biz ladies: 5 Ways to Get Instant Credibility

Biz Ladies illustration by David Saracino

Today’s Biz Ladies post comes from Biz Ladies regular, Create + Connect Project co-founder and social media consultant Katrina Padron. Katrina offers some tips for gaining credibility among new clients. Thanks, Katrina, for this wonderful advice! — Stephanie

Read the full post after the jump . . .

It’s true; testimonials are crucial. Testimonials have power. They show prospects that you are credible, that your products and services are outstanding and that we get to see what kind of customers you serve. The challenge is that when you are starting, you usually don’t have a long list of clients and customers raving about you . . . just yet.

There are 5 ways to get instant credibility:

1. Give things away. The “free gift” is a brilliant and long-standing marketing technique that works. Think about it: free samples at the grocery store, free 15-minute consultation, free Victoria Secret panties . . . the list goes on. When you offer something for free, it invites a customer to try your product or service with no strings attached, and it gives you an opportunity to get customer feedback. After they try your free offering, ask them what they thought. Turn those comments into testimonials.

2. Solicit rave reviews. You might be starting your business now, but you’ve likely worked with people in the past. Make a list of former colleagues, bosses, clients, customers and professors (people who can rave about you), tell them what you are up to and ask for their help in writing a recommendation for you. For a little bonus on this tip, go to A Good Karma Way to Get More Exposure.

3. Include a fame box. Every website needs a fame box. A fame box is usually in the sidebar or footer of a website, and it includes the logos of the places where you’ve been featured. This shows that you’ve already been endorsed by bigger credible outlets, so people know that you are credible, too. See a sample here.

4. Get advance praise. Are you working on a big project and you really want to roll it out with huge success? Start finding ways for people to review your product before it is available to the public. One of the easiest ways is to offer a beta version of your product or service. This lets you start building buzz and allows you to get all the kinks worked out prior to the launch. Plus, you’ll get to collect testimonials from the people who joined the beta trail. You’ll get huge bonus points if you are able to get “bigger people” into your beta test because they have bigger audiences that they can tell about it.

5. Favorite tweets. Twitter feeds go fast, and sometimes we overlook opportunities to capture what people are saying about us. Every day, look at your @mentions on Twitter. This will show you the list of people who are talking about you. Any time you see a positive comment about your work, favorite the tweet and take a screen shot. You can always add those to your website or sales page, too.

This week, I challenge you to choose one of these areas to focus on. Let us know in the comments what you think will work best for you.

  1. Amanda says:

    Such great advice! Thank you.

  2. Leslie Kingery says:

    Excellent advice! Thank you.

  3. Thanks for the reminder about customer reviews. That’s something we need to take more advantage of. We have plenty of happy customers, we just need to ask!

  4. K.Nicole says:

    Great Advice! I’m currently doing a soft launch of my handmade jewelry site and plan on doing a bigger launch next month, so these tips will definitely come in handy!

  5. Laura says:

    Biz Ladies is my bible for success, thank you!

  6. Abbie says:

    I so needed to read this, thanks! I always hate asking people for things like this, but testimonials and reviews really do make a difference as a consumer. Need to get on it…

  7. Dodie Jacobi says:

    Adding a fame box and screen shots ideas!! Thanks tons!

  8. I am proud to say I just tweeted some reviews I got on Houzz last week! I feel so on top of it. Maybe this week I will work on the fame box?
    Thanks so much!

  9. Do you have an RSS feed just for Biz Ladies?

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      whitney, i’m afraid we don’t, sorry. but it runs every tuesday at 12pm so you can tune in just for that if you want ;)


  10. Very good advice and simple enough to follow. Thank you.

  11. Corrie Anne says:

    I love all of Design*Sponge — but we want a biz ladies book!! :)

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      thanks corrie anne

      our publisher isn’t super interested in one sadly, but if we have time next year we’ll see if we can do something on our own. it’s just a lot of work to do without the help of a publisher ;)


  12. @Amanda and @Leslie – You’re welcome!!
    @Kristy – Yes, happy customers are happy to help :)
    @Nicole – Glad it helps. Good luck!
    @Laura and @Abbey – Good luck to you !
    @Dodie – No problem :) It makes a big difference.

  13. @Suzi – High five to you. Very nice :)
    @Marilyn – Thanks for your kind words.
    @Corrie – I love that idea too!
    @Whitney – Thanks for reading!!

  14. Stacy says:

    The favorite tweet advice is genius! Thrilled to now have a way to turn tweets into testimonials. Plus tweets are a low commitment way for people to give you honest and unsolicited feedback. I will absolutely be doing this moving forward. P.S. – I would love a biz ladies e-book :)

  15. Emily Nolan says:

    great advice! thank you!

  16. Kate says:

    Fantastic advise! thank you. I’d love more advise on give aways and contests. There seems to be some legal issues around them, terms and conditions etc..?


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