Being seen as credible is a bar higher than being successful. Success has gains only for yourself; credibility helps others to gain through you. As someone with credibility, you are a reliable resource and a decision maker they can look upto in times of crisis. Honesty leads to Credibility, so focus on being the genuine you.
There are many qualities that make you and your personal brand credible in the eyes of your online tribe. Being an authority on your subject and being consistent in your content or presence are a couple of ways you earn credibility. Even more important is being genuine or honest – showing yourself as the way you are.
Each one of us considers himself/herself to be honest. But does our audience think so? Here are a few things you can do in the online space to come across as honest:
WEAR YOUR PRINCIPLES ON YOUR SLEEVE
Talk about your convictions often and with clarity. When your audience knows what you stand for, they feel reassured and respect you.
Do this: Communicate your convictions. As a blogger or an entrepreneur, have a vision and share that with your audience. Be vocal about your choices and why you made them.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
Saying one thing and doing another is the surest way to lose trust. Always align your viewpoints and your actions. Follow through on your commitments and promises.
Do this: If you have a posting schedule, stick to it. If you have a deliverable, make sure you do it on time.
BE A LISTENER
Listen as much as you can. Don’t read to respond but read to understand. Respect differing viewpoints. Take it a step further and incorporate dissenting voices in your future strategy.
Do this: Weigh things objectively and thoughtfully before you respond online so that you are seen as spontaneous rather than impulsive.
PROBLEM SOLVING FOR OTHERS
Being helpful from a position of authority helps you build your own tribe. When you know your niche well, you can share the advantages of your expertise with others.
Do this: Give out a free ecourse that covers the basics of using social media if you are a social media expert. Give out a planner for free the benefit of your audience.
Be available, respond to comments and queries within a reasonable time frame. Proactively start conversations on issues that are close to the heart of your readers. Stay respectful and stay open to any differing viewpoints.
Do this: Set a timeframe within which you would respond to comments from your followers.
Honesty and credibility have a symbiotic relationship because they feed on each other. Honesty in the online space leads to trustworthiness and credibility. Strengthen one and you strengthen the other.