What’s one step new entrepreneurs on a budget can take to build credibility with customers? How will this help their new business get off the ground successfully?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Showcase Your Social Proof
For new entrepreneurs on a budget, leveraging social proof can be a practical step to build customer credibility. Seamfix started with just $75, and social proof played a massive role in the company’s success. Social proof involves showcasing positive feedback, reviews, testimonials and endorsements from satisfied customers. This strategy can help businesses to successfully get off the ground.
2. Let Customers Hear Your Passion
Pick up the phone. Nothing will ever give you more credibility than speaking directly with someone. Customers need to hear your passion and dedication. As your customer and client base grows, use social media videos. Emails can be well written, but people do business with people and companies that they believe in.
3. Focus on Quality
As a new entrepreneur, you’ll want to make sure your customers know they can trust you and your business. Investing in quality will ensure customer satisfaction, which can lead to repeat business, referrals and positive word-of-mouth reviews — all crucial elements for the successful launch of any new business.
4. Add Trust Badges to Your Website
If your goal is to build credibility, consider the benefits of adding trust badges to key forms and other parts of your site. Trust badges are seals of approval from reputable businesses like PayPal, McAfee and Venmo. When people see these names when visiting a new store, they are more inclined to take action because they feel like a trust badge is an endorsement from someone they already trust.
5. Seek to Understand Your Clients’ Needs
One way we build credibility is by seeking to understand, not just sell. We learn about our clients and their businesses to see if we can come up with ideas for how to help them. If we deliver valuable ideas, they’ll hire us. If we can’t help them, then we shouldn’t work for them anyway. Bringing this lens to our sales process has helped us find better fits and ultimately build way more trust.
6. Engage on Social Media
New entrepreneurs on a budget can boost credibility by actively engaging on social media. Consistent, authentic interaction on platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn builds trust, enhances your brand image and fosters customer loyalty. This approach not only establishes solid relationships with clients, but it also propels the new business toward a successful launch.
7. Build Out a Library of Content
At KCK, we’ve successfully built credibility through content marketing. Our content library features an extensive section dedicated to every step of the remodeling process. From design inspiration to installation tips, we provide actionable insights and solutions for homeowners. By sharing our expertise, we’ve established ourselves as trusted and top of mind when they are ready to purchase.
8. Be Transparent About Your Solutions
One step that new entrepreneurs on a budget can take to build credibility with their customers is to be transparent when promoting their solutions. Transparent marketing is great for fostering trust and winning the hearts of customers. It not only helps you attract quality leads, but it also helps you easily retain your existing customers. Plus, you develop a reputation in your respective industry.
9. Attend Industry Events
Events allow you to keep up to date on industry trends, which will position you as an informed and reliable figure. They will also give you fresh ideas to implement in your business, and at the same time will offer valuable networking opportunities with potential clients and partners.
10. Get Your Customers (and Your Product) on Video
Get really good at video editing, put your product in the hands of customers and film their reactions. You absolutely need to have as much video evidence as possible to bring in the next round of customers. While there are numerous services to get products in the hands of influencers, you can instead use your own network, go to trade shows or reach out to your first few customers.
11. Offer Quick Customer Support
Responsive customer support is one of the best ways to build credibility. Quick responses to customer queries reflect a professional and customer-centric approach. It tells customers, “I’m here and dedicated to making sure you’re happy with your experience.” Even business owners on a budget can find ways to implement this by leveraging technology and strategic practices.
12. Demonstrate Tangible Value
My advice would be to demonstrate the tangible value you bring to the market. This instills credibility by showing, not just telling — after all, why should people take your word for it? Offering a preview, much like the effective SaaS freemium model where users access basic features before committing, engages potential customers directly, showcasing expertise and addressing needs upfront.
13. Create a Customer Referral Program
Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth for building credibility. People are much more inclined to trust businesses that are within their network, so capitalize on that by creating a solid referral program. Offer discounts or special offers to existing customers who refer prospects and let your customers do your marketing for you — in an authentic (and free!) way.
14. Guest Post on Other Platforms
Writing for reputable websites in your industry can be a game-changer. You’re not only showcasing your expertise, but you’re also positioning yourself as a thought leader in your field. Readers trust content on established platforms, so when they see your insights featured there, they’re more likely to view you as a credible source.