How can startups quickly establish business credibility?
To help you discover the best ways for your startup to quickly establish business credibility, we asked startup founders, marketing experts, and business leaders this question for their best insights. From providing a strong human touch in answering customer queries to getting yourself heard on podcasts in your niche, there are several ways to conduct business and market your startup to quickly establish credibility with customers.
Here are 10 ways these leaders establish business credibility with their startups:
- Provide a Strong Human Touch in Answering Customer Queries
- Get On Social Media
- Offer Your Product or Service for Free to Get Testimonials
- Associate Your Brand With Trusted Influencers
- Showcase Your Expertise Through a Business Blog
- Focus On Customer Perception
- Get Testimonials
- Make Sure You’re Easily Reachable
- Be Physically Present
- Get Yourself Heard On Podcasts in Your Niche
Provide a Strong Human Touch in Answering Customer Queries
One of the best and recommended tips for business startups to establish their credibility is not only to rely on automation. Automation has its own charm but there is something more special when we communicate on a human level. As when new businesses give a human touch to various platforms on social media by answering the queries of the customers without expecting anything in return. It will help them to plant the seeds of trust and attract more clients and establish credibility.
Get On Social Media
A great way to build some quick credibility, even before your business has had its first customer, is to create a profile on the social media platforms that your target audience likes to hang out on. Add your logo as the profile picture and a captivating cover photo and fill out as much profile information as you can, even if you don’t have it all yet. Create 5 or so posts to go up over the course of the month to create some buzz around your new business beforehand and show people that you have a legitimate offering coming their way. One of the first places customers will check you out is on social media and if they see you have a clean and active setup, they will trust you a lot more.
Offer Your Product or Service for Free to Get Testimonials
Many startup business owners waste hours and hours on social media being frustratingly ineffective. One way they can quickly establish their credibility is to talk about the problems they solve and results they provide. So, the first thing I advise startups to do is to provide their product or service – for free if necessary – and get benefit-focused testimonials and case studies. When they share these stories, which they can do on social media, on their website, in emails, social media messaging, at networking, cold calling, etc, then those who have the same problems and want the same results will pay attention. The social proof is in the pudding!
Associate Your Brand With Trusted Influencers
If you want to establish credibility with your target audience then it is essential to associate your brand with those influencers that they most respect, admire and trust is a great point of start. When you do this then the community will transfer the respect and administration to you. Along with this, one thing that you should take care of is that the selection of your influencer has aligned with some values, otherwise you can face any kind of risk of coming across as inauthentic, an Influencer marketing agency, etc to make an authentic and trustful environment.
Showcase Your Expertise Through a Business Blog
Part of quickly establishing credibility is showcasing expertise in your industry, and an effective way that a startup can do this is through initiating a business blog. Customers regularly look for value-rich content on the internet, so being able to dispense that on a regular basis can make you an authority in the public’s eye. Creating a blog that touches on key issues, offers solutions to common pain points, and has input from industry insiders and experts, can be extremely effective in building authority and trust, while establishing credibility. Through using effective SEO techniques to drive traffic to your blog, and providing value-rich content, your startup can quickly establish credibility and turn your blog followers into loyal customers.
Focus on Customer Perception
Think about what your customer perceives when they see your ad, website, or place of business. How will they evaluate credibility? Are your customers interested in accreditations or endorsements from other organizations? Do they want to read or see testimonials? When someone visits your website, are they noticing the quality of the writing? The choice of the images? The user-friendly experience for finding the information they want? When someone comes to your place of business, what do they see? What is the perception that creates?
What does this mean? Be intentional. Take time to ensure the content and quality of writing on a website is easily understood and well-written. Choose images that represent your ideal customer. Where applicable, show accreditation, memberships, and endorsements. Include testimonials. Ensure your place of business is clean, organized, and decorated appropriately. Remember, you have 1 to 3 seconds to make a great first impression!
This is obvious, right? The thing is, you may need to provide potential clients with a no-brainer offer so they can have enough confidence to take a chance on you. It should be sweet enough for them to get behind it 100% but not so crazy that they start thinking it’s too good to be true. Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you offer consulting services to small and medium businesses that are about $2,500 – $5,000 a month on average. For your first clients, you may offer it at about $1,250. Then, you underpromise and overdeliver. After that, you request a video testimonial and or a case study. Do this one more time and you’ve solved your credibility problem. If you sell software, offer it at a discount for a handpicked group and hold their hands for the first 30 – 60 days.
Make Sure You’re Easily Reachable
If you want to earn the loyalty of your target market, I believe you should make it simple for people to get in touch with and engage with your business. If you want your clients to be able to reach you and get timely, helpful service, you should make use of multiple channels. Having a strong online profile in places like Twitter and Facebook is crucial today. Here, you can respond to consumers who reach out to you and keep them interested with company-related updates and material.
Maintaining a strong presence on social media is important, but you shouldn’t forget about more conventional channels of contact. Customers will feel more at ease doing business with you if you provide them with multiple contact options, including a business email address, a landline, and a real office mailing address.
Be Physically Present
Maintaining a strong presence in the real world is becoming more and more important in today’s climate, where countless virtual upstarts are vying for consumers’ attention. Billboards, bus stop advertisements, and other forms of outdoor advertising have been demonstrated to inspire more brand interaction behaviors, especially on smartphones, than internet advertisements. They give offline businesses the appearance of being more established and reliable than their online-only counterparts. There was a time when only corporations with substantial advertising budgets could afford to advertise outside. However, many websites now allow companies to rent outdoor advertising space with a simple click of a mouse. To maximize their impact, advertisements might be time- and location-bound.
Get Yourself Heard On Podcasts in Your Niche
Humans tend to trust the human voice more than written words, actually meeting people, engaging and talking builds credibility quickly but it is not viable to do this consistently and across the globe, so by appearing as a guest on Podcasts that are related to the sector or niche you sell into can build up your credibility rapidly through your sharing of knowledge and experience, thus reaching a wider audience but also being able to reference the shows you have been on and promote them as being your credibility bullet quickly.
Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Terkel, a Q&A platform that connects brands with expert insights.