020 - Establish Your Credibility Before You've Even Met Someone



  • Credibility determines trust
  • Credibility can be developed
  • Increase your qualifications in specialist areas
  • Ensure you have good online visibility
  • Use LinkedIn even if you think it's not worth it
  • Create authority pieces to showcase your expertise for free
  • Make them available widely to boost your visbility
  • Use design services to help put them together.



Today, we begin a two-part series looking at how you can build your credibility in the minds of others - whether that's colleagues, clients or contacts.

When prospects (potential clients) are looking for a new provider or advisor, they base that decision on a number of factors. One of them is, of course, whether they like you and feel they can trust you.  

And a central element of that trust is how credible they feel you are.

The problem is, how can you establish your credibility and can you do so before you've even met them?

Yes, you can. (Thanks, Barrack)

Here are three strategies you can employ to establish your credibility before you even meet anyone.

1. Grow Your Qualifications

If you were to approach two specialists in a given area and, all things being equal, one had a Bachelors degree while the other had a Masters, who would you assume had more credibility?

Naturally, you'd think the person with the Masters degree. That's because we associate higher qualification with greater knowledge and expertise, and rightly so. (Mind you, just because you have a Masters or PhD doesn't mean you're as effective in all situations as someone who doesn't.)

Obviously, there's no merit in getting further qualifications unless you want to and potentially need to. However, the better qualified you are, the better.

Even if you take further professional development courses in extension or related areas of your expertise, that augurs well for those for whom qualification is important.

2. Provide Good Online Information About You

Have an up to date and effective LinkedIn profile. Even if you don't like LinkedIn,  or think that it's not really that necessary, it is. People go online and search for any information they can find about potential providers. You need to have good information out there or you risk your credibility.

Here are three things to get right:

  1. your image
  2. your language (avoid, for example terms like "high-achiever")
  3. your endorsements

To find out more, just search Google for "A great LinkedIn profile", or similar.

3. Create an Authority Piece

I remember when I was once pitching for some work at a large law firm. One of the partners present suddenly asked, "Hey, listen, have you written any books on this subject? Are you the expert on this?"

It revealed to me the power of being seen as an authority in your field and one key way of doing that is to create an authority piece. It's an ebook, a video or even a short book that you author and which shows your knowledge and expertise addressing an important issue for clients.

For example:

The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Right Architect

Five Things You Need to Know About Legal Representation


What the New Tax Rules Mean for Small Businesses.

It does NOT have to be a huge book published by a well-known publisher.

It can simply be an ebook of 20 to 30 A5-size pages that outlines your perspective and advice on a particular subject of interest and use to typical clients you want to attract.

You can write it yourself and then get someone else to format and finish it for you, providing you with a PDF or print file. You can easily find book or ebook creators on websites like 99designs.com or Fiverr.com.

Leverage it

Once you've got it done, you can publish it to your website and LinkedIn profile, and upload it to places like Amazon. That allows you to then refer to it by saying in your email signature, website or LinkedIn profile, "Author of  <Title of your authority piece>."

Sounds impressive, doesn't it? Well, it is because not many people actually do it.


So, you CAN build your credibility BEFORE you even meet someone in person by:

- Growing your qualifications

- Providing good info about yourself online

- Creating and sharing an authority piece.

Stay tuned for my next instalment, How to Build Credibility in Person.