Welcome back to another episode with Jill Salzman. In the last episode, we discussed what credibility is and today, we will go over four tips for your brand’s credibility marketing strategy.
Here are today’s key takeaways:
- Until you have an email list, you don’t have a business.
- We should re-examine each step of the customer journey, from brand awareness to the final purchase, to make sure our customers are happy.
- We should only partner with influencers who have actually used our product and love it.
- Reviews and testimonials are two of the best ways to build our credibility.
- We should be original and lean into our unique brand identity.
Increasing Your Credibility
If Jill were consulting a client on building credibility, she would start by asking these three questions:
- What have you been doing up to this point?
- Where have you been seeking credibility?
- Do you have a mailing list?
As we start to organize a credibility marketing plan, we should first take the time to analyze what we have currently been doing. Is it working? How can we improve it? We should also have an established mailing list. Having an email list of our customers provides a massive opportunity to get in contact with customers and ask for reviews and testimonials, etc.
“Stats still say that [email lists] are two to three times more powerful and effective than anything you do on social media,” Jill said. “That would be the first place you can go and ask for testimonials and get people to reply to you with real credibility. [You can] find out what your credibility is; see if people think highly of you or not. It’s just a really nice direct avenue.”
Until you have an email list, you don’t have a business. When you’re dependent upon other people’s platforms, when you always have to go to Google or Facebook and buy an ad to get a new customer, you’re building your business on “land” you don’t own. But, when you build your own email list, you own the “land”. You own your customers’ contact information.
Once we have gone over these three questions we can begin to look at other methods to build credibility. Here are four ways to increase your brand’s credibility:
1. Build Customer Relationships
Your relationship with your customers or clients is so important. If you aren’t paying attention to their experience from every step of the way, you are likely going to lose customers. We should re-examine each step of the customer journey from brand awareness to the final purchase.
“You have no idea, without interacting with [your customers], if you’re providing what they’re looking for,” Jill said. “I can’t tell you how many people I know who are really successful, have contact forms on their websites that still don’t work. They’re not hearing from people . . . because of a tiny tech malfunction. That stuff leads into, ‘How credible are you as an expert if you’re not fixing the tiny tech?’”
We should make sure we are going through the process of quality assurance testing. We should make sure we are taking care of the details and understand where our customers are getting stopped at. When we run tests, we can find problems so we can fix them as quickly as possible. This is a big part of our credibility. If I’m not taking care of the details of my business, how can somebody trust me to take care of them?
Credibility marketing has a large experience aspect to it. If we want to be credible, we have to make sure the customer experience is positive. We should build customer relationships and trust by paying attention to every step of the customer journey.
2. Run Referral Programs
A large part of credibility marketing involves referral programs such as influencer marketing, affiliate programs, and word of mouth marketing. To build our credibility in referral marketing, we have to make sure we are honest and transparent.
If you use an affiliate program and the affiliate has never used your product before, it can hurt your credibility. Our customers will be able to tell they aren’t genuine. Instead, we should make sure we are only partnering with those who have actually used our product and love it. When we do it the right way, our customers will likely flock to us.
For example, I love ClickFunnels. I use ClickFunnels in my businesses and I recommend it to everybody I know. I do use their affiliate program, but it’s something that I am passionate about and when I talk about it, people can hear it. They know I’m referring something that I sincerely recommend. This makes me a great affiliate for ClickFunnels.
In any situation, be transparent about it. We should make sure affiliate links are disclosed as such and we should let customers know influencers are being paid to promote our products.
3. Get Reviews and Testimonials
“I think [reviews] are sensational,” Jill said. “They are the gold.”
Reviews and testimonials are one of the best ways to build our credibility. Customers love to see social proof before they make a decision to buy from us, and reviews and testimonials are the social proof. They give evidence that our products and services are as great as we say they are.
When asking for reviews, Jill simply asks the customers, “Why?” Why do you love what we do? Why did you benefit from our product or service? Why would you recommend us to a friend? We can also consider asking:
- What was the #1 problem you were facing before?
- What did you do to solve the problem?
- What was the result you got from our product or service?
By telling the customer journey in the review, it can often make the review more relatable.
We should also try to get video reviews. Video reviews are typically better than written reviews as they seem more honest and genuine. “Watching somebody talk about you is going to go way further. Why? Because 90% of interaction is nonverbal, and I can read an awful lot of cues and I can theoretically tell more easily whether you’re lying or not, and how genuine you are,” Jill said.
Positive reviews are amazing, but what do we do if we get a negative review? A terrible review online can really harm your business. We can combat negative reviews by responding to them as soon as possible and trying to solve the problem as best we can. Then, we can focus on getting tons of great reviews so they help balance out the negatives that unfortunately happen.
4. Be Original
The final piece of advice Jill shared today was to be original. “Stop copying other people’s best practices,” she said. “We should all be talking and collecting really good tips and advice, but I see too many businesses looking at other businesses that have done well and doing exactly what they did but for an entirely different product or service. . . . It takes away from the credibility that you’re getting . . . because then people land on your site and go, something’s a mismatch here.”
We should understand our unique brand personality. While one strategy may work great for one business, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for us. We have to find a strategy that matches our brand.
To truly be credible, we have to be authentic; we have to be our true self. We can’t try to mimic somebody else. When I am my unique, authentic self, I’m going to attract my people to me and the people that are drawn to a different personality and different business style, are going to go somewhere else. That is totally okay.
The more you have confidence that what you sell is valuable, the better it is. We should stop comparing ourselves to our competitors and try to push away the negativity. As we do this, it will be easier for us to accept our own brand identity.
Connect with Jill
Thank you so much Jill for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with Jill:
- Visit her website at FoundingMoms.com
- Check out her book, Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, and her podcast, Why Are We Shouting?