Your goal is to get people to know, like, and trust you. The most effective way to do that is to show up, day after day, week after week, and add value to people's lives with high-quality content. The only problem? That takes time, so it’s helpful to take shortcuts.
I'm not talking about the shortcuts that sabotage your brand and get you short-term trendy fame without long-term trust. Instead, let's focus on one of the most effective shortcuts to gaining people's trust: Credibility markers.
What’s Your Credibility Marker?
Credibility markers are descriptives that build up your biography and give you authority as an expert or trusted resource in your niche.These could be huge credibility claims like “Nobel-prize winning Economist” or mid-range claims like being a contributor to an industry-specific publication.
Credibility markers can also be small, and still pack a punch. You may have claims-to-fame that seem trivial to you, but to a new follower these could be the difference-maker in your bio that makes someone decide to trust what you have to say.
Have you been recognized by your Chamber of Commerce as a local leader? Have you been quoted in an industry magazine or online publication? Even a relatively small, unknown publication may be gold to your target audience if the name of the publication, or the niche audience of that publication, is your target audience. This has little to do with who actually reads those publications and finds you because of them. Instead, this is about what people read about you in your bio and how you establish your credibility.
Here are several examples of real-life credibility markers that work:
- Featured on the Inc 5000
- Featured in Forbes 30 under 30
- More than 10,000 podcast downloads
- As featured in Southern Living magazine
- As featured on BabyCenter.com
- As featured on the Smart Passive Income podcast
Look over this list, and imagine similar credibility markers for your own industry. Start with what you have, but most of these are easier to get than you think! Simply identify your top desired credibility markers, find the decision-maker behind those publications, and reach out to them directly, asking for an opportunity to contribute something you wrote.
Make sure you focus on leading with value (what this does for them) and offer a topic (or three) that aligns with the type of content they typically publish. There’s no guarantee they will say yes, but you may have an easy path to publication if you're willing to contribute high-quality content for free.