4 Strategies Startups Can Use to Build Credibility
If you want to be successful with your business, it’s important to build your credibility. Customers like to know they can trust you. Startups can have a hard time building credibility because they are so new. If you want to increase your chances for long-term success as a new business, you need to find ways to build credibility. Here are four strategies that can help:
1. Leverage Past Connections
Recently, while attending CO-OP Think, I spoke with Ido Leffler, the founder of Yoobi, a company that sells school supplies and donates supplies to classrooms in need for each purchase. I asked Leffler how his company, which is committed to being profitable while doing good, was able to land amazing partners like Target.
Leffler said that he used past connections. Even though Yoobi is a startup, Leffler knew people through his past work. He was able to get instant credibility with the right people because of his past connections. Don’t think that you have to start from scratch.
2. Don’t Be Shy About Your Accomplishments
Share your accomplishments and expertise. Put them on LinkedIn. Share them in your social media profiles. Let others know that you have the ability to follow through. While you don’t want to oversell yourself or act with bravado, you can still share your accomplishments and point to how your past experience will benefit you in your current venture. It’s not easy to build credibility, so don’t try to do it from nothing. Instead, focus on what you know you can do and share it with others. Highlighting your past accomplishments can show that you are competent and capable.
3. Work on Your Reputation
There is no substitute for building a good reputation over time. While you might be concerned about how long it can take to build your reputation, it’s still something to work on right now. Pay attention to your online reputation, as well as your offline reputation. Do what you can to work hard and deliver more than you promised. This is a slower strategy to build credibility, but it’s one that can serve you well in the long run. While you are highlighting past accomplishments and leveraging your connections, don’t forget to be quietly building your reputation in the background. It’s a solid foundation that can benefit your startup as you build credibility for the long haul.
4. Boost Your Media Coverage
One of the rules of building a business in today’s world is that visibility can help your credibility. When you are recognizable and familiar, you are more likely to be trusted. Better media coverage can help you raise your visibility and establish yourself as an expert. Being covered in the media can help you build credibility by virtue of being considered “worth” being covered. I know that my credibility among the people I know locally skyrocketed after I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal.
Sign up at a site like HARO to get access to journalists and other media folks. You can also consider hiring a publicist or find another way to boost your media coverage.
With the right strategies, you can build credibility even as a relatively new startup.