5 Ways to Establish Credibility
(with John Weiler)
John Weiler began his writing career as a hit TV writer, for shows such as National Geographic’s Alaska State Troopers. In 2014, he transitioned into copywriting, blogging, and book publishing, working for several marketing agencies along the way and publishing multiple bestselling books, including Instant Credibility Online.
In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss five ways we can establish our credibility and earn the trust of our customers.
We will cover the following key takeaways:
- Trust is the gateway to sales.
- One of the best ways to build credibility is by being consistent.
- If we aren’t providing value to our customers, it’s very difficult to be seen as credible.
- One of the best ways we can connect with our customers is by finding a problem we have both faced.
- URLs can help establish our credibility.
- The online content we post should be valuable, unique, and surprising.
The Importance of Credibility
The biggest tectonic shift happening today is credibility marketing. 25 years ago, businesses used to buy all the advertising they could afford to tell the world how awesome they were. However, that strategy doesn’t work as effectively anymore. Businesses have to communicate in a much more credible way through online reviews, testimonials, influencers, video proof, etc.
“There’s more distrust in society . . . than ever,” John said. “You really need to be able to prove that [you] have something to say [and they] can trust you. Trust is the gateway to sales.”
In addition to a growing lack of trust, we have a growing amount of competition. There are thousands of online businesses our customers can choose from. What makes us better than them? We have to make sure we are credible and provide unique value if we want to stand out.
Here are five ways we can build our credibility:
1. Be Consistent
One of the best ways to build credibility is by being consistent. If we can consistently provide great value, our customers will trust our products to consistently be great. This builds huge credibility.
We should also be consistent in how often we provide value. For example, if we have a social media presence, we might want to set a goal to publish twice a week. If we have a blog, we might set a goal to publish an article every day. Whatever we choose, we should be consistent.
“If [content] is going to help you with your credibility, it has to be consistent,” John said. “A blog that is left just sitting there does no one any good for credibility.”
John had an old blog he had stopped writing on still linked to his website. He realized that a blog that wasn’t updated didn’t do him any good. If anything, it could actually harm his credibility. So, he dropped it. He decided to pivot and take his blog off his website
While consistency is important, on the other hand, if something isn’t working for us, we should drop it. So many people stay with things even though it doesn’t fit their vision anymore, because they feel they’ve got to keep doing it, they feel like they can’t give up.
But there is a time to discontinue a project. We can pivot and move onto other things. We should never just stick with something for the sake of it; there should be a purpose. If the blog is only there because of our past content, maybe it’s time to delete it.
2. Deliver Value
If we aren’t providing value to our customers, it’s very difficult to be seen as credible. Value and credibility are linked. When the value we offer increases, our credibility increases, and vice versa. “[Customers] want value if they’re going to give you money,” John said.
What are our customers’ passions? What are their problems? How can we be the solution to their problems? As we understand our customers, it will be easier to provide value. As we mentioned above, this value should be consistent.
3. Find Connections
One of the best ways to showcase our credibility is through reviews and testimonials. John explained, “Case studies are a really great example of where value and credibility arise because you’re showing the value that you have created for other customers.”
Many times, the customers giving the reviews and testimonials are mirror characters of our potential customers. Mirror characters are two characters who share similar traits and personalities, but are in different stages in life. They are two people connected in some way, typically connected by a problem. In movies or books, the protagonist’s mirror character is typically someone who has already made a choice the protagonist is currently struggling with.
For example, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are mirror characters. Vadar gives Luke a glimpse into the future of what he could look like if he chooses the dark side. In Lord of the Rings, Golem is Frodo’s mirror character. Golem shows Frodo what he would become if he falls into the temptations of the ring. In the Titanic, Jack is the mirror character for Rose. Jack shows Rose what her life could be like if she escapes from her controlled life.
“In marketing terms, the testimonial and the case study is essentially like a mirror character for what the customer could become,” John said. “The potential customer is seeing the value [they] can get and they’re also seeing your credibility at the same time.”
Testimonials and reviews show our customers how they might change if they use our products or services. This idea of mirror characters is similar to the “been there, done that” principle. If I want to lose weight, I will likely try to find someone who had the same problem, and overcame it. Then, I would figure out what they did right.
Sometimes we can even be the mirror client for our customers. John had a client who taught her clients how to successfully run a business online. She is extremely successful, earning millions of dollars, and free to work wherever she wants. She is essentially the person her customers want to become.
Similarities are a great way to create connections. One of the best ways we can connect with our customers is by finding a problem we have both faced.
4. Invest in a Credible URL
Another way we can easily build our credibility is through a strong URL.
“[URLs] show that you care about your business,” John explained. “If you have a URL that says your name like . . . MichaelThomas.squarespace.com, or something like that, . . . it’s just a total turnoff. I’m thinking that this person isn’t investing in their business. And if they don’t have the money to invest in their own business, then why should I even spend time, business wise, with that person?”
Picking a good domain name tells our customers what our website is about. For example, a .com domain name indicates a commercial site and a .org domain name is often used by a large organization so you’ll often see non-profits use this.
Here are some tips for a strong domain name:
- Use “.com” if you can
- Don’t use a hyphen
- Use words that are easy to spell
- Keep it short
5. Be Active on Social Media & Post Online Content
Social media helps us establish our online presence. The bigger our online presence is, the more credibility our audience will give us. This is likely because it shows we can have content and information worth publishing. It shows we are consistent and dedicated to our business.
A high following can increase our credibility as well. It shows other users that we have something worth listening to. If 10,000 people like our content, they might like it too. On the other hand, if we have 10,000 followers but only 3 likes per post, this can be a warning sign to our customers. It tells them we have likely bought our followers or our content just isn’t interesting. A high following should be followed with high engagement if we want to have increased credibility.
The content we post should be valuable. With so much content online, we have to find a way to stand out and catch our customers’ attention. We should strive to be a thought leader and add unique ideas to the industry space.
“From a credibility standpoint, don’t just say something that everyone else is saying. There’s so many blogs out there, the internet is just littered with countless numbers of blogs that just repeat the same thing,” John said. “One way to make yourself appear even more credible is by saying stuff that is surprising.”
Connect with John
Thank you so much John for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with John: