Behavioral Science

9 Unusual Tips on How to Gain Credibility

by . September 15th, 2014



Gaining credibility in your field of expertise can be likened to romancing. You need to know when to move in and move out, weave through the crowd with such finesse, it’s an art form. Promote too little, and nothing happens. Promote too much, and you become annoying. And you can’t wait for people to notice you from thin air. It just doesn’t work that way.

Here are 9 unusual tips on gaining credibility that you might have not heard of.

1. Narrow your market to their faces


You’ve probably noticed some products that say “If you’re Person X, this product won’t work for you.” Why do those work? Other than focusing your market, it also shows people that you are willing to prove a point even if it means you might lose something and not gain anything. This makes you more honest and more credible.

2. Know how to brag

Most of the time, bragging can make you seem arrogant and unlikeable. However, you can make it work for you by bragging about your merits when the topic has been started by someone else. By bragging in context, you get your name out there while casually continuing the conversation.

3. Teach when bragging


Another way to not be arrogant while showing your expertise in a field is by teaching. Remember that arrogance is all about self, so if you teach, you’re actually telling the person that you know something but you want that person to be in on it and that hopefully they’ll trust you.

4. Stick to people who have credibility

You watch celebrity news and you see some random person hang out with A-list celebs. Soon, that person is the talk of the town. This works as well with business. You can have people’s credibility rub off on you. This is why interviews are great and also why simply having a picture of someone more famous on your website works.

5. When stating numbers, be specific

If you’re going to release statistics, be very precise. It’s more believable. When you use descriptors like “more than,” “less than,” or “around,” you come off as indecisive and unconfident. However, when you state things with great detail, people are more likely to believe you, because it’s a more visible idea.

6. Title your fans


Just like bronies, chocoholics, and Gleeks, having a fanbase with a title improves followers as both individuals and a group. It provides intimacy to you as it shows that you think of them special, and it gives them something to hold on to and identify as a group.

7. State sources

This might sound pretty obvious but it’s overlooked a lot. By stating where you got your information, people are more likely to believe you. And it doesn’t always have to be from academic sources. Your own personal stories and those of people you know can improve your credibility.

8. Add images to your statements

As former writer of You the Designer, Jen Silverman once told me, “Images are always better.” By adding images to your statements, you make them more real and tangible, and thus believable. Adding simple portraits beside testimonials can provide more credibility. Sometimes, the picture doesn’t even have to do with the statement. A fact that we at You the Entrepreneur obviously like using.

9. Mix in your weaknesses.


And finally, when talking about yourself, you need to mix in the good with the bad. Don’t look depressed, just human. Sharing your life stories does not need to equate to arrogance.


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