4 ways of building credibility
In my earlier articles, I wrote about the other 3 C’s of copywriting. I wrote that quality and engagement can be achieved when your content and copy is:
The 4th characteristic of quality content is credibility. And that is the hardest one to achieve.
Let’s start with the definition of credibility:
“Credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed in.”
There’s one word in this definition that implies that achieving credibility is not all that easy. The word “trust” implies that there’s some work to be done before your audience perceives you as a credible source of information.
Trust has to be earned over a period of time. When we sell, we send our audience on a journey to move them from know to like to trust. Trust is never instant and as such we can never achieve trust instantly and with just one piece of writing.
I have an editor friend and he told me the story of a client who almost lost his credibility because of a very simple oversight.
My friend always fact checks when he edits and spotted that his client claimed that his ancestors had come to the Americas on the Mayflower. So, he checked the dates when the Mayflower sailed to the Americas and found an inconsistency. The date that the client claimed as the date when his ancestors moved to the Americas was inconsistent with the historically documented date. And not just by a month but by about 100 years.
Had that mistake gone unnoticed, it would have put the credibility of the whole book – and the author’s credibility at risk.
Fact-checking is essential and should be a routine part of your writing as small oversights can instantly undermine credibility.
Let’s move on to the next factor that supports credibility:
Qualifications come in different forms and shapes. One form is “official” qualifications like degrees and certifications. In some instances, certifications that are compulsory for the service you are providing – like any service in the medical industry. You would definitely not want to have surgery performed by someone who hasn’t got the required qualifications.
But not every degree is compulsory for the service you are providing. I, for example, have a Masters degree in Russian and English Literature and Linguistics, a teaching degree and an MBA. While my qualifications make me better qualified as a copywriter, they are not compulsory for being a copywriter.
I also have a copywriting degree, but even that is not a requirement for copywriting. However, my degrees make me a better copywriter because they are relevant for what I do and how I work.
My knowledge about all kinds of writing and my business knowledge contribute to my differentiation – I write and I teach copywriting with a focus on the deeper understanding of businesses, deliberate outcomes, and the more technical aspects of writing and storytelling.
And lastly, there’s qualification through experience. You don’t always need a seal and a stamp under your qualifications.
I have many years of corporate management experience. This experience definitely makes me a better copywriter because it has helped me to understand business dynamics, cultural aspects of management as well as deep insights about power and influencing.
Many highly successful entrepreneurs do not have official qualifications, but their experience qualifies them. Their success qualifies them.
And that’s where we touch the next credibility contributor:
Claiming to be an expert and being an expert are two entirely different things.
Buying decisions are mostly driven by emotions. How your customers feel after they’ve worked with you and the stories they tell provide you with a success stamp. Testimonials and success stories are the proof that you deliver on your promises – and that makes your audience feel safe and much more likely to buy from you.
Your customers sharing their results is probably one of the most powerful sources of credibility. Your customers have trusted you and you have achieved results that they are happy to share with others because they believe that you are the best service provider to help others achieve similar results.
What could be more powerful than that?
Like professors who have consistent pressure to publish their research, entrepreneurs are pressured to consistently share their knowledge.
But that is also a point of great dispute.
People buy from you or hire you because of what you know and what you can help them achieve with your knowledge. Consistently sharing your knowledge with your audience empowers your audience in micro-steps.
Information is freely available to everyone online and you shouldn’t be afraid of “giving away the farm”.
People can figure out everything on their own - but I believe that there are two factors that will always attract people to work with you instead of working everything out by themselves or working with someone else:
Time and you.
Finding and piecing together all the information they need to succeed is time intensive and there’s a reason why it has taken you years to develop your own approaches and methods. There’s an overload of information available and you have pre-selected and filtered relevant information and combined it in a specific way that results from your personality, experiences, strengths, and abilities.
When you offer your signature services, method or process, you offer your clients a uniquely composed package of knowledge, (saved) time, and your personal strengths.
Saving people time is one of the strongest benefits of working with an expert. Time is a resource you cannot buy.
While there are many copywriting courses available – I have created my own because I understood that not only budding copywriters or marketers want to learn how to write copy and content – but that it is a matter of survival for entrepreneurs to understand how to write their own copy and content – and tell their stories.
The clarity that comes with understanding the foundations of copywriting and understanding the foundations of your business has the power to lift your business to a new level because your messaging has more impact through resonating with the right people and sending the right messages at the right time.
There are two things that I’d like to mention before I finish this series of articles:
Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge – people will follow and buy from you if you do – even more because you prove your knowledge over and over again. Through consistently sharing your knowledge you build your credibility.
If you want to learn more about how you can achieve all that - then send me a message and discover more about my copywriting course and how it can help you to grow your business!