Credibility building tactics to grow your client base

Brent Szalay

One of the most common questions I’m asked from serviced-based business owners is – ‘how can I attract new clients to grow my business’?

Why do I love this question? Well, new clients not only represent new revenue opportunities, if you can grow the size of your client base, the more valuable your business becomes as a result. Certainly, handy if you plan on selling your business one day, as part of your succession plan.

Now, while I wish there was one simple strategy solution to this question, the reality is – you have a vast array of options that you can invest in and trial – to see if they’re successful in driving growth for your business. But, rather than overwhelm you with a million ideas, I’ve enlisted the help of Marketing guru and all-round great guy, Christo Hall (Director of Basic Bananas).

Christo and I are excited to provide you with a practical piece of marketing advice that you can put in place immediately.

There are 3 key marketing points that we firstly want you to understand.

#1 Your website is your modern-day real estate; think of it as your shop front. The aim is to entice new clients to come through your door (what Christo calls ‘a lead’). We’ll get to the ‘how to do this’ shortly.

#2 When we buy anything of importance, such as buying a house, a business or buying advice from an expert, we (and your prospective new clients) naturally go through an important decision-making process. It involves cognitively considering and comparing all the pros and cons of the options in front of them. Your potential new clients are essentially developing a perception in their mind about your products and/or services and whether your business can help them better than another.

Their experience of your business during the process of making ‘their decision’, along with the timespan that lapses till the point where they make ‘a commitment,’ are important elements to consider at the core of your marketing efforts. The goal is to make their decision-making journey easier and faster!

One of my most recent clients came from a referral and they only took 10 minutes to review my website before they were satisfied enough, to pick up the phone and book in a strategy session with me. Others take 10 days. I even have a handful of current clients that were once on my ‘lead’ radar for several years before they finally committed to start working with me. Reason being often clients are understandably distracted and delayed elsewhere; be it family or work commitments. Life!

#3 – When your business provides enough credibility, your clients’ decision to work with you becomes more streamlined. The time, faster! The deliberation, easier! And, that’s exactly what we want your marketing efforts and your website as the key tool, to achieve.

Here are Christo’s 3x how-to tactics to sustainably build your credibility. All so you can improve your success of attracting new clients.

#1 – You can say you’re great:
You only have to glance at a handful of competitors’ websites to find evidence of this. With language such as:

  • “We’ve been in business for 100 years”
  • “You should trust us, because…”

Proclaiming how good you are, is sadly the least trusted form of marketing and yet the most common. That’s not meant to deter you from doing it all together. But we’re encouraging you to go further with the next two tactics.

#2 – Have others say you’re great:

Testimonials, whether written or communicated with a short and sharp video of a client saying lovely things about your business – can certainly assist with creating further credibility in the eyes of potential new clients. As too, are the use of review platforms such as Google. 

#3 – Demonstrate how great you are.

This is the most underutilised tactic of the three. Yet, when done well, demonstrating how great you are influences the fastest and most genuine credibility perception. The aim of this tactic is to show your prospective clients your knowledge, or your prospective clients the benefit of your products. Imagine a client at your front door, saying ‘show me that you know your stuff, and I’ll start trusting you.’’ 

So, what does demonstrating your knowledge and expertise look like? I encourage you to invest time in creating 3 quality assets; what I commonly dub ‘3 pieces of gold.’

They could be in the form of: 

  • 3 key videos with a quality advice tip in each.  
  • 3 articles that address the 3 most common queries your clients have
  • 3 client case studies: outlining top level detail of how you went about solving a complex problem.
  • 3 podcast episodes that address topical content in your industry.
  • 3 downloadable e-books or PDF style checklists.

Essentially, you want you prospective clients to easily find your 3 assets on your website and say “I actually learned something. These guys seem helpful; they know their stuff.”

This article was originally published in the Law Institute Journal, as a part of the Leaders in Practice program – a collaboration between SEIVA and the Law Institute of Victoria. Learn more about Leaders in Practice here

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