Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog


Your reputation can make or break a sale.

I was on one of my favorite forums the other day (The Warrior Forum), when I happened to see an interesting looking link in the signature of a post. I clicked the link and looked at the site. It did, indeed, look interesting, but I didn't take any action because I wasn't sure if it was of real value or not.

So I closed the browser window that I'd opened the link in, and looked back at the post. That's when I realized whose signature it was: it was the signature of a top poster and supporter of the forum. "Oh!" I said, realizing whose site I had just been looking at, "it's their site." I immediately clicked back on the signature link and did a revisit of the site.

That's when the importance of a marketer's reputation struck me. Based on the merits of the site alone, I didn't trust it enough to take any action, but once I realized that the site belonged to a long-standing member and top poster of the forum, I changed my mind.

My experience helps to illustrate why it's so important that you develop a good reputation, whatever niche or circle you market to. My brief experience shows that having a good reputation can make or break a sale or action.

So when promoting your products and services, don't forget to take measures to establish yourself as a trusted authority. Be active in the popular forums of your niche, and write articles that will get spread around the web. Have a blog where you post regularly to help people see that you're always giving away information about your subject matter, and include your picture so that people can see you as a "real" person and learn to trust you.

Yes, in a world where the headlines are full of announcements of dishonest business practices and scandals, your reputation is very important.

Related Internet Marketing Q&A

Comments (57) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Thanks. it’s really good.

    p.s. can be better even if is the best… :)

  2. Thanks Jon for another great article emphasizing the importance of trust in Internet marketing!

  3. Nothing else is greater than this one!!! Your point us really powerful. Thanks.

  4. Hi Jon,

    At 52 years young, I am a late starter when it comes to the internet. I have purchased many e-books in my quest for what I am looking for. There have been some disappointments along the way with the content promised or lack of or the same just rehashed!! I have a folder in my documents titled “Jonathan Ledger Internet Genius” Why? because the Genius refers to the Honest Approach and Down Right Decent Content that I recieve from you each time. You are a Light in a Place that can be a Dark. Thank You.

  5. This is my third attempt. I guess i’d better not use the Tab to move forward.

    It takes a long time to build a reputation – sometimes years. It can be smashed in minutes.

  6. you can’t satisfy every one but if you try your best it will work out for the good in the end,at this point you’r top notch with me!!

  7. Your point is very humble and very powerful. If someone loses their reputation with me once it is usually gone forever. My life and business experience have had me lose my reputation with some people. Sometimes I was able to get it back by contacting them if they would talk to and email me and most of the time I was able to make it right again. Some people are so furious that they will NOT give you a second chance so like the post says, guard your reputation very, very carefully. Forgive yourself and move on if you make a mistake with your reputation with someone and make yourself a personal promise to be honest and smart and not make the same reputation mistake again.

  8. I will read any message you send to me. Thank you

  9. Jon,

    Great post. I have excerpted a part of it (with full attribution and a link to for todays Daily Marketing Ace tip.

    Thanks for the good work you do.


  10. Ditosha:

    I’m not talking about being well known or making a lot of money, I’m talking about having a reputation for being honest and an expert in your niche.

  11. Yes, absolutely right. this is one of the central points in my sixth so book Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First: that honest, ethical approaches to business will drive success, but only if you harness the tools to let other people realize it.

    And the strategies you suggest, such as discussion groups, have been part of my advice to clients since at least 1991 (when I wrote about computer BBSs in the long-out-of-print Marketing Without Megabucks: How to Sell Anything on a Shoestring).

    In fact, helping others demonstrate publicly that they are trusted is one of the motivations I had in setting up the Business Ethics Pledge, which now has signers in over 30 countries in a movement to make future Enrons as unthinkable a few years from now as slavery is today

  12. Hi Jonathon,
    I totally agree with your opion of the importance of Reputation. The problem that beginners face is that they have no reputation. I am doing my utmost to do everything correctly to ensure I build a good reputation online. A good game played slow it seems.

  13. I totally agree Jon. That is why websites such as are so great. They allow you to take part in a community and gain a reputation for providing quality information. Ebay works the same way, the higher your good feedback; the more people trust you and buy from you.


  14. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression.

  15. Well i hate to be the odd man out but i dont think thats totally true. Just because someone has been online and has a presence doesnt make them honest. Money controls everything around us. Thats why were are all here. You can judge a man or womans character by how long or how much money they have made online. Question is how did they make it? Dishonestly or honest. Who knows

  16. Ditto! I totally agree with what you said on reputation.

    It takes a lifetime to build one, but only a second to destroy it.

    Cherish it and protect it with all that you’ve got.

    Ciao for now.

    - Melvin Ng

  17. Hey Jon,

    great article!

    This article will make Internet marketing World full of good guys! :)

    I’ve always take time and open up your mails to read. Thanks for over-delivering.

