You’ve got a great idea, the funding you need to launch your new business and an abundance of passion. What you may not have is enough credibility with consumers in your target market to make a splash and generate the revenue you need to keep going. Helping consumers come to see a new-to-market business as a trusted, authoritative source of solutions for their problems is challenging for any entrepreneur or startup owner.
As leaders in the world of marketing, advertising and public relations, the members of Forbes Agency Council know the ins and outs of establishing credibility among target audiences. See their tips below to figure out the most effective and efficient path to earning the trust and confidence of your ideal buyers.
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Forbes Agency Council members share ways for new-to-market businesses to establish credibility.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.
- Create A Targeted Sponsorship
Create a targeted sponsorship and a social campaign to activate the sponsorship. Look to include leadership opportunities in the sponsorship, such as speaking at conferences, and links within your social campaign to relevant, supportive information. Couple this paid approach with PR, including guest editorials where appropriate. The key is frequency and authenticity. Don’t make claims you can’t support fully. - Brian Sullivan, Sullivan Branding
- Weave Authenticity Into The Campaign
“Authenticity” is a word that is thrown around often. Authenticity is difficult to pinpoint, yet easy to spot when something is actually authentic. Consumers, especially young consumers, are experts at sniffing out when brands are not being authentic. The key to being authentic is twofold: First, embrace the brand vision and story to weave into the campaign, and then understand the audience culture to connect meaningfully. - Mario Carrasco, ThinkNow
- Piggyback On Someone Else’s Platform
The easiest and most effective way to gain authority with your customers when you’re completely new to the market is to piggyback on someone else’s platform. If you can, get yourself invited to be a guest on someone’s podcast, or try to arrange a feature in someone else’s blog. This will help you build a following that you can grow later. - Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS.
- Position The Brand In The Right Market Segments
Building credibility entails positioning a brand properly in the right market segments, with an emphasis on earned media channels. New brands should draw attention to a relatable market need and show how their products and services can help solve the problem. A core effort has to go into amplifying problem scenarios, highlighting their urgency and showing how a brand’s solutions can address them. - Lars Voedisch, PRecious Communications
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- Take A Surgical Approach To Traditional PR
One of the best ways for a brand to build its reputation as an authority is through traditional PR. By taking a behavioral approach and dissecting the community of journalists to identify those who are most likely to write about a particular topic, a brand can build a story roadmap of different aspects of their product to pitch them. This surgical approach to PR is among the most effective tactics. - Roger Hurni, Off Madison Ave
- Align Your Firm With Other Reputable Organizations
Go where your customers are and align your firm with other reputable organizations. Share your expertise at industry events and in key publications, especially on the local level. Get in front of your audience with earned or paid partnerships, such as by publishing your perspective or securing a speaking engagement. - Donna Robinson, Collective Measures
- Invest In Yourself And Your Knowledge
First, invest in yourself and your knowledge. Then, share your insights and show up every single day. Seek first to provide value and do meaningful and gracious work. Start with a generous spirit and share your knowledge, your network and your talent. A great recommendation is to read Tim Sanders’ book, Love Is The Killer App: How To Win Business And Influence Friends. - Jason Wilson, Strategy, LLC
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- Capitalize On Your Team’s Strengths
Build your credibility by capitalizing on your team members’ strengths. If you have an engaging social media manager, hone their skills to connect with potential clients across platforms. Are you working with skilled SEO professionals? Give them the right tools to create powerful, SEO-driven content. Be confident in your team’s ability, and let their creativity shine as you establish authority. - Evan Nison, NisonCo
- Showcase A Customer’s Positive Experience With Your Brand
Showcasing a customer’s positive and authentic experience with your brand to display how it made that customer’s life better will gain your brand credibility and position you as a leader in the field. - Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC
- Know What You Bring That Your Competition Can’t Replicate
Know what you’re bringing to the table that your competition cannot replicate, also known as your differentiators. Is it your tech? Your creative prowess? Your specific team or niche? Go all-in on this angle when it comes to your content, guest articles, podcast interviews and more. Let your differentiators be your authority. - Bernard May, National Positions