Whether you are a new business trying to build up a client base or an established business trying to maintain your reputation, you have to be credible. Credibility will help you increase your reach into your business’s or company’s target market. After all, one of the best ways to improve your reach is for your clients to share the positive experiences they have with your company with other potential clients.
What is Credibility?
First, let's start with what credibility actually is in relation to a company. Having a credible business means people have trust in your company, believe in what it stands for, and the products or services being offered. If clients trust and believe in what you are offering, their thoughts and behaviors are more likely to be influenced by you. By being credible, your company is more likely to influence their patterns in relation to your company’s goals. If you are trying to sell Georgia-grown cotton t-shirts and clients believe you are credible based on your actions and brand, not only will they buy a t-shirt, but they most likely will become repeat clients and recommend you to their circle of influence, growing your audience. Credibility and trust go had-in-hand. You have to have client trust in order to build credibility.
So we know what credibility is and why it’s needed, but the real obstacle is how to build it. We want to highlight a few ways to build credibility within a business that we have found to be influential and that we hope will help you as well. The number one concept to remember is that it will take a good amount of time to build up your credibility, but it is going to take even more time and commitment to maintain it. It doesn’t happen overnight, even though we live in an instant gratification society. A good way to build and maintain credibility is to constantly produce quality products and have reliable client service. Clients will always remember if they received a faulty product or if they had a poor experience with your company or with an employee that works with your business.. Because of this, consistency is crucial not only in your product or service, but also in telling your story.
An overlooked tool is client testimonials. When clients leave good reviews sharing their experience, share them on your social media platforms. Put it on your website. When you add their testimonials front and center for someone looking to try your product or service, you are going to capture their attention, especially if it is someone they know or someone they can relate to. Most of the time, if a client in your target market is not using your product it is because they are unfamiliar with the company. By highlighting client testimonials frequently, you are able to break through that thought process of “I don’t know anyone who uses them or that product.” Did you know it generally takes a minimum of 6 touch points for a client to buy their first product from a company?
While you’re at it, make sure you highlight the behind the scenes of your business. By showing the behind the scenes of your business, whether it’s a snapshot of how a product is made or a glimpse into a service, you are letting clients into your business. It is important to also share company achievements. When there is something to be proud of, share it! Not only will it help to build your credibility, but clients love to share with others when a business or product they use is doing well. Clients want to feel as if they are part of a community, and they will want to share about that with others. Next time you receive an award or accomplish something important to the company, share it! Don’t be ashamed of your success!
Something else that will help build credibility with your clients is telling your story. When people know the history of a business and what led to the creation of it, they feel more inclined to interact with the business. Additionally, give your audience behind-the-scenes sneak peaks! Who doesn’t love knowing how something works and the process behind what we see as an end service or product? Are you running errands for your business? Hop on stories and give a quick recap. Are you building a new prototype? Give us a quick time-lapse video of assembling it. Are you planning a new event? Do a smash up video of steps it takes to pull off the event (computer work, site visit, planning meetings, decorating, etc.). You can even utilize user-generated content to help tell your story on social media. When clients post testimonials and share stories and pictures of their experiences, you can share them to your business’s audience. It is important to tell your story, because if you don’t someone else will.
Last but not least, it is important to practice what you preach. When wanting clients to like and share your business’s posts, you should be doing it as well for companies that are potential partners and endorsers. Building credibility can be a team effort and having partnerships and relationships with other businesses will not only increase your credibility but increase your reach into the target market. Sometimes we learn most from those around us, so use that to your advantage.
Credibility takes time and consistency, and we have learned that while building in our business, so don’t lose faith. What are some ways you build credibility in your business?