One of the comments I often hear from my clients is that they want more exposure. They feel invisible, hidden amongst a sea of other business owners in their niche. Lost in the crowd. They are always looking for ways to stand out, increase their visibility and become known as the expert in their field, the “go-to” person in their niche. By doing this, they will attract more traffic, more followers, generate more interest, and therefore more clients, increased cashflow and, ultimately, a more successful business.
So how can you get this credibility?
Of course you can spend huge amounts of money on publicity and flashy advertising. Waste hours trawling the internet, commenting on blogs, manually connecting with other business owners both online and offline at networking events, having coffee chats, spending much of your valuable “prime client time” schmoozing and networking, with varying degrees of success, and potentially minimal results.
Instead, as forward thinking, “go-getter” business owners, you want to have in place some simple systems and “tried and true” techniques that will allow you to get maximum credibility, increase your visibility, both online and offline, and become known as a key person of influence. The “go-to” person, attracting clients effortlessly to you and exponentially expanding and growing your business as a result.
So, what are these secret systems?
Well, I have a few simple tips that you can implement immediately, that will give you a real “bang for your buck” in terms of drastically boosting your credibility.
People place great store on the opinions and experiences of other people, Particularly those that they know and trust. Or those high-profile people they admire and follow from afar.
Now, perhaps getting a celebrity endorsement may be a little out of your league right now, but do not under-estimate its power!
For now, start with your current clients. It always surprises me how many people have no testimonials simply because they haven’t asked for them! If you provide a great product or service that has been effective in solving your ideal client’s problems, then they are usually only too happy to sing your praises, By asking for the testimonial, you are simply asking for a more concrete representation of the appreciation they have for your service. And by giving them clear guidelines about what a great testimonial entails, then you can make it very easy for them to provide one for you.
“But I have no clients yet!” I hear you say. This is not a problem! If you have a product, or a service package, then give it away. Thats right. Do some pro-bono work, give away some samples of your products or services in exchange for a testimonial. You will have people lining up for this!
Remember too, that a testimonial is much more powerful if you can use the client’s name, and, if possible a photo too. Or a video testimonial. This will cost you nothing but your time, and possibly some free samples of your products. But they are invaluable as a marketing and credibility tool.
Once you have these testimonials, you can use them everywhere. Put them on your website, on Facebook and other social media channels. On Facebook groups, in your newsletter, on your sales page, and of course in conversation with potential clients. The list and possibilities are endless.
2. Be visible.
Being online is almost a necessity nowadays. You can reach a much larger audience, can scale your business, leverage your time and it is open 24/7. So, be sure that you have a strong online presence. A website and a Facebook page are all you need. Choose a few key social media platforms and plan to be there regularly. Research Facebook groups where your ideal client hangs out, and post in there several times a day. Comment on other people’s posts and offer value and your expertise. But, be very limited with any “salesy” activities. Your intention is to be seen as the expert. To gain trust and familiarity, to show some of your personality, so people find out more about you and what you do and stand for!
If your target market is in the business realm, then being on LinkedIn is a must. Posting regularly on your blog means that Google will treat you favourably, and will push you higher on the search engines. Fresh content is smiled upon, so add it often.
Be everywhere. Consistently post videos on Youtube, perhaps some tips, product reviews, interviews with clients or other complementary experts in your field.
Align yourself with other experts in complementary fields who also have your ideal client, and do some joint ventures with them to expand your reach and audience. You could run workshops, webinars, write guest blog posts, be creative with your ideas!
3. Get exposed
Free publicity is not as hard as it looks! And the more places you are, the more people hear the name of either you or your company mentioned in different areas and channels, the more comfortable they will be, the more ready to trust you and want to use and pay for your expertise.
You can start local with your local newspaper. They are always keen to feature local residents. If you can present them with a quirky story with an edgy angle that will appeal to their readers, then you are in!
Radio, podcasts, and of course TV will give you huge credibility. If you can get interviewed, or can present a ready made story that will interest them, you are in! Perhaps you can look at aligning your business with Valentine’s Day if you are in the dating game, or Diabetes Week if you are in the health and wellness industry. Look for a way that you can create a cool story that you can present to a media outlet as a ready made package . If they can see that most of the work is done for them, it will make their job much easier. They are always happy to have a completed story presented to them that they can present, virtually untouched to their producer or editor.
Write a book for the ultimate in credibility. Imagine how it sounds to your potential client to be able to list “author” among your other accomplishments!
So, there you go. Three very simple, yet also very effective ways to boost your credibility that you can implement immediately.