Everyone has a reputation. Some of them are good, others are, well not quite so good. But in any business or endeavor it’s important to build and maintain a reputation that’s positive. You never know who you are going to run into or who you might work with in the future.
I was reminded of this lesson last week while out shopping with another ghost hunter from my team. We ran into a fellow ghost hunter from another group and got chatting. He proceeded to tell us about several ghost hunting groups he's worked with in the past. He also told us his reasons for leaving each group. All his reasons had to do with the people he worked with. Many of them were, in his words, difficult, unprofessional, or just plain nuts. And he named names.
His casual conversation was really his way of warning us to avoid certain groups and people. And though I believe in giving everyone a fair chance, if one of those individuals contacts our group, I’m going to proceed with caution. I value my reputation and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize it. If people respect you professionally it can open all kinds of doors. You certainly don’t want to go around closing doors just by being careless.
So here are some tips to help you build and maintain a good reputation.
- Treat everyone with respect. This should go without saying but some people forget that the person waiting on you today could be your boss tomorrow.
- Don’t act crazy, at least not in public. This is another no-brainer (or should be) but in a field with ghost, Bigfoot, and UFO enthusiasts running around there are plenty of odd individuals.
- Run your group (or site, or whatever) like a business. If someone e-mails you, take the time to respond. Return phone calls. Be one time. Keep your word. And take the time to invest in business cards. They aren’t expensive.
- Take initiative. Don’t sit around waiting for good things to happen. You have to go out and find opportunities. If people see you trying to get things done and working towards a goal, they’re going to think more highly of you.
- Proof read any correspondence. If your website, advertisements, e-mails, or letters look like a kindergartner wrote them, no one will take you seriously.
- Work on building relationships. Even after we investigate a site we try and keep in contact with the owners afterwards. I never want a client to feel like we abandoned them. And most of our investigations come from our clients referring us to other people so it has paid off well for us to keep in touch. Many of our previous clients have become friends and I love getting to work with them.
- Be friendly. No one wants to be around someone who is constantly negative or complaining.
- Be a hard worker. Enough said.
- Help other people out when you are able. Occasionally we take guests out on investigations and I love getting to teach them and work with them. The looks on their faces when we see or hear something strange is worth it every time.
- Be yourself. Nothing puts people off more than someone not acting genuine.
Feel free to add on with your own suggestions!