Credibility Is Everything. Here’s Why And How You Can Build Yours

In my prior articles for BIZCATALYST 360°, I covered why having an Authentic profile and looking for authenticity in others is more important today than ever before. I also covered how to tap into your Core network to help you grow your business by doing business with those you trust and can rely on the most.

The underlying reason for writing these articles is because of the current ‘Crisis of Trust’ experienced by so many worldwide. These articles may be found here. They are backed up with facts, not theories.

Now it’s time to concentrate on credibility:

Credible proof, (the second ‘C’ in my mnemonic, ACCELerate™), is central my 5 key ACCELerators™ – Helping you achieve return on investment with your marketing and business growth. It’s so important, I dedicated an entire chapter in my book, ACCELerate™ Your Social Media, to this particular ACCELerator™.

Like most things in life, there’s the good, the bad and the downright ugly. The good people of course exist however are often drowned out by the din coming out from the noisier bad and ugly ones.

In a business context, the traits of the bad and ugly are usually from those who are full of self adulation, almost constantly talking about their supposed successes thinking everyone will fall for their hype. Then, when it comes to delivery, things can turn bad, even ugly. You’ll know the ones I’m referring to.

Understand that their foundations are most likely built on sand. Your foundation should of course be built on well mixed concrete. Remember, concrete takes time to dry. Be patient and ensure it is as hard as rock.

People judge and they judge quickly. There’s a quiet group of people out there: The silent majority. They aren’t stupid. They will check you out on-line and in person – starting with the “What do you think of….” question. It’s most likely that you do it. Others do it too.

Build a reputation. A great one. Make sure you seek and do business with those who are also reputable as you can be judged on how you collaborate and do business.

Don’t go for perfection. There’s no such thing. Not everyone will like what you do so don’t try to be everything to everyone.

Here’s an extract from my book:

What’s Credible Proof?

First, I’ll start with a well-known term: Social proof. This is used particularly, however not exclusively, within the on-line world for businesses.

Amongst other meanings, it’s also another term for testimonials or recommendations.

In this context, effective social proof is where the services or products of businesses are genuinely endorsed by third parties, thus generating referrals whilst providing the purchaser potential peace of mind that they have made the right decision.

“You must”

I seldom say “must”, especially a marketing context. The reason is because I tend to associate such statements with those who make unsubstantiated claims like “you must have x or you’re likely to go bust”, etc. However, as an indicator of just how strongly I feel about the importance of social proof, I hereby declare:

“You must have Credible proof.”

The reason why I replace ‘social’ with ‘credible’ is actually straightforward: You need to make it easy for others to do business with you by offering them your credibility – not just standard testimonials like many may now find on social networks like LinkedIn. That’s now becoming the norm.

Remember, people’s attention spans, particularly on-line, are very short. You need to grab their attention with credible evidence of how you have helped others professionally. If you don’t, you risk losing that potential customer to your competition. At times, this could happen in seconds whilst you’re being checked out on-line.

It never ceases to amaze me how very few professionals bother with building great social proof. This is why I make a point in differentiating credible proof from social proof… Hoping for a testimonial from a client isn’t good enough.

I share that I’m multi-award winning in e-business. I back up those words with evidence. For example, my awards are not only listed in my LinkedIn profile, I use Slideshare to share the news, with evidence.

When I engage with my prospects and, as part of my conversion strategy, I have at least three clients who have agreed that I may share their contact details with top prospects. I choose the most appropriate for a given opportunity. They may be contacted directly so those prospects, who are considering using our services and who are ready to make a decision, may tap into my credible proof by speaking to my customers. I’m always careful never to abuse this as I appreciate my customers have their own businesses to run.

Extract from: ACCELerate™ Your Social Media. © Copyright John Coupland. All rights reserved.

This is the first time I have extracted such a large chunk of text from my book. There are of course plenty more tactics I share in it. I have done it because I know BIZCATALYST 360° is a credible network and value the content of my fellow contributors and, of course, your time reading this. I want to help you as I know how difficult it can be to cut through the increased noise on-line in particular.

Go for Credible proof. Apply it correctly and you will stand out positively amongst your competitors. Deliver your services outstandingly and people will endorse you and recommend you, thus saving you time and money trying to find new customers from the cold.



John Coupland
John Coupland
JOHN is an independent marketing consultant and is the bestselling author of ACCELerate™ Your Social Media. With extensive experience in e-business and ICT, he helps ambitious entrepreneurs, business owners, and corporates with their business growth using his unique and proven ACCELerate™ methodology. John speaks at leading business events, has written a number of articles for major publications worldwide, and is a member of The Brain Trust®, Small Business Advocate Show®, America. Amongst a number of awards, John played an instrumental role in helping a major UK department store chain achieve the Queen's Awards for Enterprise - Innovation. Learn more at ACCELerate™ Your Business

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