Specializing is a highly effective way to build a reputation because you’re seen as the expert in a field. Specializing can also help you create a central focus when talking about your business and expertise to potential investors or clients.

A good number of industries make it easier to be a subject matter expert and subsequently build a business around it. For example, sectors such as accounting and financial planning are highly specialized, and customers expect you to know the rules of engagement in that field. But not all businesses and sectors are like that. Building your business and your reputation will be exponentially easier if you find your specific niche and passion — and go all in.

Start by focusing on only one or a few areas. Your business can grow from this point, and you are not pigeon-holing yourself; streamlining your actions and creating a clear path for your adventure to begin will make the journey that much smoother and help start your reputation on the right foot.


Stand out where possible.

Although specializing is important, it’s also critical that you don’t simply list what your business can do and expect consumers to respond. If you want to be noticed and your reputation to stand out, you must do something different than your competitors. This might seem like a common piece of advice, but it’s true. In real estate, for example, there are an incredible number of people and firms operating in the space, so if you want attention from potential clients, you need to work hard to differentiate yourself.

Another important aspect of standing out is knowing how and when to zag when others are zigging. For you to know this, study your competition. Knowing what others are doing can help you determine what sets your firm apart.


Be consistent, and deliver excellence in everything you do.

Consistency in your messaging and performance is key to building a positive reputation. Doing so can build trust as well as benefit your bottom line. The simplest way to create consistent messages is by sharing the same important message across all your channels. The more channels that all tell the same story, the more your reputation builds. This can be online (e.g., on LinkedIn, in newsletters or via emails) as well as offline (e.g., in advertising, company materials, etc.).

This step goes hand in hand with specialization. After finding your niche, you need to tell people about it. Share what you really excel at, and focus your messaging. Do not try to be everything to everyone; it will just weaken your overall message. Ask yourself what about your business will resonate most strongly with your target audience, and push the gas pedal.

For example, perhaps you could discuss a weakness or a question you have received from clients in the past. This shows that you are human and that not everything runs smoothly all the time; you solved those situations as best you could, and you learned something new that you can apply moving forward.

What’s important is showing that you have your clients’ best interests in mind. Customers appreciate honesty, and that transparency can build trust, which is what’s essential to building a positive reputation.