    Loyal customer and friend,

  18. Great post with many helpful insights and comments. Here’s my contribution for the buyer’s perspective. . . do your homework.
    Search by name, product, blog and company on Google for a complete online profile. The more results, the better. [Jon, you had 25,900 today.] Head on over to LinkedIn to check out career profiles. Read the marketer’s blogs and ezines for a more personal introduction. After you’re familiar with the person behind the product, then go back and reread the sales letters. When you find a marketer you like, stick with them, buy their products and keep working their system. Tell them about your fantastic results and they’ll help promote you and your products!
    Barbara Rozgonyi, Wired PR Works

  19. Jon, I’ll keep it simple, “your word is your bond,
    lie, cheat or steal, will ruin your reputation and
    your bond is worthless”,!!!!

  20. You can always be reputable in some other ways but i guess to you Jon your ethics is what i like most..

  21. Yes, that makes 100% sense, and if at the other end of that link there’s something interesting then it’s even better :)

  22. Jon,

    It’s a long road to establish myself fully as an authority with products and info that support easy health and wellness.

    I “recognize” you because you helped me with sending me, unsolicited, the 50 ways to draw attention to my site. Also after having purchased one of your $7 ebooks, I know you are a “real” guy (over and beyond sharing a name with my delightful grandson!).

    So now, when I see your name, you are a “known” entity!

    Be well, Britt

  23. I agree with you we need to post interesting contents for our readers regularly.

  24. Once Again Jonathan,
    You are right on!

  25. Hi Jonathan – You are so right. During my year-long trek, I had to develop a sense of trust and/or a sense of mistrust. As time has gone pm. I think I have done a good job of sifting out those marketers that I have developed a good sense of. It is amazing how one’s personality can come through on those e-mails. I developed a trust in you right away because your web site had so much information and help for newbies. I was hungry for information and very few were willing to get it out there. Good work!!

  26. Reputation and brand are especially important in a marketplace where buyers have many, many choices and it is difficult to determine what has value. In such an environment, trust is critical.

    If a buyer is deciding between 2 ebooks on the same topic, and one is offered by a recognized expert with a good reputation, while the other is generic, the buyer is likely to pay many times more for the branded ebook. The irony is that the content may be exactly the same! That’s why I believe it is important to always brand any private label content that you sell.


  27. Hey Jon,

    I have to agree with you on this post. Most of the products released today don’t talk about the importance of establishing your reputation. It all falls under the guise of “name branding”. The more you establish yourself as a recognized expert in your field the more money you will make. That only comes from providing quality and useful information.

    In my early days, I would send promotion after promotion to my lists and as a result they stopped reading my emails. It was a tough lesson to learn but one that I cherish to this day!

    Thanks for bringing this topic up for discussion!

    Have a great day!


  28. I think it is so important I actually wrote an entire eBook on the subject. Another name for reputation is branding….or building a brand name.

    The value of your brand is everything to creating wealth.


  29. I liked your article on knowing the reputation of the person who writes the article and only posting information on sites you knoiw to be reputable thank you very much for your article

  30. Hi Jon
    You are so right on this, this is a fundamental business principles that every internet marketer should pay attention too if they want to succeed in business. One of my favorite quotes on reputation is by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character”.

    Congratulation on improving IAW.2, another great products from you, and a must have for serious article marketer and webmaster.

    Regards, Anteek

  31. That’s a good point Marcia: the indirect benefits you gain from a good reputation includes the fact that more people want to align themselves with you for JVs, cross promotions, as affiliates, etc.

    Plus you gain the free exposure of good word of mouth advertising, which according to a study I heard on the radio last week accounts for about $50 billion per year in just the U.S. market alone.

  32. Hi Jon,

    I love to see articles that stress the importance of reputation. Thanks for writing it. I totally agree with your statement, “having a good reputation can make or break a sale or action.” My belief is that your reputation – good or bad – determines what opportunities come your way, and that your reputation is enhanced or diminished by everyday behavior.

    Marcia Hall
    Founder of Reputation COUNTS

  33. Hi Jon,

    Frankly speaking, I read, I mean peruse every email you send after my purchase of IAW. I then realized that it’s very rare finding links in your email selling this and that. So, in my opinion, you’re the most reputable marketer I ever saw.

    You’re absolutely right about building reputation in the net. What scared me is that many marketers are still considered to be reputable eventhough they send nothing but their sales pitch. No information whatsoever.

    I’m afraid I have to say that most people were just sucked.

  34. Reputation has always been important, whether it’s on the internet or not. I don’t have the latest figures as this type of data usually lags several years as it is based on revenue, and thus is subject to corporate tax returns. The Worldwide Revenues of Public Relations firms for 2001 was $4,310,596,538 and that’s not chump change.

    Everyone has a reputation and in some cases a purposely manufactured negative reputation is cultivated, i.e. the bad guy or devil may care image. Each different image/reputation will appeal to a certain segment of society and it therefore is simply a decision of the individual or corporation as what they wish to achieve.

    The internet however poses a whole new set of bedevilling questions; how do I know you are you and not someone posing as you? How do I know criticism of a company or you is from a customer and not an activist? The list is endless and unfortunately, there is no easy answer and no perfect solution to establish and protect reputations of organizations or individuals on the internet. The internet is anonymous and universal – qualities that inhibit identity and trust.

