In a previous article, I discussed how to get people to trust you. In this article, I will discuss the next step in building an online presence. It now comes down to what you decide to do with the trust you have worked hard to gain. It is at this point in time a manipulator would flip the coin and start working toward their true intentions. I am however not trying to educate manipulators, although I certainly could. There is a fine line between manipulating a person’s trust and respecting it, but that is not for this article.
The usage of gained trust comes down to your self-image. This does in many ways tie in with gaining the trust of the people around you but we will now look more in-depth at what you yourself are looking to achieve. The first question you must ask yourself is what sort of reputation are you looking to gain? Do you want to be a go-to person who anyone can talk to, or are you looking to be the designer everyone goes to? Are you the person that can look after someone’s blog for 2 months when they are on vacation or the person that can administrate a forum without much difficulty?
When you have decided what you want your self-image to be, you must then decide how you are going to achieve this. In this article I will cover 3 major directions of self-image. There is not a step-by-step guide for this, as there is no step-by-step guide to life. There is however some basic pointers and guides you ought to hold yourself within.
1. The Salesman
As a salesman you want to be the trader. The person that people know supplies quality goods, virtual or otherwise. So how do you establish this? Only commit to trades or exchanges that you know you can complete in a timely manner and to a high quality. Set yourself a timeframe that you know is going to work for you. Avoid getting involved in business with people you know have a dodgy past, a history of not fulfilling their promises or are known for low quality work. Even if you yourself keep your end of the deal, it is never good for your reputation for your name to be associated with someone who has a poor reputation.
2. The Friend
If you are looking to be the go to person, that people trust and are able to talk to about anything, then the self-image of a friend is what you are seeking. This is something that takes time to achieve, as you cannot force yourself upon people. Work to gain trust, show that you are who you say you are and want to be. So what is a good friend? That is not a question I myself can answer. You need to decide yourself what your own definition of friendship is, and work to achieving this and being this person.
3. The Manager
The manager is the person who can take charge and lead. This point is what many people miss when it comes to running a successful forum. If you are not respected as a manager, as a person who truly knows how to lead and run things successfully, you will have a hard time creating a forum that will succeed. So how do you create the image of a manager? Show yourself as a strong, decisive character that still respects the people around you. Make good decisions, work as a staff member on smaller forums, show that you can handle the power you are given and work your way through the ranks. Be levelheaded, balanced, fair and assertive.
Overall, self-image is not as black and white as this article may make it out to be. It comes down to deciding whom you want to be, just as with the trust. It is important to remember that you cannot be someone you are not, so try to keep as close to your own self as possible. But maybe get rid of some of the negatives. Attempting to gain a strong reputation online can be a good way of working with yourself in real life. Define who you want to be and be it.