When you first go into business, people don’t know who you are, how you do business, which values and ethics you hold dear, and the quality of your products and services. You need to build credibility as quickly as possible.
There are many ways that you can effectively start to build credibility for you and your business. Some of the changes that you make in that direction will require very little time and effort and others will be a little more challenging.
Offering your products and/or services to a small number of people for a short time: You can offer to let people try your products and services (maybe the first 25 people who respond to you) for a month or two. This will give people the opportunity to get to know your offerings well enough to want to interact with you and to trust that you have some credibility and that you have expertise in that area. Of course, the call to action that you will request from them is to provide you with feedback on your products and/or services. Once you have gotten feedback from those initial 25 people, you can ask them for testimonials, which you can then use when you share your offerings with a much larger audience.
Use statistics and analytics: One of the most critical as well as one of the first things you should do to gain credibility is extensive research. It is extremely important that you gather statistics about your niche and how your products and/or services relate. There should be a great deal of information available online. You just need to look for it and present it to your target audience. It is critical that you identify issues that similar products have and then that you communicate how your products and/or services don’t have those issues. It always comes down to the same thing: the concept of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). In other words, you need to identify the problems that your audience members have and offer them a solution to their problems. If you can solve their problems, they will consider that you are an expert in your field and that you are credible and trustworthy. All people want the same thing. They want a solution to their problems. It is a basic, human need. If you can prove to them over and over again that you know what you are talking about, your relationship and credibility will continue to build.
Building online credibility: Your professional (and personal) credibility is being discussed here; however, when it comes to building credibility online, it can be even more complicated. An extremely important way to build your online credibility is by sharing a large amount of well-written, well-executed, and appropriately shared content. Having a blog is an excellent way to do this. You should write and syndicate articles on a regular and consistent basis. Additionally, you should interact with other people online as often as you can. Your consistency will allow people to regard you as a subject matter expert and your name will be on the tips of their tongues when it comes to getting answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
Another very important aspect of online credibility is networking. You need to identify the influencers in your industry and network with them so that you build solid relationships. Those relationships will carry you very far when it comes to your own credibility. Successful online interactions are successful because you put the other person’s needs and wants before your own. If you worry about satisfying the other person, they will, in a lot of cases, worry about satisfying you also.
Always keep your promises: As you are building your relationships (and your credibility), you must always make sure that you deliver on whatever you have promised the other person. If you set the correct precedent right from the start, it will carry you through the entire relationship. If people find you credible and trust you, they will vouch for you with other people also. Successful businesses are very dependent on people telling other people about your offerings, who, in turn, tell other people, etc. You need to make sure that you always demonstrate integrity and sincerity and people will want to do business with you and will keep returning to you over and over again.
You can’t have a successful business without credibility and trust. As you build your reputation as a subject matter expert in your industry, you will also be gaining many other valuable things as the same time, such as strong relationships that last a very long time and that are mutually beneficial. You will also see that people will be willing to vouch for you and your business and they will be happy to refer you to other people because they feel that you have done the right thing by them and made them feel that they really matter to you.
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Carolyn Cohn is the Chief Editor of CompuKol Communications LLC. Mrs. Cohn has a wealth of experience in business writing as well as having a strong editorial background. She manages all of the company’s writers, journalists and editors as well as writing, editing and publishing several business articles a week on a consistent basis, which are syndicated globally.
Mrs. Cohn has run several editorial departments for other companies. She has over 25 years of editorial experience and her expertise covers a wide range of media, such as online editing, and editing books, journal articles, abstracts, and promotional and educational materials.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Cohn has established and maintained strong relationships with professionals from a wide variety of companies. The principle that governs her work is that all words need to be edited.
Mrs. Cohn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
Mrs. Cohn is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA).