The biggest thing holding me back when I first started my business was my fear of not being credible enough.
I’ve never had a real job, which means that I started my business pretty much straight out of college.
I had no freaking clue what I was doing.
And I was CONVINCED that in order for people to listen to me-- in order to be seen as credible in any industry-- I’d have to go back to school or get a real job.
I loved school.
I’m a certified nerd.
I was president of the French club and was in the Honor’s college.
But despite all of that, I had HUGE hesitations about going back to school.
(To me, grad school always seemed like a socially acceptable way to avoid the real world for a few more years.)
I wanted to start a business, but I was convinced that no one would listen to what I had to say. I suffered from imposter syndrome.
You know what I’m talking about, right?
Most of us entrepreneurs have had that feeling that one day, "someone's going to find out that we're a fraud" and the whole jig will be up and we’ll have to waddle back to corporate America with our tail between our legs.
And because you question your credibility and don’t feel like you deserve the success, you subconsciously sabotage your successes and sales.
I guarantee it.
I used to think that in order to be credible, I’d need an advanced degree, a certificate, a fancy title or at least 15 years of specialized experience in the industry I wanted to work in.
Can I tell you the most important thing that you could EVER know?
You are already credible. You’re already smart enough. You already have the skills you need to get started-- you just need to jump in and show your stuff!
There’s a million and one ways of showing off your credibility that don’t include getting an MBA or some other fancy schmancy credential.
No one needs to officially tell you that you’re capable of doing what you do. ONLY YOU CAN DO THAT.
Here are 5 things you can do position yourself as an expert right now:
#1 Upgrade your branding
Take a look at your website. Does it feel like the website of a professional?
Upgrading your branding has absolutely nothing to do with paying a web designer to create a logo. You don’t need a logo!
You do, however, need to ask yourself how you want people to feel when they land on your website. Is your business’ personality fun? Exciting? Serene? Academic?
Special note for health coaches: Please, for the love of God, stop thinking that because you’re a health coach that your brand color has to be green. Your business’ brand has almost nothing to do with the WHAT you do, and so much more to do with WHY you do it.
#2 Create a killer About Page
Your About Page is the most visited page on your website. How are you using that prime real estate?
When new readers land on your About Page, they’re looking for an answer to this question:
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?!
Answer this question by guiding new readers to your opt-in offer.
Did you know that your About Page should be a little mini love letter for your opt-in offer?
Did you know that you can get a cheat sheet for writing your About Page in the Top Secret Copywriting Cheat Sheets?
#3 Prove you’re capable of delivering on your promises
Do you know how to build trust in a new relationship?
Make a promise and then...keep it.
A great way to do this is by making a really killer promise with your opt-in offer and then delivering something super spectacular (i.e. NOT AN EBOOK) that will help the reader get exactly what you’ve promised.
Too many online business owners (read: women) are deathly afraid of making promises because we don’t have control over who consumes the content of our website.
My advice? Stop catering your website to those people! You want to attract people who will take the action steps you advice, not people who will whine about not getting results by osmosis!
#4 Focus on your blog content
Another great way to build credibility with your readers is to show up on a weekly basis and provide excellent content.
This isn’t easy, which is why it’s impressive when you actually do it.
I can’t lie-- publishing a blog article every week is one of the most challenging things I do in my business. It’s challenging because it requires regular creative work that isn’t necessarily directly related to making money.
Then again, your blog is absolutely related to making money!
When you publish your blog or newsletter on a regular basis (I hear you squealing, perfectionists!) you build a credible, trusting, authentic, loyal relationship with your readers.
#5 - Add testimonials wherever you can!
I’m flabbergasted by the number of entrepreneurs I see with no testimonials on their websites!
Testimonials are so so so so freaking important. And they don’t have to be from actual clients-- they can be from anyone who can honestly attest to how amazing you are at what you do!!!
You should constantly collect effective testimonials that speak to specific results and include as much info (and a photo) of the person as possible.
For example, here’s what Michelle Mazur had to say about the Testimonial Gathering Kit :
“The Testimonial Gathering Kit was worth its weight in gold!”
-Michelle Mazur, Speech Designer + Idea Architect
A testimonial like that makes the kit sound more appealing, doesn’t it?
That’s because though I could toot my own horn all day, the recommendations hold more weight when they come from someone else! It’s called social proof. And it’s really f*cking important.