Building credibility as an entrepreneur is one of the most critical aspects of your personal and business development. This is because trust is an essential trait in business. Employees, shareholders, and customers depend on you to lead them, and nobody wants to work with someone they can't trust. It can even be the only limiting factor for your career or business growth.
Credibility is a currency you want to be able to cash in on when you need it, as 'Entrepreneur' intelligently puts it.
What does it mean to be credible?
Credibility means the trait of being believable and trustworthy. It implies that people in and out of your business can trust that you will keep your word, deliver on your promises, and succeed at the end of the day.
It builds a trustworthy image of your business for the rest of the world.
Although credibility takes time to build, it is achievable. And it is worth every effort you choose to put into it. Even if you're new to the business, there are ways to build your reputation and increase your credibility.
How to build credibility as an entrepreneur
Be authentic and original
There are over 213 million companies in the world. But there can only be one of you. In building credibility, the most crucial step is being true to yourself. When you are, every other action you take will come from a place of honesty because you're not trying to be someone you're not.
Build a strategy that accurately represents what you want for your business
Don't try to copy others or steal their ideas. Work with your why and develop a plan that effectively communicates who you are. Understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and don't try to be someone you're not. It will pay dividends in people's trust and confidence in the long run.
Honesty is still the best policy. You want to be honest and transparent with your employees, coworkers, sponsors, or anyone else you're working with. When people know you will say things as they are, they must trust you.
Honesty can build your reputation more than you can ever imagine. In a world where there are so many options to choose from, honesty demonstrates that you are a person who genuinely values other people.
Know your values
As an entrepreneur, you must know what you and your business stand for. You must know the image you want people to have of your business and consistently communicate it. It should be communicated to the people you employ, your work ethic, your online presence, your brand identity, the people you choose to work with, etc.
People are constantly looking for those who will take a stand and be confident in it. It positions you as someone who has direction and knows what they are doing.
Be competent and accountable
To be treated like a professional, you must first position yourself as one. Do your job well enough that people want to come back for more. Build expertise in your field and offer consistent value. Always be improving.
It is also essential that you're accountable to your employees and customers, that you keep your promises, and that you prioritize your customers' needs.
Share customer reviews and milestones
Another way to build credibility is by sharing what others say about your business. According to Shopify, reviews are the first place potential customers browse when they open your site or page.
So you want to get as many reviews as possible from your past customers or people you've worked for and display them conspicuously anywhere you have an online presence. You can also ask for feedback from respectable industries and people, further building your credibility.
Curate an online presence
We're in a highly digital era, and a salient step in building a business is online. An online presence ranges from having a website to building on crucial social media platforms to having an email list and a blog.
Having an online presence makes you accessible to people from all over the world. It allows you to display all information about your business and position yourself as an expert in your field. It allows you to connect with your customers and obtain direct feedback.
You can always hire people to do these things for you if you can't handle them yourself, but it's a worthy investment.
Partner with reputable industries and influencers that align with your values
Partnering with people who are already established can give you credibility by association. That's because people associate partners with having the same values and competencies.
Building and sponsoring beneficial programs, having good influencers support your business, and building credibility will be a piece of cake.
Share information and resources
With whatever platform you have, you want to share as much valuable information as possible with your customers and always look for ways to make everything about your product or service easy and stress-free.
You can write blog content that covers everything about your business and offer freebies, discounts, or partnerships that benefit your customers. This will be perceived as an act of goodwill, which will encourage them to be loyal to you.
Build a relationship with your customers
Every step of your business should be about building a good relationship with everyone that crosses your path. From your customer service to your designs to your support, you want everything about your business to make your customers feel welcome.
Involve them in your process. Share your journey with them. Ask for their opinions. Highlight their successes. Let them know that you care about them and will surely gain their trust.
Building credibility can be done in many different ways, and if you still need to start, now is always a good time to start building your reputation and credibility.