Credibility is considered to be vitally important in many spheres these days, not least of all in business. As a small business, the battle to be taken seriously is perhaps greater than at any other level – you may find it difficult to get yourself heard, no matter the value of what you have to say.
However, once gained, credibility is a powerful tool to have, and can ensure that your word is sought out by others, and your name associated with quality. This is a positive position to find yourself in.
Building credibility is the difficult part. One major reason why so much of the power in the business world is held by so few people and companies is that people will instinctively afford more credibility to those who have been there for longer, and this means that the credibility gap between large, established businesses and smaller, more agile companies get wider. So, considering that you are starting from scratch, it’s important to do the following things to gain a hearing.
Project credibility, even if you don’t feel it
The rule of “faking it until you feel it” usually applies more to confidence in social situations, but it’s astonishing just how much people listen to a clear, coherent voice no matter what it is saying. This should inform every communication from you in a business setting. Business letters and emails should display your knowledge in a matter-of-fact way.
Appearance matters, too, for credibility: as https://universalengraving.com/product-pages/nw-dies-tooling/rotary/uniflex shows, you can easily create a foil-embossed paper on which to send official communications. If you want to be heard by the people who form opinions, you’ll need to appeal to their sense of credibility.
Take every chance to speak on your area of expertise
The bigger names in business can be sure that they will have people listening to them when they speak. Why? Because they have a track record that people can refer to. You can’t possibly hope to have the same platform as them – at least not right now – but you can build up an audience of people who will listen to you. Attend open meetings on important issues, and speak up when your viewpoint will be valuable. Feel free to have someone film you and put the footage on YouTube. Start a podcast, and invite people who you respect to appear on it.
Use social media as a business, and get your point across without undue partisanship: avoid the kind of errors seen at https://www.impactplus.com/blog/social-media-marketing-failures and other examples.
Take the opportunity to collaborate
If your business is associated with quality, it usually won’t be long before you are offered the opportunity to collaborate with larger businesses. Take that opportunity and run with it, but be careful to ensure you aren’t shunted into the background.
You don’t need to be brash – it’s probably better if you’re not, and instead focus on being matter-of-fact about how good you are. Over time, if people associate you with the bigger names, you’ll start to occupy the same spaces.