Not getting referrals? Maybe you are not credible?

Not getting referrals? Maybe you are not credible

Not getting referrals? Maybe you are not credible?

Not getting referrals? Maybe you are not credible

The old adage “build it and they will come” is no longer appropriate in today’s world; if it ever was. Setting up a business, doing a website and having a social media presence alone is not going to guarantee a flood of business opportunities. Likewise, if you are out networking, appreciating that it takes time to build relationships, and you are not getting referrals, then maybe it is about your credibility.

Whilst I am sure you are perfectly able to provide the product or service that you offer, most people need to get to know you and glean evidence that you can do what you say on the tin!

So how do you go about this? Well here are some of the ways.


Gather and share testimonials from people about the work you have done for them. Ideally their full name, company, date and a photo. I realise that for some industries there may be a sensitive or confidential nature to what you are providing – but you may be surprised what people are willing to share. Just ask people at the point you have delivered a great job. LinkedIn and Google are great places to collect these as they cannot be falsified and have to be made by registered users; so helps the credibility of the source. The latter I’m sure contributes to your ranking on the internet.

If you find that people don’t get around to writing a testimonial for you, then why not write one for them to endorse? This may not be the “British” thing to do – to sing your own praises, but it is a great way to ensure that you get some great words said about you, even if they are your own! After all, the person you are sending them to is ultimately approving them.

Better still, if you can get a video testimonial, this is a great way to stand out from your competitors and obviously harder to falsify. You don’t have to get these professionally done; most modern smartphones will have sufficient resolution to capture a video that would be suitable to share on the internet.

The important thing is to make sure that the sound quality is good as people are less tolerant of a poor, hard to hear narrative with background noise – so you may want to think about the environment before recording.

Case studies

Building on from testimonials, it may be worth elaborating on the few sentences you received and provide a much fuller picture of the work that you did for a client by way of a case study. You can keep it simple and just present the problem/issue that your client faced, what you did to resolve it and what the ultimate results were. You can vary them to cover all aspects of the clients you service and your offering including different industries, geographic locations, size of company and so on; depending on the nature of your business and the message you want to put across.

Write articles/blog posts

Building on the written content adding to your credibility, why not write articles or blog posts that show off the skills, talents, knowledge and experience that you have; helping raise your profile in the particular profession you have? It is relatively straightforward to create blog content for your site (or maybe be a guest blogger for someone else – as I am doing in this particular instance). There are online article directories and no doubt opportunities to get published in business magazines and trade journals or newspapers. You could generate a newsletter, electronic or printed, as a vehicle to disseminate this valuable content to prospects and clients alike.

Publish a book

Of course, if you have enough valuable content to share, it could translate itself into a book. You may get a book publisher interested, but if not, there are relatively easy ways to self-publish and get your name on the cover as the author. What better way to make you credible in the eyes of your target audience and potential referrers?

Press releases

You may also have success stories to share or awards that your business may have won, that would be considered newsworthy, and that would get published in the press. This is a great way of getting free advertising. Newspapers and magazines are always on the lookout for content. You just need to make sure that whatever you submit is going to be engaging to the reader and not just a sales pitch for your business.

Speaker slots

If your confidence allows it (and why wouldn’t it as you are the one most knowledgeable about what it is you have to offer?), then consider speaker slots in your area(s) of expertise. There are numerous networking groups, conferences, exhibitions and other forums that are always looking for speakers. The added bonus here being that some may pay for the privilege of hearing you speak!

Be an expert

Generally becoming the expert in what it is that you do will significantly enhance your credibility. Don’t be afraid to offer up free advice and support, comment on online social media posts and share information; all of this will contribute to how people see you and what you do. You may think that you’ll be giving away all your “trade secrets” and therefore no one will buy from you. However, while you need to balance what it is you give away for free and what you deem to be commercial, this will generate referrals for you or at least distinguish you from the competition as the “go to” person within your industry sector.

Have a guarantee

What a great way to put your money where your mouth is. It is the ultimate confidence and credibility builder if you are able to offer a guarantee for your product or service and reduce the risk of someone doing business with you. It doesn’t have to cost you much to put in place, nor does it have to put you at high risk. If you are good at what you do and want to provide an excellent customer experience; if something went awry wouldn’t you naturally do whatever you need to do to put it right? Do the job again, offer a refund or a discount on a future sale, etc. Well, why not make this into a money-back or satisfaction guarantee? It is unlikely that you are going to lose out if you are confident in your ability to deliver.

Hopefully, this has given you some insight as to how you can increase your credibility within the circles that you move and in so doing, enhance the possibility of referrals for your business? Good luck!

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