Whether you are a coach, a speaker, a trainer, a consultant, or an entrepreneur either in the online world or offline world, you need credibility to achieve the level of success that you want.
Credibility is the key to selling anything.
For anybody to buy from you, they must first trust you. However, for them to trust you, you must first be credible to them. You must bring something to the table that dissolves their natural skepticism and suspicion.
This is a no-brainer. This is pretty simple and straightforward. Unfortunately, a lot of coaches, speakers, trainers, consultants, and entrepreneurs completely disregard this fundamental truth.
This is why the vast majority of people who are looking to build a successful corporate brand based on their personal presentations, personal appearances, and personal content fail time and time again. It all goes back to credibility.
In this post, I will outline some key steps you need to follow so you can build the level of credibility you need to take your business to the next level.
Let me get this straight…
If you are not taking steps to the continuous growth of your credibility, you are literally settling for cents on the dollar. You are not running your business in such a way that you will get the level of success you deserve.
You may have a great product. You may have the right training. You may have the right certification. But all that doesn’t matter if you do not present what you bring to the table in such a way that it builds and benefits from personal credibility.
Unleashing the Power of Credibility to Overcome Your Competition
The internet has been nothing but short of a miracle when it comes to building personal and corporate brands. It really has made the whole process of taking an idea and turning it into a set of signals that people from all over the world can identify with and can take action on. I am, of course, talking about brand building.
Whether you are building a corporate brand or a personal brand, it doesn’t matter. The internet has made your job much easier.
The problem is that the worldwide web has made brand building so easy that there are tons of competing brands out there, which makes it harder to filter out certain types of information as we live in an age of information overload.
You only need to go to Twitter to see what I am talking about. Every influential person there is retweeting or tweeting seemingly credible information that is targeted towards a niche. There is nothing wrong with this. But if there are millions of people doing this simultaneously, you can see instantly what you are up against.
We are living in an age of information overload and the default response of the people you are trying to reach regardless of your niche is one of suspicion. Since there are so many choices on the table, it makes more sense in their eyes to take a step back and hold back from making a decision.
In other words, instead of being enlightened by this broad array of information, they are overwhelmed by the variety, the selection, and the nuance involved that they hold back on making a judgment.
This is a serious problem because if you are faced with that wall of suspicion, you are working from a serious deficit. You are working with a massive hurdle in front of you, which leads the high costs of distrust.
The High Cost of Distrust
Consumers of content on the worldwide web and social media, both on desktop and mobile platforms, have an initial state of distrust. With this, entrepreneurs such as yourself have a lot of extra hoops to jump through just to get to the conversion stage.
For you to convert your prospects and customers, you have to build trust. For you to build trust, you have to overcome their initial skepticism, suspicion, and distrust.
Keep in mind that this does not always take the form of active corrosive distrust. These people don’t set out to prove you wrong. These people don’t set out to knock you down, call you out, and otherwise confront and question the information that you bring to the table.
Most of the time, this distrust is manifested in the form of apathy. The practical effect of their attitude is that they just don’t care. If they see so many competing signals, so many competing sources of information, so many claims to branding “truths”, their default position is to just seemingly not care.
The High Cost of Customer Apathy
Since people begin with this default level of not taking action, their minds are initially closed. They have a need for whatever it is that you are promoting. But you have that extra burden of igniting their passion for solving their need.
It is very easy for online consumers, whether they be end users or business-to-business customers, to compartmentalize this apathy. It is very easy for them to have this default attitude of “I’ll get to it when I get there”. The more they conceptualize the solutions to their needs as something that they can resolve in the future, the harder it would be for you. Why?
The emotional engagement isn’t there. The emotional immediacy is simply not present. This makes your job much much harder.
You have to come up with a competitive edge because you are not operating with these factors in a vacuum. You are dealing with competitors who had a head start over you. They have been in the game longer. They have taken more shots. They have had more opportunities to solve the customer apathy and distrust problem.
This is a serious issue because many companies who may have developed solid local offline brands, go online, completely clueless as to existence of this dynamic. As a result, they spend a tremendous amount of money, time, and resources, and have very little results to show for it. By being clear as to what you are up against, you can develop a framework that will give you a competitive advantage.
Recognize Your Competitor’s Branding Advantage
Another key issue that you need to be mindful of is that since your competitors have a head start ahead of you, they may already have a branding advantage. It might not be much of an advantage. Maybe they are stumbling over the same issues that you are challenged by.
But they have been in the game longer. They’ve had more opportunities to try to resolve the issues of default suspicion, distrust, and customer apathy. This is no small advantage.
By simply being ahead of you and taking a few more swings before you do, they are in a good position to come up with a competitive advantage when it comes to branding. Always remember this. By understanding this and being aware of this, you can benefit from this tremendous competitor branding advantage. I will step you through the process of doing exactly that in another post.
