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How Could Increased Credibility Help You Grow Your Business?

August 29, 2005
by Laura Orsini
In What Subject Are You An Expert?

If you're a small business owner, presumably you are an expert in your industry or profession - or you would not be in that industry or profession.

Expertise does not mean being the best in the world at something - like Lance Armstrong or Bill Gates. Can you imagine being ranked #1 IN THE WORLD at a particular skill or talent?? It sure would be nice - but it doesn't happen for most of us. And yet many more of us are experts than we may realize.

With more than 6 billion people in the world, good thing it's utterly unnecessary to be the best in the world at something to qualify as an expert. All expert means is that you know your subject BETTER THAN MOST people. American Heritage Dictionary defines an expert as "a person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject." Given those more relaxed standards, chances are pretty good you know a great deal about at least one particular subject, meaning that you are an expert in some area.

So you've given it some thought and have acknowledged that you really are very good at something. Canvas pool covers. History of birdhouses in America. Ways to help college freshmen succeed. The subjects are limitless - but you ARE an expert at one of them.

Question: What are you doing with that knowledge and expertise? If "using it to build credibility in my area of specialization" is not your answer, it should be!

Why Credibility?

Simple. Credibility is the thing that makes people respect you as an expert. It's the thing that gives you an edge because it causes people to seek you out for your knowledge. Credibility means the quality of being logically or apparently valid. And with credibility comes authenticity, believability, genuineness, legitimacy, visibility, trust, plausibility, reputation, and word of mouth.

Are those qualities helpful in building a successful business? You'd better believe they are!

Benefits Of Creating Credibility For Yourself / Your Business

Perception of Trust - Credibility creates an implied trust that decreases your need to work as hard to prove yourself. People trust you if you have credibility.

Knowledge Showcase - Credibility allows you to share useful and/or entertaining information about your area of specialization that draws added attention to you/your business but is not confused with advertising.

Implied Quality - Credibility carries with it an assumption of due diligence. For example, if Oprah recommends a book, do people bother to read other reviews or do they run out and buy the book? Deserved or not, Oprah's opinion carries some of the highest credibility in the world.

Increased Exposure - Credibility enables you to reach potential customers who fall beyond the reach of your traditional marketing efforts.

Improved Recall & Recognition - Credibility reduces your audience's resistance to your marketing message. With traditional advertising, a customer must hear your message as many as 21 times before they recognize your message as your message, remember the contents of your message, and are moved to take action.

Heightened Demand - The more credibility you have, the more likely someone is to want to pay for your product or service.

Brighter Visibility - The more your credibility increases, the more likely people are to seek you out to suggest joint ventures and other opportunities.

How Can You Build Expert Credibility?

There are many ways to increase your credibility, some of them more instant in nature, while others require a more plodding, long-term effort.

Get interviewed by the mass media. PRO: Provides immediate visibility. CON: Is inordinately difficult to accomplish. KEY: The old 80/20 rule - put the large majority of your efforts into more realistic goals, but never neglect the attempt for widespread coverage entirely.

Contribute to mass media publications. PRO: Offers virtually instant credibility. CON: This market is neither specialized nor particularly focused on your industry. KEY: Regular appearances, like a featured column.

Get interviewed by or contribute to niche media outlets. PRO: Is easier to achieve than national exposure. CON: Offers less exposure than national outlets. KEY: Write or speak as THE expert in your field.

Get a blog. PROS: Easy to do, very inexpensive, and most blog providers have syndication technology built right in. CONS: Everybody's doing it, and just because you write does not mean anyone will read. KEYS: Write more than one blog on hyper-niche topics, cross-link them, and promote them just like you do your Web site.

Try Podcasting. PROS: Almost as easy as blogging, but with audio - once you learn how; new listeners are seeking Podcasts daily. CONS: Finding the resources to learn how to Podcast is still a challenge; attempting to produce a quality show is more difficult than it seems. KEYS: Commit to a niche topic, have fun, and experiment until you find your own unique show format.

Write! Articles, media releases, books, info products, etc. PRO: It's the easiest way to create visibility. CONS: It takes time, effort, and research; may require you to hire an editor. KEYS: Test various markets; develop a system.

The trick to creating expert credibility and its subsequent increased publicity - even notoriety - in your field is to GET OUT THERE! No matter how good you are at what you do, no one's likely to stumble over your genius as you quietly plod away at your desk or in a corner of your shop. You must draw attention to yourself like a beacon. However, with some directed and dedicated effort, you can achieve expert credibility in your industry and race to the forefront of your profession.

Laura Orsini is an editorial consultant, helping small business owners use words to build credibility and enlarge their client bases. For further information regarding a viable alternative to the credibility-building methods mentioned in this article, join Laura and fellow credibility expert Allan Sabo, of Alti Success Strategies, for their next tele-class, "Credibility-Building Secrets Revealed." Visit for dates and times.


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