“How do you get started in a market if you don't have any authority starting out? Why would anyone listen to you?”
Great question. Almost everyone has to deal with this at some point.
You can see all the credibility others use on their websites such as loads of testimonials, media mentions, experience in the industry, background, education, etc.
It can actually be intimidating to go into a market when you see other sites loaded with these kinds of statements.
How do you compete when you're just starting out?
There are several ways.
Method #1: Admit it.
Come right ou in the beginning and let people know you don't have a college degree on this topic. You don't have thousands of testimonials yet. In fact you'll give them a special deal if they'll committ to giving you a testimonial when your product works for them.
Being open is a way to bypass some of the skeptism your visitors already have toward you. All you have is a product that has worked for you and a few others who have tested it.
Will your conversion improve once you can add more proof? Yes, it will. But you can by this in the beginning by using whatever forms of proof you may have…such as your own personal story.
Method #2: Find an expert to partner with.
You might not have any authority of your own in a market, but you can team up with someone else who does.
Let's say for example you will be selling anything that has to do with health. Teaming up with a doctor, nurse, or even a personal trainer could immediately give you a dose of credibility in the market.
Perhaps you interview them on the subject as a simple addition. Or maybe you team up in more of a full partnership to add more credibility.
One of the reasons I often suggest interviewing as a product creation strategy for those just starting out is because you can then lean on someone else's credibility and expertise. You interview someone who is respected by the target market with information they're already searching for. It's a great way to leapfrog past the competition and the credibility barrier.
Method #3: Write content for authority websites.
Write guest posts for popular blogs in your target market.
If you write a post for a popular “authority” website, immediately some of that authority rubs off on you.
And it's a whole lot easier than most people expect it to be. As long as you can write a good quality piece for their readership, you'll find many blogs more than willing to publish it. There is no fee to you for the writing, but you do get the incoming links and your name on the blog.
I even have a client who has done dozens of guest posts and doesn't do any of these guest posts himself anymore (he has outsourced the writing of every one after he developed his system).
Method #4: Get promoted by respected authorities.
Let's say you run a paid ad and get a 2% conversion on your website. Not bad. Then a list owner runs an email about you and you convert 6% of those visitors into sales.
Did the website improve? No. What changed was the audience…and how open they were to you when they landed on the page.
You borrowed credibility from the person promoting you. This immediately boosts your response and conversion.
Method #5: Do media interviews.
The media can give you a “halo” effect also. You're immediately seen as more credible when you're featured in a news story, on the radio, or on TV. Now you're not just a website. You're a real person.
Send out press releases. Join the media lists where reporters ask for help on a story (example: www.helpareporter.com).
You can also check out my 21 ideas for your next press release free here…
Method #6: Build your own authority site.
The above 5 methods are ways to borrow credibility. Here is how you build it for yourself long-term.
Put up a WordPress blog. Start posting informative articles to your site. Send these out to your email list.
Write good entertaining content. Or hire out the job to someone else. It doesn't really matter (although when it's your name on the line you better make sure you personally read through and approve every post).
That content you produce and give away becomes a form of credibility and proof…even if you don't have any other elements available yet.
When you give value, people recognize it.