Not too long ago, one of our readers asked me, “How do you build credibility when you’re just starting out or starting over in a new business?”
My answer was easy and to the point. And the best part is that this works for everyone. It’s simply taking what you have – regardless of how little or insignificant you think it might be at the time – and making it work for you!
When I started my first business, I had a business degree with a marketing concentration and two years of working for another marketing agency under my belt. Thus, I didn’t have a ton of experience, I didn’t have awards (except the one I received in high school for ‘most likely to marry someone rich or famous’…and I knew this probably shouldn’t go on the list), and zero of my own clients yet for testimonials. So what did I do? I had to come up with the next best thing – highlighting my personal strengths/assets.
I came up with three things that I felt were my strengths (I like things in 3’s, 5’s and 7’s – and so do a lot of other people – but I’ll save this for another post on psychology).
My strengths were my drive, my propensity of being a straight shooter, and my passion for talking. Yes, I know this might sound crazy to most, but these were what I had…and I made them work.
I knew I could use my strengths as an opportunity to showcase my differences to others, and so can you. And the best thing about your strengths is that they are a reflection of who you are and they don’t have to pertain to what you are pursuing professionally.
By showcasing the attributes that made me different, on my website and in person, I was able to connect with people that were similar in nature to me – those that were attracted to my strengths, were drawn to me and wanted to work with me. Within a few short months I had a couple of clients and additional credibility that I could showcase to other prospective clients.
Side note: Those that didn’t carry my same commonalities actually repelled from me…which was actually a good thing! Trust me, you will be waaaay happier and more successful working with people that you like and that like you.
Identify your strengths and use them to your advantage.
So make a list of your strengths; let your mind run wild. Then take two or three from the list and showcase them (verbally and visually) in your business.
I’ve come to believe that people will get to know you, trust you, learn what you have to offer and then before you know it you will have built a long list of credibility options to choose from.
So stop focusing on what you don’t have and focus on what you do have.
****Special thanks to Beba Photography for taking these images of me as a breakout speaker during a recent REMIX Event.