Credibility is often underestimated. But it can help you start conversations on a positive note. Having high company credibility helps dispel some of our natural distrust when we deal with new business partners. Your company’s credibility can open doors for you. But if your credibility isn’t quite there yet, there are ways to borrow on the credibility of others. Make sure you deliver though!
Here’s the podcast episode:
Or if you’d rather watch the video:
Today we’re going to talk about building your company’s credibility.
Why am I bringing this up? Businesses of every size need to focus on credibility. It’s just like trusting an individual; once that person lies to you one time and you find out, it’s hard to gain back that trust.
Common Sense Trust
I believe that people afford strangers a certain amount of “common sense trust” for the most part unless they start giving them reasons to believe otherwise. The same is not true for businesses.
As a business owner, I am scrutinizing other businesses more closely than somebody who is just passing me in the grocery store. My level of common sense of trust is higher, although I might still get something taken from my purse. But when you work with a business that turns out to be unethical or just bad at what they do, you lose a lot of money.
Why You Need Credibility
Inherent Distrust Towards Businesses
We just have a more inherent distrust of other businesses. Building your company’s credibility helps combat that.
Let’s say neutral trust is 0. Maybe most of the business owners you deal with start from a -5. Credibility could bring you up to 0 or even put you into the positives. Then, you’ll be working from a better position.
An Extremely Saturated Market
Credibility also comes into play when you feel like your market is extremely saturated. Even if you know what makes you different, it can be really hard to stand out.
Sometimes credibility can help you stand head and shoulders above everyone else, to make it feel more like you don’t even have competition. That’s why credibility is so important.
Credibility and Credit
Credibility comes from credit. So let’s think about credit.
You want to apply for a loan for a car/house. If your credit is bad, they don’t trust you to make those payments back. You can’t borrow against your credit reputation. Without any credit, you don’t have anything to put forth, with the exception of actual money.
The problem when you’re doing business is that if you “don’t have any credit”, they’re just not going to do business with you. It’s not like you can trade it for something.
In my experience, the highest quality clients, aren’t interested in working with somebody purely on the basis that they charge a really low amount. They don’t want to waste any time or money on someone they can’t trust to get the job done. In fact, for these types of clients, a super low fee would be a red flag!
Building Industry, Personal, and Business Credibility
Do Content on Your Own Channels
One of the ways that you have the most control over credibility is through content. It could be podcasting, videos, blogging, presentations, and workshops, etc. So one of the easiest ways is doing it on your own channels.
We have earned media, paid media, shared media, and owned media. Using your own channels, you can publish articles to your website or start up your own podcast (I use Anchor and it’s free). That’s another way to get out there and start building your own content.
On the flip side, even if you don’t want the responsibility of handling your own podcast, guest podcasting can still be an awesome way to get some original content out there.
White Papers and Research Reports
You can publish intellectual property like white papers or research reports. If you want to borrow on somebody else’s credibility, you might publish a joint white paper or research report.
Case studies are a fantastic way to build credibility, especially if you’re able to take some data numbers and marry that with the client story. Humans love stories, and when you can add the numbers in there, it gives a one-two punch for the effectiveness of the case study.
Speaking at Events
People struggle with speaking at events, and that’s what makes it such a powerful medium. I want you to think back to the last time you were at an event, sat in the audience, and someone came up onto the stage. Think about how you felt about that person.
Whenever I see someone up on stage, I’m already giving them credibility before they even open their mouth.
I’d like you to think about the amount of credibility that you give to someone before they even start speaking. Basically, that credibility is theirs to lose. If they give a really bad presentation, they lose that credibility. But if they give a great presentation, they’re already just building on top of the credibility that you gave them just for being on the stage.
Borrowing Credibility by Guesting
I mentioned borrowing someone else’s credibility. When I got my first car, my grandfather co-signed on the vehicle with me because I didn’t have any credit. This is where guesting comes in. You can guest post, you can do guest interviews on a podcast or video show. There are all sorts of ways for you to borrow another organization’s credibility.
Speaking is probably the penultimate version of guesting. Let’s say I’m going to the Mindgrub Outdoor Speaker Series, and I’ve never heard of some of those people/companies before. If it’s companies I haven’t heard of, they automatically get some credibility because I trust Mindgrub. And again, that credibility is theirs to lose, even if they’re getting extra credibility from me because I associate them with Mindgrub.
*I actually did attend some of the Mindgrub Outdoor Speaker events, which is why that’s my example!*
Back to co-producing content. Let’s say, for some reason Defy The Status Quo and Mindgrub had a reason to coauthor a white paper on a topic that’s relevant to both of our audiences. My audience is not as big as Mindgrubs’s, so I’d be borrowing on their credibility and gaining some of my own.
Credibility Corresponds to Reputation
Credibility is just another word for reputation. You’re building your reputation. You can keep at it and you can build it, but it’s easy to destroy. Having higher credibility is enough to start a conversation because they trust you before you even open your mouth. So your reputation arrives at the conversation before you.
Please leave me a comment below if you felt any particular way about something I said here about credibility, reputation, and some of the ways of growing your credibility.