How to best showcase your credibility as a small business

How to best showcase your credibility as a small business
Hannah Russell
Hannah RussellMini and Mighty

Posted: Thu 15th Apr 2021

When it comes to marketing and growing your business, it can be hard to know where to start. Sometimes focusing on your core business has to take priority and marketing takes a back seat completely.

Then when you do look at marketing, there's so much advice and so many options out there, where do you even start? And the jargon is something else - funnels, CTA, KPI, PPC, SEO. It can feel overwhelming.

Having to push yourself outside your comfort zone is part and parcel of being a small business owner. As is having to wear many different hats (marketing, accounting, sales and admin) as you manage all business functions. It's a steep learning curve.

With marketing in general, there is no simple fix or one-size-fits-all option. It takes focus, effort, time and patience.

Credibility, however, is key. No matter where you are with your marketing efforts, it is something that should be addressed to ensure you are maximising on all opportunities to showcase your business.

Going back to basics, the most effective form of marketing is word of mouth. People buy from people they trust. The aim therefore is to build up trust wherever possible. This works best when you remain focused on the value you add (what makes you different/why people should buy from you) and who your target market is.

Building on this, there are things you can do to boost your credibility with potential clients and start to gain momentum without having to spend any money:

1. Proactively ask for reviews

Ask for reviews on your Google My Business/business Facebook page. This has the benefit of improving your search engine optimisation (SEO) so that you will be found on Google more easily. Use these testimonials on your website/social media channels to illustrate what you did and how you helped your clients. Focus on the benefits to the client.

2. Social media

Use social media channels to their full potential but don't feel you have to commit to them all. It is better to do one well than all of them half-heartedly. Having a presence on social media is a commitment, content ideally needs to be planned and it's important to be consistent and interact with others.

Don't focus too much on your follower numbers, rather on how engaged your followers are. An engaged group of followers is better than having thousands of unengaged followers. Take your time, grow your network organically and try not to compare yourself to others.

3. Show your expertise

Provide free advice in your area of expertise. Use any questions you are commonly asked as inspiration for topics. The idea is to add value through sharing information. By providing guidance and advice you are illustrating that you really know what you're talking about.

4. Be transparent

I think transparency - being clear with what you offer, while being easily understood, is important in gaining trust. On Facebook groups I often see people ask leading questions as a backhand way of advertising their business. I'm not a fan of this approach.

A much better way of going about it is being clear with what you're offering and illustrating the benefits to the client. For example, rather than a post saying 'what part of your business do you struggle with the most?', pulling together some top level statistics from a successful client campaign and presenting these with a call to action would be more effective.

5. Concise, well-written content

Ensure you spend time on everything you write - even down to replies to comments on social media. Check your copy for spelling and grammatical errors and ensure you proof your writing. People often skim-read content so keep the key messages right at the beginning.

Marketing should be something you ideally do little and often. If it does feel overwhelming, take small steps to raise your confidence. Building up credibility is a great place to start with your marketing and can be done from the moment you set your business up.

Keeping focused helps in terms of service and product offerings and really knowing who you are targeting. Essentially you want to make it easy for people to buy from you.

Ultimately, be clear about the benefits you offer to your clients, prove you can do it and then when you've done a good job, don't be afraid to tell people.

Relevant resources

Hannah Russell
Hannah RussellMini and Mighty
My name is Hannah and I own and run Mini and Mighty - a marketing consultancy for small businesses. Specialising in copywriting, website development (in Squarespace) and marketing strategy/planning, I am passionate about making a positive difference to small businesses. I have a BA (Hons) in Marketing and I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I have over 16 years of experience. I worked in London in professional services for over 10 years and have been running Mini and Mighty since 2015.

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