Establishing Credibility Makes Everything Else Easy. How to Build It Quickly?

Are you a founder who is scared of sales?

Then this is for you.

Most businesses die because they can’t sell enough to cover their costs.

Especially in the early days when the founder is the only one doing sales.

Think of SaaS businesses or services-based businesses, the founder is usually a developer who coded a software they want to sell, or a subject matter expert who got some early clients from their network who trusted their expertise. They are good at what they do but can figure out a way to sell consistently.

They know that the only ways to keep their business alive and growing are to get in front of more buyers.

Then they come to the next logical question in their head. Which is – how do I get in front of more buyers?

They know the answer or at least part of the answer.

The complete answer and the next logical step is to find the right buyer and then reach out to them. Most founders skip the knowing and finding the right buyer step but they know that is essential to reach out to who they think the buyer is.

This part of the equation stops them in their tracks.

Let’s assume the buyer is the head of marketing in a mid-sized company.

A head of marketing or any executive is a busy person. And, you can’t sell enough by reaching out to just one head of marketing or even 5. Because not everyone will be listening or interested in working with a new brand that they haven’t heard about before.

Then how does a founder of a business with no established brand get the attention of enough buyers?

The usual answer is finding numbers or emails and sending cold emails or cold calling them. Cold emails work if you know how to do them right. Still for someone who is not proficient at doing cold outreach may find it hard to make it work. For a beginner, the response rates are super low and that’s just the first step in the sales process. If you don’t get enough people to agree on a face to face interaction then chances are your sales effort will result in failure.

What can make this all easier?

In all of this what is the most important thing?

Think about it!

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Credibility.

It’s the magic word.

And, it helps if you are able to do it quickly because who wants to spend an entire lifetime on their unproven business.

So how do you do it?

There are many ways to do it. Write a book, speak from big stages with your audience in attendance, or make videos on YouTube consistently and promote them.

The idea that I am going to share with you does not require any of those.

And it has other benefits apart from establishing credibility that I’ll share a little later.

It is to create a leaderboard or an annual listing of professionals that you want to reach out to.

So, if your buyers are the marketers as I shared above.

Then announce a leaderboard like the “Top 50 marketers to watch in 2020” list and feature select marketers on your website or on a separate website created for the leaderboard.

Later once this is established do it across different industries (in the 2nd year). Much like how LinkedIn does its power profiles.

This way you can feature up to 500 marketers or professionals in your chosen field. To do it right you’ll have to figure out logistics and criteria for selection.

But let’s start with 50. 

This will help you build instant connection and credibility.

For starters – the basics to get it right would be – being rigorous and picking the right people based on their expertise so that the list looks credible. And, combining it with an exemplary design.

The added benefits of this approach are, increased brand visibility among the right audience and their audience. When you make a list like this and notify those who are featured send them a message,

“Glad to share that we have chosen you to be on our list of 50 marketers to watch. You can use this ready text to post on your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and many will choose to share with instant visibility in their circles.”

Another smart move will be to avoid targeting professionals who are often showcased on such lists but the ones who have a following and are well known but work at mid-level companies, the kind you want to pitch.

With this approach, you may not get A-list distribution but it will be easier to pull off.

I hope you’d give it a shot.

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