Learning how to gain confidence and inspire others starts with understanding credibility.
The credibility you have is vital to your personal and professional development and success.
Would you be here at this website – listening to the things I say and reading the things I write – if you didn’t believe I “walked the talk”? That I myself live in balance – experiencing balanced living and work life balance – in my own life? That I am successful both personally and professionally?
Of course not!
Your potential customers and/or clients MUST find you credible in order to be inspired to do business – or interact – with you in any manner.
If you are going to give someone else your time, energy, and your trust, you want to feel good about that decision. Which means, you have to believe that person (or business) and what they are telling you to do (or buy) is credible.
What is credibility?
Credibility is the quality of being believable or worthy of trust.
Why does credibility matter?
When someone has credibility, it almost automatically makes that person more inspirational and more motivational too. If you believe what someone else – or even a business – is telling you is true and authentic, it will almost always motivate and inspire you to take the action they recommend. You “buy” what they are “selling”. Obviously, what you “buy” can be intangible like a message or believe or physical/tangible like a product, good or even service.
How do you establish credibility?
Establish your “authority”
You must tell and show people why they should trust and believe in you and your ability to guide them in to making decisions with their time, money, and energy. Here are some things you can do to establish your authority:
- Share your experience and credentials (this is one reason many professions have an established standard of displaying diplomas / major certifications framed on their wall)
- Provide sound and helpful advice that can be documented through third parties (this is especially important if your main ideas or products are novel / new – showing the component elements that are proven makes your concepts / products appear more “sound” to your potential clients and/or customers)
Guard your “authority” carefully
- This should go without saying, but don’t ever just make things up – whether you are promoting an idea, theory, or product value. You should always be able to back up anything you say or do – even if it’s novel.
- Don’t speak on everything – or try to be everything to everybody. NO ONE is the expert on everything. If you try to position yourself or your product as having the answer to EVERYTHING, NOTHING you say or present will be believable.
Be confident – and act confident in your knowledge / ability / product / service
- Always present yourself or your product clearly and consistently. This will help you to be confident in your message and this confidence will significantly increase your credibility.
Stay educated and on top of “what else is out there” and be able to address why you or your product / service does or does not address or include any new concepts and/or ideas
- The more knowledgeable you are about your service area or industry – and can speak to emerging information and/or technologies – the more believable you will appear to others. Consequently, the more credible you will appear as well.
Contemplate your own credibility and re-assess it frequently to make sure you are consciously serving up what you want others to see and believe.
- Who are you?
- What do you stand for?
- What will you do? What will you not do?
- What will you say? Not Say?
- How do you address or interact with others?
- What is the image you want to present? What do you do to stay consistent with this image?
- How do you establish your authority?
- Do you need additional training / education to ensure your authority and expertise stays current so that you can be knowledgeable and credible TODAY?
- Are you authentic and consistent?
- Are you transparent? (If there are things you consistently strive to hide from potential customers / clients, this is an area you likely need to address.)
- Are you professional? Do you exude professionalism in all your interactions?
Remember, no one will ever want to do business – or even interact – with you if they don’t find you credible.
And actually, if you are not “credible”, you likely need to reassess many areas about how you present yourself and interact personally and professionally with others. No doubt, it will be worth the effort.
Susan Sly is a Balanced Living, Work Life Balance Expert, Leader among Women Entrepreneurs, and Productivity Specialist. She is an author, speaker and entrepreneur. She has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox and Lifetime Television. Susan is the mother of five children. She, and her husband, Chris, reside in Scottsdale, Arizona.