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Increasing your Credibility in 30 days: How to Brag without Bragging

Increasing your Credibility in 30 days: How to Brag without Bragging
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The meek have not inherited the earth and it appears they won’t anytime soon. The people who get ahead are the ones who know how to brag without coming across the wrong way. There is no one right way to do this but having enhanced credibility paves the way to becoming a successful braggart rather than a boor.

At its simplest, building credibility in the public realm involves creating credible content and spreading it around. The process of building a public profile is not an extremely difficult one but it does take a sustained, considered effort. Taking several well paced and relatively small steps over a 30 day period can yield handsome dividends.

1. Print out or ‘screen capture’ the first three pages of Google hits.
The internet and its search engines have become so ubiquitous that a reputation is becoming defined by what the first 3 pages of Yahoo! or Google search hits turns up. Forget about personal and professional references for making a first impression because the internet search gets done before that. Work on improving the hit list.

2. Review your scrapbook.
This involves going through the various past accomplishments, brochures, awards, correspondence, etc. and any sources of what could be considered public or quasi-public content and creating a pool to draw from for building the foundation.

3. Write an article that captures the essence of what you are doing that makes you great.
An easy type of article to write is one that incorporates a ten point list, targeting the key area or areas. Circulate the article or drafts while soliciting feedback from select friends, clients and partners.

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4. Submit one article to a general online publication.
Why an online publication? Simply, to become friendly to the internet search engines. Online publications are easier to get articles into, faster to get published, stick around a long time, are easily searched and provide valuable direct links to the company – all while improving the Google three page search hits profile.

5. Submit one article to a trade specific publication.
This is remarkably easy to do by simply reshaping the original article with relatively little effort and getting it into an online or print media format where there is no competition with paid writers. Many associations actively seek interesting contributions from their members, and also from non-members.

6. Submit one article to an offline publication.
Generally, this involves a need to call the editor and pitch the piece by way of sending a summary or sending a previous online one as a sample.

7. Find third party research and material that supports your views.
There is nothing wrong with promoting or citing other people’s materials where they reinforce your main message. In fact the opposite is usually true. A great way to enhance credibility is through association with others who are already perceived as credible with the audience you are trying to reach.

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8. Add any credible logos to your website or documents.
Logos from client companies, trade associations, major media that provided coverage, not-for-profit organizations and any other relevant ones should be included to enhance your public profile.

9. Post your profile on various social networking sites.
Many of these websites and networking systems have very high placements with google and other search engines. Include company and professional profiles, limiting jargon, in such a way that a wide audience can understand the information which should be well written and appear professional.

10. Get listed in media and professional directories.
Media people have a constant need to call on experts in various areas to get a quote they can use for whatever they are working on. You should become known as a person to go to for expertise in an area.

11. Send testimonials to credible people who will post it on their website.
These testimonials must be consistent with the core article and key messaging. They should go to people who would be good to associate with to add value and credibility.

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12. Nominate companies or people for awards.
Receiving an award or public acknowledgment is a great way to enhance credibility for the recipient. It also reflects well on whoever makes the nomination.
Nominating a company or individual for an award does not mean they should be automatically expecting to win. Fortunately, most know the difference between being nominated and winning so won’t start ordering champagne ahead of time.
Be prepared to show up at the event if your nominee wins!

13. Position yourself as an expert in your area.
Which area is not as important as being able to hold oneself out as a credible expert. To do so involves preparing a focused bio and creating an expert statement with some supporting materials. Media people habitually seek quotes from experts on whatever subject they are reporting on.

14. Ask for testimonials from credible people and companies.
Testimonial quotes must be consistent with the core article to reinforce the main message. To gain maximum impact, however, it is important to become involved with the best wherever possible. Incorporate written, audio or video testimonials and quotes into website, brochure, audio and video content.

15. Create framed thank you letters and send them to opinion leaders or admired companies.
Fan mail is usually appreciated by whomever receives it. Even when they are very busy while at the top of their game, they will often have time to read and respond to it. Companies often prominently place such letters in their front offices and hallways where they can remain for several years. What they rarely receive is a fan letter than comes in a frame and is ready for public display. You can call on these people later to ask them for favors.

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16. Post comments on trade-specific websites.
Much like in the case of testimonials, quality counts more than quantity. A couple key comments on a couple good sites will again boost search engine results. Use a real name to avoid it being one of the myriad anonymous bits that fill cyberspace.

A well-executed process for a person or small business intent on increasing credibility through an enhanced public profile will yield a sound profile in days rather than months or years. Initially, the process focuses on setting the foundation. Once a good foundation has been set, then it becomes time to engage the media. At the end of the process, one will have the respect that has been earned and not come across as boorish while bragging.

Peter Paul Roosen and Tatsuya Nakagawa are co-founders of Atomica Creative Group , a specialized strategic product marketing firm. Through leading edge insight and research, sound strategic planning and effective project management, Atomica helps companies achieve greater success in bringing new products to market and in improving their existing businesses. They have co-authored Overcoming Inventoritis now available.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

It is easy, in the onrush of life, to become a reactor – to respond to everything that comes up, the moment it comes up, and give it your undivided attention until the next thing comes up.

This is, of course, a recipe for madness. The feeling of loss of control over what you do and when is enough to drive you over the edge, and if that doesn’t get you, the wreckage of unfinished projects you leave in your wake will surely catch up with you.

