Still being ignored? 7 proven ways to make yourself irresistible to clients

how to create credibility

how to create credibilityDoes it seem like your competitors are better than you? Do they outshine you in the marketplace? Do they seem more credible? Maybe your competitors aren’t even that great, but they still manage to steal the spotlight.

How do they do it?

The hidden secret: create credibility

What makes you comfortable buying something? Features? Price? Service?

If you’re going to buy a car, I’ll bet you’d rather buy a Toyota, Ford, or other name brand instead of a Diahatsu, Volga, or some obscure brand.

If you’re buying something on Amazon, you look at product reviews.

Why? Credibility.

You aren’t going to dump any money–whether it’s $10 or $10,000–on some out-of-nowhere product or service from an unknown company. You want to know what their track record is, you want to know that they’re tested, and you want to make sure that others think they’re great.

That’s why product reviews are so popular. People want to know they’re getting something good before they pony up their hard-earned cash.

Why you need credibility indicators

Credibility indicators are signals that something can be trusted. The VeriSign logo on a payment page, the FDIC sticker when you walk into a bank, an endorsement from an industry leader, testimonials.

If you look at your competitors who outshine you, chances are that they look more credible. Look at their website and other marketing, and pinpoint how they project and create credibility. You don’t necessarily need to copy exactly what they’re doing, but the point is to get some ideas of what your customers may find credible, and create those signals for your business.

Then, take it a step further to outshine your competitors so prospective clients are lining up for your services.

How to create credibility

The following isn’t an exhaustive list of ways to create credibility, but they’re some of the most reliable ways to do it. You’ll want to adapt the tactics for your niche and your customers.

  • Smile & be confident. Obviously, this is something you’ll want to do for phone and in-person interactions, but you can at least make sure your photo on your website doesn’t look like a mugshot. In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell shows how we make snap judgments about other people, for instance, in job interviews, where people formed remarkably stable impression of the interviewee in about 10 seconds. You can use this early, fast mental judging to your advantage; in the book Sway by Ori & Rom Brafman, they talk about ways that you can prime the pump to shift people’s preconceptions of you. Pretty fascinating stuff.
  • Believe–truly believe–that you’re going to succeed. I know this sounds fluffy, but stay with me here. As Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”. Envision yourself being successful. I remember when I interviewed for jobs, I realized that if I could snag an interview, then I could land a job offer; 95% of the time, it worked.
  • Write guest articles on popular websites in your niche. This is a great way not only to create credibility, but to drive more traffic to your business website–and hopefully convert customers. When you write a guest article on a popular website, you get approval from a more established source. That’s great social proof–validation that lots of other people and thought leaders in your niche think you’re credible.
  • Give away useful information. Customers want to test-drive before they buy. There are lots of ways you can show that you provide value when you give away useful, actionable info for free. Show people that you’re an expert. There are a bunch of ways you can do this, but some of the most common are:
    • blogging
    • webinars
    • podcasts
    • teaching
  • SEO. Don’t know what SEO is? Then learn what SEO is and how it brought me over $80k in new business. When you google something, you look at stuff on the first page. In fact, research has shown that about 95% of traffic comes from links on the first search results page. Better yet, by putting your content on multiple sites and pages, you can dominate the first page of Google searches by appearing multiple times. When you’re peppered all over the search results, you get instant credibility as an expert.
  • Testimonials. These are a great way to create credibility, because people want to know that others have worked with you and found you incredibly valuable. Testimonials are a great way to get social proof.
  • Generate PR. Connect with reporters and other news outlets in your niche so they can write about you. The idea here is similar to writing guest articles, but instead, someone else is doing the writing. Make sure you link to those PR articles on your website, since that creates credibility for people who haven’t seen the PR article and also shows that you’ve been featured as an expert on a credible news outlet or industry channel. Sign up for Help A Reporter Out to connect to writers and journalists who can help promote you.

Pop quiz!

If you were paying attention, this’ll be easy. Either way, you’ll learn something. Here goes: now that you’ve read through the list of tactics for how to create credibility, go back through them, and see if you can find how I made those tactics credible.

Tell me in the comments how I created credibility.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Daniel Rose - March 5, 2012 Reply

Hey Greg,
Excellent list of tips. I’ve not looked too far, but you clearly have some testimonials and carry an air of confidence.
It’s a difficult thing to create that air, and I think you’ve done a good job.

Andrew Molobetsi - March 20, 2012 Reply

Thanks. It’s just what I needed to give me confidence. in my own consulting business.

Latrisha R Small - May 8, 2012 Reply

Thanks for the insight! You really made me believe that you were an experienced and successful business owner by convincing me that I could follow in your footsteps and be successful.

    Greg Miliates - May 8, 2012 Reply

    Thanks, Latrisha! I hope the article came across as credible, and not just appearing to act like I know what I’m talking about. 🙂

Justin Eubank - November 19, 2013 Reply

If you don’t have credibility create it like Billy Blanks did with Tae Bo. He took workout techniques that anyone can find on Google for free, created a brand new martial art called Tae Bo that no one had ever heard of, held a world championship in a gym and declared himself the winner, because world champion sounds more credible than black belt. It’s like in politics or the music industry, if you can’t find a loophole create one. Artists out there took a recognizable segment of someone else music and repeated it in the background while they made up their own lyrics or changed the music and notes slightly. When facing charges of plagiarism they didn’t plagiarize they sampled. Just like politicians did with campaign funding when they spent the money on themselves. Legally you can’t spend campaign funds on yourself so what they did was created leadership packs which the law didn’t forbid because they were donations.

    Greg Miliates - January 7, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, there are loopholes that can be exploited to gain notoriety. However, if you’re trying to build a sustainable, respectable business, exploiting shortcuts may not be the best way–unless you legitimately have something new and unique to offer.

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