What’s the “RAP” on you and your business?

What do you mean you don’t know? YOU CREATED IT!

Just ask Mother Google. She is standing by with millions of info-bits about you and your business that you (or anyone) can have in a nanosecond. For free.

What is posted about you (not what you have posted about yourself) on Google, or on any social media outlet, is a reflection of how others perceive you. It’s also what others, who are looking for you or what you sell, may think of you once they find you. In short, it’s your “RAP.”

The old word is “rap sheet.” It was a police term for a summary of what was factual about your past – your record of events, mostly bad. It was a forerunner to Google.

I am creating and redefining a new “rap sheet” that encompasses both good and bad. It’s not just about “what was”; your 21st-century RAP sheet is about both “what was” and “what is.” 

Unlike the old rap sheet, the new RAP sheet can help you attract and grow IF you’re aware of your online presence and how that affects and impacts your sales and your business.

Here are the RAP elements:

• Reputation. Built slowly over time, your reputation defines your present situation and your next sale. It documents how you react, respond and recover from service calls and issues, and it cements your image both online and in customers’ thoughts. Your reputation is a reflection of your status in the business world, and a reality check from your customers’ perspective. 

• Attraction. Not the “law of attraction.” Rather, VALUE attraction. What value-based messages are you sending? What messages are your customers responding to? How are these messages creating a bigger, more responsive, more positive, more loyal customer base? Everything from daily tweets and blog posts to one-on-one customer interactions create your word-of-mouth and word-of-mouse attraction. 

ASK YOURSELF: What’s attractive about me and my business? Why would a customer follow me? What do I have to do to create more positive followers?

• Profit. Not your profit. THEIR profit. Make certain that all your customers know and understand how they win AFTER purchase, how they use and produce, and how they benefit and enjoy. Concentrating on customer value also has a positive internal effect. When customers are happy and feel valued, it creates a loyalty base of customers AND employees. 

Here are a few companies you can look at as examples of good, mixed and bad:

BAD RAP: Borders, BlackBerry, Yellow Pages

MIXED RAP: American Airlines, Goldman Sachs, J.C. Penney, Dish Network

GOOD RAP: Amazon, Zappos, Southwest Airlines, Bloomberg

It’s easy to see the RAP of others. It’s often way more difficult (and painful) to see your own.

Here’s a bit more on how you create your own RAP:

• Your corporate and personal philosophy guides your words, actions and deeds. Your philosophy is composed of the principles you live by. 

• Create a culture of camaraderie and support, communication and truthful information, service and response, and availability and helpfulness. Culture is your long-term essence. 
• Treat your people right, and they will treat your customers beyond your expectations.

Reputation, attraction and profit are THE three words that define your business. Now that you know the words, their definitions and their impact, it may be time to do a review, both internal and on Google. Identify your RAP, define it and make whatever positive changes are necessary to build it. 

Your RAP is out there. The question is: What are you doing about it?