build credibility, make more sales online
Credibility is fundamental when you are starting a business or you own a business online. I remember back when I was starting out and had ZERO online presence or authority.
I knew that I knew what I knew (you know?), but I didn’t know how to get other people to see how much value I was capable of bringing to the table.
The thing is, in the world that we live in, anyone can have an online business and claim to be an expert in an area.
A lot of people unfortunately take advantage of this and end up screwing others over. So, needless to say, building your credibility and establishing yourself as an authority online is crucial for your success.
The fact that we don’t have a face-to-face interaction with our clients because of the nature of an online business makes it even more important for us to make an extra effort to let people understand that YES - we are the real deal and we can absolutely help them.
I’ve talked about the importance of building a clear “know/like/trust” factor a ton and how it can be one of the reasons why you aren’t making sales in the past.
The truth is that trust is going to be the door that opens the floodgates of sales for you. Meaning - if you want to make more sales, you need to increase trust. To do that, you have to establish and build your credibility online.
At the end of the day, credibility:
- Opens up a ton of opportunities that allow you to grow more
- Is the door to converting audience to clients (because they believe you can solve their problem)
- Allows you to charge premium pricing
- Shows you are a ‘legit’ - as in - a real person that is serious about your business
- Is a great way for you to differentiate yourself from others
These are honestly some of the benefits from establishing your credibility online. Credibility is completely tied to perceptions, so what we want to do as entrepreneurs and business owners is control that perception. We want to control it as much as possible in order to build trust and attract people into our business.
But here’s the thing, if you are just starting out, establishing your credibility and building that trust can be sort of tricky.
Tricky, but DEFINITELY not impossible, after all, every single successful person out there started from scratch at some point.
So let’s look at the 6 ways you can establish your brand’s credibility online even if you are just starting out.
To help you with this, I created a free 5-part mini course that teaches you the secrets to building a brand that attracts with an unshakeable confidence that captivates.
You are going to LOVE it (honestly, it’s insanely good).
#1 position yourself as an authority
One of the BEST ways to build your credibility online is to start with positioning yourself as an authority. You might be thinking “Fabi, are you crazy? I’m not an authority, I’m just me!” so let’s break that down a little bit.
Being an authority simply means that you know certain information and you have the power to influence others.
Nowhere does it say that for you to be seen as an authority, you need to have 10,000 hours of experience or 52 clients or else you are going to be burned.
For you to position yourself as an authority, you have to believe that you have something great to offer.
You are connected to your purpose and you understand that you are here to serve your audience.
Positioning yourself as an authority is an extremely smart way to attract the right people and it’s what I focus on when I work with my clients.
In fact, I love it so much, I created a whole masterclass that talks about how to position yourself as an authority.
This truly starts with you understanding the problem that you are solving for your audience. When you know what it is that is keeping them up at night and you focus your communication on the solutions you are able to bring them, you start to be perceived as that credible source.
Essentially, the way that you do this is my moving away from communicating that you are a service provider. You want to start talking about how you are an expert.
Regardless of how long you have been doing this, you want to talk about the real problem you are solving.
For example, when I worked with Annie, and online business and mindset coach, we didn’t communicate “I’m a business coach,” instead, we built her message around “Blow up your business by being unapologetically you.”
You want to focus on communicating your value and the ACTUAL results you help people achieve
There’s a massive difference in positioning yourself as one of the bunch, to talking about the results you help people achieve. I talk about this more right here.
#2 build a powerful brand identity
One of the greatest ways to give a trustworthy impression pretty fast to your audience is by making sure you have a brand that looks professional and a website that instantly builds your credibility.
I know there are a ton of coaches out there trying to convince people that they don’t need a website to be successful. Let's say I agree and then don’t.
Maybe you don't need to start a business without a website, but I believe that in order to build your credibility and truly establish your authority online you need to have a strong online presence.
The thing is though, that it’s not enough to have just a website where you slap on information.
You need to make sure that this website is truly building your brand up and making you look like a trustworthy source.
Here I talk about the website mistakes that you could be making that might be hurting your business - those are things you absolutely need to avoid no matter what.
I remember for example when I worked with my client Christine Luken a while back. She was BEYOND amazing at what she does as a Financial Coach, but her website and brand looked super DIY which brought her credibility way down low.
Once we transformed that brand, it made a huge difference in the way she showed up and it ended up bringing her massive opportunities for her business.
Not long after she successfully launched a book and her business has been thriving and growing.
The truth is that having a brand and website that are professionally designed can help you:
- Show that you are serious about your business
- Are willing to invest in your own business
So let’s talk about some of the basics you need to know in order for your brand and website to build your credibility.
Website basics to increase your credibility
- You want to make sure that your design looks professional and modern. As you can see with Christine’s example, this is really important
- You want to have a custom domain with your business name. So, for example, fabipaolini.com looks a lot more professional than fabipaolini.wordpress.com, right? Domains are insanely cheap (like $10 a year) and it really goes a long way)
- You want to have great photos taken. I can’t emphasize this enough, photos are fundamental to making your brand look incredible. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a high-end photographer, but you at least want to make sure that your brand looks great.
