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When you start a new business, one of your greatest challenges is convincing potential customers of your credibility. They need to know that your business can be trusted and that the product or service they’re paying for will be high quality and delivered in a timely fashion. Convincing them of this is the first step toward gaining them as a potential lifelong customer.
But the process for convincing a customer that you’re a credible business is not necessarily straightforward, as different customers will consider different factors, and no one element will likely be enough to change their minds. Below, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council list out their top strategies for proving the credibility of your business. Implement one or all of these tips to see a change in the way your company is viewed.
Highlight Your Company’s Talent
Highlight the expertise of your colleagues and how their strengths may benefit the customer. Make sure your customers are aware of all the talent at your company. Emulate the vision and the tenacity of your customers. People invest in people. A pitch deck can be filled with projections, but success depends on leadership and their commitment to success. – Arshad Lasi, The Nirvana Group
Acquire Testimonials from Verified Clients
The No. 1 way a new business can establish it’s credibility is by acquiring testimonials from verified creators, artists and athletes. Blue check verification is the ultimate indicator of credibility, and working with verified influencers will prove that your brand is the real deal. – King Holder, PROCUSSION
Communicate Honestly and Well
Clearly understood and on-time communications with your clients coupled with absolute honesty — a rare commodity — earns you credibility, especially when you exceed their expectations. – Skip Meador, marQaha
Take On Some Pro Bono Work
In the early stages of your business, take on some pro bono clients and ensure you deliver results to them. This will provide a great learning experience and also build up a client base that you can leverage for references. It also ensures your professional network is strong. Leverage your key network personnel for recommendations, referrals and mentorship. – Amanda Dorenberg, COMMB
Build Up Your Public Relations Portfolio
If you are a budding pro and your name hasn’t circulated your niche in any capacity, it will be hard to find an investor who will trust you. You have to build up a portfolio of media appearances to establish yourself as a thought leader and expert before the big players will take notice. From one-person operations to global enterprises, but for new businesses especially, PR is priceless. – Victoria Kennedy, Marisa Johnson
Share Your Authentic Passion and Purpose
Clearly articulate your passion and purpose. Be authentic in your storytelling and describe how you identified a clear lane in your industry. It will help position you as a credible source and can create a sense of urgency for new customers who want to be a part of it. – Michael Klein, Trees Corporation
Prove Your Abilities
Credibility is currency; without it, you’re short. If you have faith in your abilities, expertise or service, don’t ever be afraid to let a potential client test drive the deliverables. Credibility is the cousin of trust, and it’s hard to trust a business that you’ve never seen do business. Prove that you can do what you said you can. Credibility comes after results; everything else is just talk. – David Castain, David Castain & Associates