How To Establish Reputation
And Credibility, Starting
I was speaking recently to a startup business about their marketing – and emphasising the important role that testimonials, endorsements and third party evidence plays in establishing credibility and trust.
However, I was politely reminded that for startup businesses, they have little or no customers or experience to draw on.
This led me to think about how a new business starts to establish some credibility, and provide some kind of validation that will convince buyers that they are not taking a risk by purchasing from a less established supplier.
So, with that in mind, here is my…
Quick 5 Point Guide To Building Reputation
1) Your online image and presence
When you introduce yourself to a new colleague or prospect and you tell them about your new business, what’s often the first thing they ask you? “Have you got a website? Great – I’ll take a look.”
So first ensure you have some kind of online presence – a website, a Facebook page, a blog etc. – there are many resources to produce these for free.
Your site needs to showcase what you are doing or selling and only needs to be a few pages, but it should be largely focused on your prospects and contain useful guidance and resources. Make your message clear. Ensure your contact details are visible and give a clear call to action to either buy, find out more or contact you.
2) Highlight your experience
Any new business venture is exciting and nerve wracking. Use your “About me ” page to tell your prospects about your experience, and what motivated you to take action.
People want to know more about the kind of person, or business, they are potentially going to spend their money with. This is the beginning of building your reputation as an honest, helpful and ethical person.
Tell them your story, your hopes, and how you will overcome the issues that your prospects may be struggling with, and if possible, do this using video as well as in writing.
3) Communicate what you do clearly
Do this both online and face to face. Be confident in in the service or product you have created. When someone asks -‘ so what do you do?‘, respond in a positive way, by focusing on your prospects – so begin by saying…
“Well lots of [your prospect group] struggle with issues of [problem 1] and [problem 2] which means that they [explain implications of their problem]. So we have a solution which [outline main benefits to prospects].”
Don’t say “I have just started selling these x, y, z as a new business. Were just getting started really…”
Can you see the difference between these two responses? The first is far more engaging and confident, whilst the second highlights risk and insecurity.
4) Client Reviews
How do I get these when I haven’t served any customers yet?
There are many ways to get testimonials and reviews by using the people around you.
Give your friends, or one or two of your ideal prospects, a free sample or free trial of what you are offering on the understanding that you are looking for their honest feedback. If possible, get a video testimonial as this is a powerful tool for your website.
5) Media & Bloggers
There are many blogs on the internet that are category specific, whether it’s technology, food, music, home-wares, cleaning… etc.etc.. Find some that are relevant to your product or service and invite them to try or review your product. This can add weight to your claims, and can give a big boost to the exposure of your business.
Using media advertising to promote your new idea can be expensive, but not always. Magazines are usually crying out for content, so submitting an interesting article on how your product or service can help the readers of the magazine, will stand a good chance of being published (remember it’s often a numbers game, so submit the article to as many publications as possible). Being mentioned or published will add yet more weight to your new venture’s credibility.
So, remember to Be Clear and Be Confident, and your reputation will start to build. And as you publish more of your positive reviews and testimonials, and create interactions and discussion on social media, the more confident (and ready to buy) your prospects will become.