#3 create credibility-building content
I remember when I started with my business online, I didn’t know how to establish myself and my credibility - however, I DID know a ton about branding. So I focused my attention on sharing content as often as I possibly could.
Content is really one of the most important ways for you to build your credibility - and honestly? It should be the easiest.
I covered a WHOLE bunch of great information around content right here, and the reason why I went all in is because content is truly the lifeblood of your business.
It’s a great opportunity for you to show that you know what you know (you know?) and that you are someone that has a clear domain on the topic which you cover.
It’s also great for you to create content that allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level.
I talk a ton about the difference between list-building and creating content that converts in the free mini-course I told you about before, so make sure you check it out right here.
And see, that’s just part of it. You want to make sure that you are creating the type of content that keeps people addicted and keeps you on their top-of-mind as the credibly authority figure they need to go to.
Over the years I have generated a massive amount of content, so I want you to think about what types of content you can create that will help you establish yourself in your field.
Examples of content you can create:
Here are examples of some of the things I have done:
- Workbooks: Audit your brand
- Guides: 10 ways to position yourself as an authority
- Free email courses: A Brand that Attracts
- Checklists: Premium price checklist
- Masterclass: How to position yourself as an authority
- Quiz: Find your Brand Superpower
- Challenges: The Breakthrough Brand Challenge
See a theme happening here around establishing your authority? It’s because I know this is what most people want and have a hard time doing.
So, my focus is on generating the type of content that establishes me as a credible brand in, well, brand strategy.
#4 using social proof
This key to establishing your credibility is a little bit harder if you are just starting out. So, I get that it’s not something that everyone can do.
However, I will tell you how to do this even if you have never had a client yet.
Using social proof is another really great way to build that trust. You can do this through a variety of different ways including sharing case studies, testimonials and videos from your clients.
The more success stories you have, the more powerful the perception people have of you will be.
This is why on my homepage I have a whole bunch of videos, screenshots, emails, messages, and literal testimonials from my clients.
I like sharing them exactly how my clients send them to me because I believe there’s so much more power when you can show their actual email or message.
So I try to show these as often as I can and leverage them on social media or my email funnel in order to establish my own brand.
What do you do if you are just starting out and have never had a client before? My suggestion is that, if you are keen on looking for testimonials, you start by offering free short coaching calls and in return, you can ask for a testimonial or a quote.
Benefits of quick, free coaching calls
These calls are great because they allow you to:
- Do market research and find out more about your audience
- Quickly help people solve a simple problem, so you are actually serving them
- Turn these people into clients
- Get testimonials for the work that you do
As a side note, when I reached $10k a month in my business, I did it pretty much by nailing this strategy and converting those free calls into clients.
Anyways, this is a great way to establish your credibility and show yourself as an authority online.
#5 building a community
Another great way to build your brand’s credibility online is through fostering or creating a community.
Now, this looks like several different things. It could be around building your social media following, getting more engagement and a ton of likes.
Obviously social media is really important in the world that we live in today. A lot of people like to look at metrics such as follows or likes in order to determine whether you are a true credible source.
If you are going to be using this as a way to build your credibility, it’s definitely important that you make sure that your brand is cohesive and working for you in every platform in which you show up. I wrote a great article about this which I think you will love.
However, I do have to say - I have build a wildly successful business, making multiple 6-figures a year and I only have like 1,800 followers on Instagram. So, there’s that.
So building a community isn’t only about getting a large following on social media, but about having a place where you have a group of people following or listening to your ideas or point of view.
Focus on building an amazing community!
For me, that looks like my email list, which I communicate with at least 2 or 3 times a week in a totally non-spammy way.
It also looks like my Facebook group, Breakthrough Brands that Attract. I like to show up, do Facebook lives, trainings and more as often as I possibly can.
Building that sense of community in which you are seen as the leader is a truly powerful way to be seen as a credible authority.
A large part of this is also about engaging with other people. Commenting, responding to comments, sharing, liking, following others goes a really, REALLY long way online.
#6 believing in yourself
Okay okay, I know this sounds kind of cheesy, but I believe that one of the best and most important ways to establish your brand’s credibility online is to believe that you are worthy of that attention.
I remember back when I started when I didn’t believe in myself and didn’t have confidence in my offer.
Damn, it was hard to get out there. However, when you know deep inside your bones that you are good and you are bringing value, it radically changes how you show up to your business every single day.
Believing that you are a credible source, that you are an authority and that you deserve to charge more or be seen, will, honestly? Make all of the difference.
In my experience, success usually is a result of a perfect mix between strategy and mindset.
Bring together the head and the heart into all that you do
I tend to call this head + heart. When you bring heart into your ‘head’ strategies, it truly makes a difference in the way that you do things.
Credibility is going to come from you getting out there, getting visible, showing up, doing the work and knowing that you can transform your clients’ lives.
I believe that I am THE BEST at what I do, and I know that it results in people reaching out to me and thanking me or telling me how amazing my content is or how they value what I’m doing.
So if you want others to trust you, you have to begin by trusting yourself and continuously thrive to create better content and give more value every single day to your audience.
So that’s it! These are the 6 keys to establishing your brand as an authority online. Which ones are you lacking? Which ones do you feel you need to work on the most? Tell me your thoughts through instagram.