Every person has their own individual reputation. As much as we‘d like not to care what other people think of us, in the world of business this is crucial. This doesn’t mean bending over backwards to please everybody, but rather letting our work and professional behavior speak for themselves.

Think of your reputation as your personal brand. You’ve most likely heard that there are many brands out there that are “worth billions”. And this doesn’t mean that the company itself is worth billions, but the actual brand – because it represents the company’s history, values, and the quality of their products and/or services.

So, you need to keep in mind that you are your own personal brand, wherever you may go. Be it at the grocery store, the gas station, or a big business expo. Leaving a good impression on each person that you get to interact with is what will set you up not only to be recommended, but to be recognized as trustworthy and reliable. Sometimes you’ll be amazed at how small the world can actually be and how much everything is connected.

Being a person of your word is the foundation of your reputation, but it’s not everything. The way you interact with your clients and vendors shows the world what kind of person you are.  Here are 5 key traits you can stick to as a freelancer, if you want to start building and improving your reputation amongst other people and companies:

  1. Always show up on time for meetings, if not earlier;
  2. Always be properly prepared for what you’re going to be doing;
  3. Dedicate yourself to serving, not taking;
  4. Aim to understand other people, instead of judging them;
  5. Always meet your deadlines, whatever it takes.

If you do have to breach a deadline – because life is unpredictable and everything can happen – make sure to let the other party know as soon as you are aware that you won’t be able to meet it.

Another thing you should do is spending a minute or two to think after each interaction, introspecting on how it went. Did you have a positive interaction with the other person, or was it rather unpleasant? If it wasn’t quite so positive, you should think on how to set things straight with the other person as soon as you can. And again – this doesn’t mean you accepting or submitting to their opinion, but rather reaching an agreement with them regarding the things you spoke about.

This way you’ll not only gain their respect, but you’ll also protect your personal brand in the long run.

How did your interactions with other people go today?