Your company may be small, but you’re at the top of your field.
You’ve never let a customer down and more often than not, you exceed their expectations.
So, why does it feel like you need to convince customers that your small “solo” business is just as trustworthy as your larger competitors?
With a little work, you can build your status as an expert in your field and boost your credibility with potential clients.
Here are six ways to boost your credibility as a solo entrepreneur:
1. Create a strong social first impression
Before a customer experiences how great you are firsthand, your credibility depends on what is said and discovered about you.
In seconds, prospective clients can access a wealth of information about you and your business via social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. What impressions are your social media profiles giving? Are they working for or against you?
2. Improve your ‘social proof’
We’re living at a time when we check user reviews before picking a restaurant or buying a moisturizer.
As consumers, we’re heavily influenced by other people’s experiences. In fact, what others say about your business is usually more important than what you say about your business.
This persuasion phenomenon is called social proof and you need to use it to your advantage. Your business’ social proof includes testimonials, case studies, and references from happy customers. Don’t be bashful: ask satisfied customers to provide a quote or two on their experience – and then feature these testimonials prominently on your website.
3. Emphasize your network
You may be a solo business owner, but you’re hardly flying solo.
Chances are you’ve built a network of resources around you, including colleagues, freelancers, contractors, and others. Your team may be more informal than a company with 100 employees, but you still have a team behind you. Make sure that potential clients understand you have a great ecosystem of trusted experts that you can bring in when needed.
4. Publish, publish, publish
Publishing guest articles or blog posts is a brilliant way to demonstrate the depth of your knowledge and position yourself as a credible expert in your field.
Look for opportunities in industry magazines, newsletters, blogs…wherever your customers might be. Be aware that writing a guest article does not mean marketing your services. The goal is to provide quality, useful content that’s relevant and helpful to your audience.
5. Make it legit with a formal business structure
A formal business structure, such as an LLC or Corporation, can go a long way to boosting the credibility of your business. Even a solo business can be an LLC or Inc.
And a formal business structure has the added benefit of separating your personal and business finances, helping to protect your personal savings and property from anything that happens with your business. Use this Business Structure Wizard to help determine what structure might be best for your business.
6. Earn it
At the end of the day, credibility must be earned.
The best way to grow your credibility is to do what you’ve probably already been doing day in and day out…work hard, create trust with your customers, and deliver the very best product or service you possibly can.
Continue to raise the bar by improving your craft and bringing new value to your customers. And maybe most importantly, be open, honest, and genuine in all that you do. Customers instantly recognize sincerity when they see it. Be yourself…and combined with some strategic marketing plans, you’ll have the credibility your business deserves in no time.
About the author:
Nellie Akalp is a passionate entrepreneur, small business advocate and mother of four. As CEO of CorpNet.com, a legal document filing service, Nellie helps entrepreneurs start a business, Incorporate, Form an LLC, or set up Sole Proprietorships (DBAs) for a new or existing business.