When people ask me what are the most important chapters in the Go-To Expert, I point them to chapter 3, 4 and 5. I.e. the part of the book where I talk about packaging your brand to make you irresistible to potential clients. Sadly, this part of business development is often missed out by accountants, lawyers and consultants thinking about business development. By missing out this vital part of marketing, any time or effort spent on networking, speaking or even writing is often ineffectual. Within Chapter 4 of The Go-To Expert (“How to craft the right impression”) we talk about the importance of making a strong impression when someone meets you online. Typically, they will meet you on social media first. The million dollar question is how to make sure you have a strong impactful online presence? Of course, as I discussed in How to create a sound bite to help you easily win business, the first step before you start writing your profile is to construct your Sound Bite. (There are exercises in Chapter 3 of The Go-To Expert, which will take you step-by-step how to so this.) The best most impactful social media profiles, in particular your LinkedIn profile, are based on a mixture of credibility statements and stories. In fact, any bio, profile or author credit will be vastly improved by choosing relevant and authoritative credibility statements.
What are credibility statements and stories?
Credibility statements demonstrate expertise, authority and credibility. These could be:
- The length of time you have practised
- The professional qualifications you hold
- Awards, honours, prizes and professional recognition you have received for your expertise
- Who you have worked for
- What other people have said about you, particularly influential people in your industry
- The books and articles you have written
- Your job title, particularly if you are a partner, managing partner or head of a sector team
- The conferences at which you have spoken
- When you have featured in the media; e.g. radio or TV appearances, quotes in the national, trade or local press.
Your Credibility Statements typically are easily memorable, repeatable and normally short statements, which allow anyone talking about you to instantly, convey your credibility. Credibility Stories illustrate what you do, who you do it for and the results which you help your clients achieve. They are succinct and unlike most stories have no middle. You may have heard them being called war stories or sales stories. A typical Credibility Story will firstly explain why the client initially hired you and the Pain Points they were suffering before they hired you. Then, the story will include a short statement about the work you did together, before talking about the happy ending for the client, as a result of using your services. These Credibility Stories can be used in your Networker’s Pitch, in proposals, presentations, sales meetings, your website, articles and your LinkedIn profile. They can be used as the answer to any of these standard questions that you will receive at a networking event:
- How’s business?
- What do you do?
- Got any interesting client work on at the moment?
- What does your firm specialise in?
Before you write your next bio, speaker’s introduction or update your LinkedIn profile, stop and think. What credibility statements or stories could you use to help increase your impact?