    As the internet becomes more and more the center of communication, risks to reputation are greater, even for well established individuals and organizations. Hence, there is a hunt for software code that measures reputation reliably, but unfortunately, I think the search is doomed. Reliability cannot overcome human behaviour. Humans defeat any process when it is in their interest to do so. As a result, reputation systems are never perfect: They work more or less well, so Jon it’s up to someone like you to come up with some software that works.

  35. Vernon,

    The IAW help videos are all here:

    IAW support videos

  36. Right on Jon!
    I have been disappointed in so many of the products that have been misrepresented with hype, and I hate to ask for refunds. It is hard to know who to trust these days.

    I am waiting for the help videos on Instant Article Wizard so I can learn how to use the program properly.

    Vernon Sandel

  37. Hey Jon,
    Thanks for spreading the word. Trust and reputation have real value that translates directly into increased sales and profits for those enlightened businesses that get your point.

    Paul Willliams
    CEO of iKarma
    Building Your Reputation

  38. Hi Jonathan,
    2nd email just received an email from you subject line,
    Article buider, then realised it was from thecoolestguyontheplanet, yours truly, Jonathon Leger,
    keep up the good work, you have been a God Send to one and all. david.hxx,

  39. Hi Jonathon, nearly had the same problem when i got an email from article whatever, then i realised it was sent by you just before i blocked it,
    Keep up the good work Jonathon you have been a god send to the world wide web, you must surely be the coolestguyontheinternet,
    many thanks, david.hxx.

  40. Hey Jon,

    I can’t tell you how true this is. I receive many emails from different marketers but most fall short in the relationship building so I second guess them. Anytime you send any product info, I always read the copy to see I can get some use out of the product. You and a few others have earned that trust with me by providing useful, QUALITY, information. Great article! Great Point!

  41. Hi Jon,

    yes, you’re so right. Especially here in Germany the reputation is worth so much. If you are a expert in your field you can request every price—and you will be paid it.

    Kind regards
    UHI from Germany

  42. Jon, as far as I am concerned you are one of people on the net who has a top reputation. Over the last couple of years I have bought several of your products. Your software is always good and very useful and what you write is to the point and well balanced. I have often bought products elsewhere which promised more then they delivered. My experience in the after sales has often not been very positive. These people have lost my business regardless of what they sell or say, forever. So yes, reputation does count and how!

  43. I agree 100% with you john on this one. Building up your reputation is highly important and any niche if you plan on making a large amount of cash from it.


    Chad Cook

  44. Quite good. Continue in the same way.

  45. I absolutely agree Jon.

    Reputation is especially important in this ultra competitive field.

    If a marketer does a blatant, obviously un-informed promotion of a product even once, he’ll land up on this imaginary black list in our minds.

  46. The internet makes news travel fast.

    To be sustainable for the long term, it is important to provide great product and excellent service, no two ways about it.

    Therefore, the answer would be a strong yes for keeping up a good reputation.

  47. Jonathon,
    I totally agree. It’s not the sales copy so much as the rep. Only problem is when you’re first establishing that rep, it’s hard for anyone to want to buy or accept what you say. So, that’s when I believe we have to resort to the sales copy to help us through that time.


  48. Thanks for all your comments, guys, but please keep your links to the URI field, as I don’t allow self-promotional links in the comments. Thanks!

  49. I agree totally – in fact I wrote an article on this very topic about the reasons for creating an internet profile – I think this is the real barrier for a lot of people. They are afraid to stand out or set themselves up as an authority. This precludes them from writing artilces, creating products or producing viral reports. I know this was a barrier for me when I first started Internet Marketing. I have just now produced my first $7 e-book: Squidoo Marketing Strategies

  50. Hi Jon,
    I am not sure of reputation role on marketing scene. Many sales/purchases on net are made on spur of the moment, but there exist many alternative retail outlets of product of interest, so one has a choice of toggling association or attachment to those outlets. I place some weight on negative effect of cheating, when advertising is dishonest and doesn’t deliver what it promisses.

  51. John, I only read your emails because they are fron you. Looking at the subject titles of some of your emails, they are ones which I just would not have read.

    My nternet marketing portal will not get off the ground until people start realising that “Hey this is something that really will help”.

    This kind of reputation thing helps. We are going down a local government route to do this and build from the ground upwards from offline sources, but you can’t underestimate online credibility, especially with people who you haven’t seen.

  52. Hi Jon,

    Absolutely correct and a very good topic. I receive hundreds of emails a day and without thinking, prioritize my reading based on who the sender is. If I don’t know and trust the sender, it’s at best a quick skim and delete.

    Thanks for the good information and reminder of how trust is more important now than ever before in internet or email marketing… or forum marketing. :)


  53. What was the product Jon?

  54. “..My experience helps to illustrate why it’s so important that you develop a good reputation, whatever niche or circle you market to…..”

    Jon: My experience is that you have succeded beyond all expectations in this respect.

    All he best


  55. Your observation is right on. Many times I have ignored, initially, and email or ad I saw until I saw who sent the email

    It makes a difference :)


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