with ego.

                    Frank
                    Amen to that.
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                    nothing to see here.

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                    • Profile picture of the author jhongren
                      Ultimately, you are right about one thing. All we can do is do our best and
                      be ourselves and whatever people want to think they'll think.
                      In fact, being ourselves could be the hardest because do we really know ourselves.

                      Most people are living in other people's shadows, trying very hard to live up to someone's esle expectation.

                      It is not easy to be ourselves as it takes a lot of self awareness and mental discipline.

                      @Steven: I have been reading your posts alot and I feel you are someone who is knowledgeable and think deeply. I don't think this is easy. Do you spend quiet times on your own to calm your mind? Like some yoga perhaps.

                      Cheers,
                      John
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