In today’s ever evolving digital landscape, it’s harder than ever before to stand out. While the birth of the Internet created an entirely new category of entrepreneurs, it also resulted in an abundance of competition. Specifically, in the last decade we’ve seen both online coaching and e-commerce platforms BLOW UP. From PhD psychologists exchanging physical offices for a virtual therapy room hosted on the web, to a single mom in Oregon solely selling her custom jewelry online, consumers have no shortage of options to sift through and choose from.
Consequently, it’s more important than ever for online entrepreneurs to have a well thought out PR and marketing strategy. As a PR and Marketing expert , one of the first items I coach clients on is how to gain both visibility and credibility for their brand.
So, here are three ways you can up you and your business’s “street cred.”
- Secure Third Party Endorsements
Three common third party endorsements are client reviews, referrals, and features in respected media outlets. In most any transaction, buyers want to feel safe that they are making a smart purchasing decision. It’s one thing for you to tell them how great you are; it’s another entirely to have a third-party stamp of approval.
For online coaches, collecting publishable client testimony, earning authentic word-of-mouth referrals, and landing media features and mentions is paramount. Want proof? I recently made a large financial investment by hiring a coach myself. What won me over? Her endless stream of positive client reviews and online features.
For product-based ecommerce stores, holidays can be make or break. How do consumers decide what to buy? Well first, they have to know about a product, and second, once they do, they want to trust that the product will arrive as expected. Hearing how much other people love said product helps solidify almost any sale.
- Become a Go-to Expert and/or Thought-leader
When I say online webinar marketing, who is someone that comes immediately to mind? Amy Porterfield perhaps? When I bring up the self-help space, does Tony Robins ring a bell? These are examples of entrepreneurs who have become go-to experts and thought-leaders in their respective fields. Now, it’s not always realistic to assume that achieving such acclaimed status will happen over night. It is smart, however, to begin positioning yourself as a searchable expert now.
Are you a health coach? Begin guest blogging for Women’s Health Magazine. Are you a business leader? Secure a quoted mention in Forbes proving you know your stuff! Run a social media management company? Teach a workshop at a local seminar on Facebook 101. Ultimately, get in the habit of speaking loud and proud about the topics you know best!
- Get Awards and Logos
Tell me this, reading the two bios below, who would you hire (if cost wasn’t an issue)?
- Named “Top 20 Marketing Experts in 2020” by Forbes Magazine, Sally is a marketing coach for online boutique business owners.
- Sally is a marketing coach for online boutique business owners.
I feel safe in assuming the majority of people would gravitate towards number 1. Here’s another scenario. Let’s say you’re shopping for a new skincare brand. Would you feel more confident purchasing a new brand that said, “as seen in Glamour magazine” or one with no logo association whatsoever?
Say what you may, but accolades, awards, and logos do wonders in upping a person or brand’s street cred. They essentially serve as another form of a third party endorsement on steroids. Knowing a company has a proven success record, with awards to verify, undoubtedly can help consumers decide whom they want to work with or what they want to buy.
Thirty years ago an entrepreneur was typically someone who owned a brick and mortar location, used the yellow pages and the newspaper for advertising, and depended heavily on their local customer base. The Internet then came along and made our lives and businesses more accessible than ever. Today, a business is no longer required to have physical roots to thrive. Now, having access to a computer and the Internet can connect a business to a global audience of consumers ready to spend. The result? Nearly 200 million companies now exist in the world, and counting.
Want to stand out from the crowd? Then it’s time to seriously start upping your street cred.