Having an inbox and processing it in a systematic way can help you gain back some of that control. But once you’ve processed out your inbox and listed all the tasks you need to get cracking on, you still have to figure out what to do the very next instant. On which of those tasks will your time best be spent, and which ones can wait?

When we don’t set priorities, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. (And following the path of least resistance, as the late, great Utah Phillips reminded us, is what makes the river crooked!) That is, we’ll pick and sort through the things we need to do and work on the easiest ones – leaving the more difficult and less fun tasks for a “later” that, in many cases, never comes – or, worse, comes just before the action needs to be finished, throwing us into a whirlwind of activity, stress, and regret.

This is why setting priorities is so important.

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3 Effective Approaches to Set Priorities

There are three basic approaches to setting priorities, each of which probably suits different kinds of personalities. The first is for procrastinators, people who put off unpleasant tasks. The second is for people who thrive on accomplishment, who need a stream of small victories to get through the day. And the third is for the more analytic types, who need to know that they’re working on the objectively most important thing possible at this moment. In order, then, they are:

1. Eat a Frog

There’s an old saying to the effect that if you wake up in the morning and eat a live frog, you can go through the day knowing that the worst thing that can possibly happen to you that day has already passed. In other words, the day can only get better!

Popularized in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!, the idea here is that you tackle the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day, so you can move through the rest of the day knowing that the worst has already passed.

When you’ve got a fat old frog on your plate, you’ve really got to knuckle down. Another old saying says that when you’ve got to eat a frog, don’t spend too much time looking at it! It pays to keep this in mind if you’re the kind of person that procrastinates by “planning your attack” and “psyching yourself up” for half the day. Just open wide and chomp that frog, buddy! Otherwise, you’ll almost surely talk yourself out of doing anything at all.

2. Move Big Rocks

Maybe you’re not a procrastinator so much as a fiddler, someone who fills her or his time fussing over little tasks. You’re busy busy busy all the time, but somehow, nothing important ever seems to get done.

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You need the wisdom of the pickle jar. Take a pickle jar and fill it up with sand. Now try to put a handful of rocks in there. You can’t, right? There’s no room.

If it’s important to put the rocks in the jar, you’ve got to put the rocks in first. Fill the jar with rocks, now try pouring in some pebbles. See how they roll in and fill up the available space? Now throw in a couple handfuls of gravel. Again, it slides right into the cracks. Finally, pour in some sand.

For the metaphorically impaired, the pickle jar is all the time you have in a day. You can fill it up with meaningless little busy-work tasks, leaving no room for the big stuff, or you can do the big stuff first, then the smaller stuff, and finally fill in the spare moments with the useless stuff.

To put it into practice, sit down tonight before you go to bed and write down the three most important tasks you have to get done tomorrow. Don’t try to fit everything you need, or think you need, to do, just the three most important ones.

In the morning, take out your list and attack the first “Big Rock”. Work on it until it’s done or you can’t make any further progress. Then move on to the second, and then the third. Once you’ve finished them all, you can start in with the little stuff, knowing you’ve made good progress on all the big stuff. And if you don’t get to the little stuff? You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished three big things. At the end of the day, nobody’s ever wished they’d spent more time arranging their pencil drawer instead of writing their novel, or printing mailing labels instead of landing a big client.

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3. Covey Quadrants

If you just can’t relax unless you absolutely know you’re working on the most important thing you could be working on at every instant, Stephen Covey’s quadrant system as written in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change might be for you.

Covey suggests you divide a piece of paper into four sections, drawing a line across and a line from top to bottom. Into each of those quadrants, you put your tasks according to whether they are:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important and Not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Not Important and Not Urgent

    The quadrant III and IV stuff is where we get bogged down in the trivial: phone calls, interruptions, meetings (QIII) and busy work, shooting the breeze, and other time wasters (QIV). Although some of this stuff might have some social value, if it interferes with your ability to do the things that are important to you, they need to go.

    Quadrant I and II are the tasks that are important to us. QI are crises, impending deadlines, and other work that needs to be done right now or terrible things will happen. If you’re really on top of your time management, you can minimize Q1 tasks, but you can never eliminate them – a car accident, someone getting ill, a natural disaster, these things all demand immediate action and are rarely planned for.

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    You’d like to spend as much time as possible in Quadrant II, plugging away at tasks that are important with plenty of time to really get into them and do the best possible job. This is the stuff that the QIII and QIV stuff takes time away from, so after you’ve plotted out your tasks on the Covey quadrant grid, according to your own sense of what’s important and what isn’t, work as much as possible on items in Quadrant II (and Quadrant I tasks when they arise).

    Getting to Know You

    Spend some time trying each of these approaches on for size. It’s hard to say what might work best for any given person – what fits one like a glove will be too binding and restrictive for another, and too loose and unstructured for a third. You’ll find you also need to spend some time figuring out what makes something important to you – what goals are your actions intended to move you towards.

    In the end, setting priorities is an exercise in self-knowledge. You need to know what tasks you’ll treat as a pleasure and which ones like torture, what tasks lead to your objectives and which ones lead you astray or, at best, have you spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

    These three are the best-known and most time-tested strategies out there, but maybe you’ve got a different idea you’d like to share? Tell us how you set your priorities in the comments.

    More Tips for Effective Prioritization

    Featured photo credit: Mille Sanders via unsplash.com

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