Regardless, you cannot completely dismiss your competition. They are obviously doing at least something right for them to stay in the game. They might not be doing a tremendously stellar job at it, but any little accomplishment that they may have may give you the foothold that you need to achieve greater levels of success.
The Solution? Establish Instant Credibility and Trust
The solution to default suspicion, the high cost of distrust, and the high cost of customer apathy, as well as the existing brand advantages of your competition is to master the art of establishing instant credibility and trust.
Being able to establish instant credibility in the eyes of your prospects and customers enables you to override the healthy levels of suspicion they would have regarding your solutions. The more they use the internet, the more they network with other people in your target audience, the stronger these tendencies become. By focusing on establishing instant credibility and trust, you can quickly override this distrust by simply reading the common patterns of distrust, apathy, and suspicion by providing the right information.
Information is never emotionally neutral. There is always an emotional component. People like to believe that we are completely rational and driven purely by logic. However, honestly speaking, we are nothing but emotional. We actually make lots of impulsive emotional decisions, and then we just rationalize it with logic and reason later on.
The same applies with this initial resistance to your efforts. When you establish instant credibility, you trigger this emotional response. This then leads people to make decisions in your favor, and then rationalizing it later based on the sound information that you provide.
Establishing Instant Credibility Saves You a Lot of Time
If you don’t focus on establishing instant credibility, you are left playing the online and offline marketing game the traditional way. We are, of course, talking about constant messaging. By constantly putting your brand in front of the eyeballs of your target market, you hope that there would be enough familiarity built through just simple image and message repetition that they would come back to you once they have an immediate need for whatever it is you are promoting.
The problem with this strategy is that it is very hard to measure and, in many cases, it is too little too late. In fact, it is not uncommon for particular product and service providers to establish the need for a particular type of product in the mind of a prospect only to have that prospect buy from another supplier. In other words, you watered, cultivated, and fertilized the garden only to have somebody else harvest the fruit. What is wrong with this picture?
Building instant credibility ensures that you minimize the time it takes from your prospects determining their needs and looking at you as the source of the solution of their needs. As the old saying goes, “Time is money.” The shorter you can make this decision process, the more profitable it would be for you and the better the value you bring to the table as far as your customers are concerned.
Instant Credibility Dissolves Your Marketing Costs
As I have mentioned earlier, a long drawn-out repetitive image-building and brand-building campaign can take a lot of time. Since time is money, this also takes quite a bit of capital resources on your part.
If you are just a one-person operation or you run a small company, this is not an option. Taking out a billboard ad or running and expensive display banner campaign all over the internet is simply not an option because you just don’t have the deep pockets to start and sustain such a campaign. Moreover, fine-tuning such a campaign also takes further revenues.
I am not saying that these campaigns don’t produce results. They do. That is why advertising is a global multibillion dollar industry.
However, it does take time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Also, it involves a lot of data analysis, fine-tuning, and statistical adjustments. This all amounts to an extended time period and a huge amount of cash.
You might think you are just simply running a small ad campaign. But if you total up the amount of money you spend as well as the opportunity costs you suffer, it can be quite an expensive proposition.
Establishing Instant Credibility Is a More Effective Form of Brand Building
Just like with anything else in life, there are always two ways to do things. You can choose to do things the easy way, or you can choose to do things the hard way.
Interestingly enough, doing things the easy way may seem like a good idea at first. It may seem that taking a certain route that involves less money, less time commitment, and other seeming benefits seems like a slam dunk. However, if you are going to add up all your actual costs both in terms of time and money, it would have been much easier in hindsight to just take the hit, do things the hard way, and do things right the first time.
Building instant credibility can lead to faster results, no doubt. However, it is definitely not easy. It definitely has a learning curve. You really need to bite the bullet as to the amount of effort, attention to detail, and strategizing that you need to bring to the table. This is to make instant credibility produce the results you need.
Establishing Instant Credibility Can Make Any Small Operation Look Like a Giant Operation
My most favorite instant credibility benefit is the fact that regardless of how much resources you have, if you use this approach of brand building, you can look much bigger and more powerful than you actually are. This is a tremendous advantage, considering the fact that regardless of the niche you are in, you are bound to come up against better equipped, more experienced, and more determined competitors.
If you come off as more powerful, established, trustworthy and credible, you gain an instant competitive advantage. It is easier to get that contract. It is easier to get through that door. It would be easier for your prospects to refer you.
This is why I am excited about sharing everything I know about creating instant credibility, because it gives the little guy a fighting chance. By being able to establish instant credibility, you are able to turn the often difficult game of online marketing and brand marketing into a game even the little guy can play.
It is a very powerful way of leveling the playing field. The focus then shifts to what actual value you bring to the table instead of how much capital you have, who you know, and other considerations.