Who doesn’t want to feel more credible? FEEL is the main word to pay attention to here. Credibility building activities are one thing but if you’re doubting yourself on any level there are no amount of credibility plasters that will help.
In this episode, I talk about the REAL credibility boosters and how to stay on top of the wobbles so you can show up and feel like THE leader in your field.
Listen using the player above or read the blog below.
How to build confidence in your credibility
Credibility has come up a few times. Earlier I spoke about building market leader credibility and I want to add to this information. One of the many questions I am asked is: “will being more qualified give me a unique spin to my services?
I am cautious around this because I think you should be qualified to do what you are doing. And while this does not necessarily mean studying for a degree or letters against your name. Unless you are dealing with someone’s mind and mental health, or a medical professional, as there are dangerous consequences if you do not know what you are doing.
If you are getting a qualification to build credibility, then I disagree that you need one. You do not need a qualification to build market-leading credibility.
I particularly like this Frank Hern analogy:
“You arrive in a room with zombies holding a gun. There is a person asking for help in a corner. You ask if they’d like to see your credentials on how to kill zombies and of course, they say no.”
If you can kill the zombies and you have the tools to get the job done, just do that. If you need a qualification to do the job without harming people then yes, you need it. But if not, doing the job and doing it well is enough.
Proof of skills
Social proof speaks louder than qualifications. Qualifications are nice to have. Experience in doing and achieving will make you stand out more than a qualification. A qualification will not differentiate you or get you to market-leading positions.
What matters is how you go about solving the problem. Who it is that you focus in on and are a specialist in helping. To dominate a market and niche, you can double down on who you are best placed to serve. For example, if you work with introverts, how you deal with them will be far different to how you work with extroverts.
Be an expert not a generalist
One of the biggest reasons people see you as a credible expert is because you are that expert. If you are a generalist for everyone, then that damages your credibility more than not having a qualification. You can have a qualification and be general and you will not make it through the noise.
You can uplevel your expertise with qualifications – and I am all for this. Yet, to get a qualification for the sake of credibility, it is a waste of time. Focus on what matters instead.
Another common misconception is that getting more press coverage will build credibility. While an element of this is true, I have this on my website. Again, it is not going to be what differentiates you and positions you above anyone else. This is especially true for a savvy market where people know that a lot of coaches and experts have these.
It is nice to supplement your credibility. It will not be the thing that positions you.
The thing to position you as credible
The one thing that will position you as someone credible to work with is your results. The people you serve shouting about your results for them. It is the case studies and testimonials you build. Can you encourage people to share these referrals?
This is what will cause a storm as you are the person to buy from when you get these results. We are in a catch-22 position if you are struggling to get clients at the moment. you need to get the ball rolling when it comes to articulating what you do. This goes back to your niche and specialism. It is about positioning you as someone experienced in your area. And someone who specialises in helping a certain type of person.
If you can specialise in a problem, an outcome and who – then you will be able to articulate the value and get the first clients. It will snowball from there.
Are you leveraging social proof? Are you shouting about your testimonials? Do you tell people about client results and what goes on behind the scenes?
If you are not doing this, then you are not making the most of it.
Non-monetary return on investment
A lot of people worry that if they are not getting a monetary result, then what is the return on investment? Now, this affects you in three ways. Firstly, your think that you are not that amazing because you are not helping people make money. Secondly, it stops you from being able to articulate the tangible results you give. Thirdly, it prevents you from being able to articulate what you do to help others.
You have a question mark over what you give people. If you cannot feel the confidence in the results you give to your clients, then how are future clients going to understand the value you bring?
You need to tangibly say what you do and get clear on this articulation.
For our travel company, we started with one customer. It has snowballed from there. We are able to articulate what makes us unique and what we are specialists in. We began as specialists in Everest Base Camp. And we widened it to cover high-altitude trekking – we didn’t move into diving or anything like that. It keeps the exclusivity and dominates the market.
As soon as we start to feel the drag on not making enough money – no matter where you are in your journey – it affects how we come across. Heather Grey told me: “does the fact that you are not making as much money as you’d want to make affect your skillset and abilities?”
In that moment, I realised I was putting pressure on how much money my business was making when that doesn’t affect what I can do. If you let that thought get hold of you, it puts you on the back foot and impacts your energy. I do believe that your energy affects your business success. So, if you are not feeling on point with it all, then it will affect everything else.
I have coached sales coaches through this doubt. Even though these coaches are very credible, are an expert in their field and are absolutely have all the knowledge and ability to teach someone else. Their mindset impacts it.
Your mindset plays a huge role in your credibility. And when you use these credibility tricks, like qualifications and PR, are often a sticking plaster over the real issues. Your own credibility comes from your self-belief. If you are wavering on this, it will impact everything else. It does not matter how many accolades you receive, none of it matters if you don’t believe in your own ability.
Your self-belief is the number one thing that you need to focus on above everything else.
Gather the evidence
If you are one of those people looking for plasters to cover your lack of self-belief, let’s look for evidence of what you have helped people achieve. For example, if you are a sales coach who can help people make six figures but cannot help them make seven figures as you’ve not done it yourself – that’s fine.
Don’t start by saying you can do that. Start by saying you help people make six figures. Make this a tangible result. Instead of trying to punch above our weight. You do not have to start where you know you want to finish. And it may be that you have not achieved it for your own business but you have for another business. The result was beyond your client expectations.
Besides, what is going on in your business is not relevant. It is what you are doing for your clients that counts. Always bear this in mind. Leverage this and shout about it for the times when it does not go as well.
When it goes wrong
Not every client will be a success and we need to be aware of this.
We had some complaints training and the first slide said: every company will get a complaint. It doesn’t matter how big your company is, you will have complaints.
When you have times when it doesn’t go right, don’t let that lower confidence in yourself. You know you have the ability to make things better. That one time does not take away from all the good you have done. Don’t let that experience pull your confidence and credibility downwards.
In many cases, you can change and improve. In some cases, it is not always you. Particularly in the coaching and the expert world, the client has to do their part as well. You need to take an honest look at whether you did all you could. If your client did not do all they could, then there is nothing you can do about that. You have to expect that this is part and parcel of owning a business.
Bear this in mind and do not let it take hold. Dust yourself off and remember how great you are.
The other element is dealing with negative feedback. I have been using a Facebook Ads specialist for a particular masterclass I am running. On one of those adverts, I had the most horrendous comment on there. Usually, I leave comments and reply. On this occasion, it was not helpful to do so. You have to realise, it does not matter who you are and where you are – people will try and discredit you.
They will tell you what you do is wrong or incorrect. You have to expect this. Apple has forums of people who hate Apple. You have to realise hatred and love will come in equal measures. There are people out there who believe in what you do. So do not let others switch your messaging because they do not believe it is right. Your messaging will reach and speak to the right person. If the wrong person reads it and gets offended, feel free to think that. Scroll on by.
You need a bullet-proof jacket. It comes as part of running a business. Do not let it destroy your confidence.
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