I’m in the middle of leading a group coaching program where my clients are learning the Duct Tape Marketing system to effectively market their businesses. In the program, we work at developing a target market, a point of differentiation and marketing materials to support their business. Everything we do is targeted at building the know, like, and trust factor with prospective clients. In order to develop trust, one has to demonstrate credibility. And this seems to be a challenge for new small businesses and for those entering new markets. What can we do demonstrate and improve credibility?
Partnering with another provider. While you might aspire to work with a certain target market, in some cases, you just don’t have the level of experience to go after some of those opportunities. Sometimes it might make sense to partner with another provider (yes, a competitor). If you can’t get the job yourself and it’s a large enough project for two of you to work together—why not? There’s little chance that you’d get the job on your own so there’s little risk for you.
Marketing materials. It’s surprising how many business don’t actually have anything written down. For those businesses just getting started, prepare yourself a marketing kit. This can be a simple folder with several one page documents including your marketing story (discussing your company and why you do what you do), your difference, a list of products or services, a page of testimonials, and any case studies you can provide. These kinds of materials can go a long way in building trust and confidence with a potential client. Giving a consistent look and feel to all of your on-line accounts helps to demonstrate that you’ve taken the details into account. Think about both the online and offline presence including your social media accounts.
Professional Email Address. Think twice about using a gmail or Yahoo or hotmail email address for your business email. I agree that the ability to access these kinds of email accounts is much easier, however, it detracts from creating a credible business. You can still use these types of accounts but use with them an alias that incorporates your business name.
Create and use an audit process in your business. In almost any business, you can create a list of activities to review to ensure thoroughness. Whether you’re an IT company who’s just performed a software upgrade, a senior’s life assistance service taking on a new client, a photographer preparing for an event, or a marketing coach doing a marketing material audit, prepare and use a checklist to demonstrate a level of experience that shows that you’ve done this before and that your process is comprehensive.
These are just four simple ways to help improve the credibility of your business. What else have you done to give your credibility a boost?