How to brag about your business the right way

How to brag about your business the right way

Credibility is tough to establish online. You can say you’re great. Others can say how great you are too. But if it’s not handled well, it’ll simply seem boastful – or worse, insincere. So how do you brag about your accomplishments believably?

People are exceedingly skeptical nowadays

Online especially, everyone’s BS detectors are working overtime. So don’t simply state how great you are. Or how well your product or service works. It won’t be believable. Demonstrate your value and convince visitors by offering credible, trustworthy endorsements by clients or other professionals.

Third party endorsements are best

Advertising and public relations have capitalized on the value of endorsements for as long as there’s been advertising. Just look at sneaker marketing: Nike pays a fortune to have prominent athletes (and teams) wear their gear. Why? Because it’s a tacit third-party endorsement. It subconsciously communicates... “if they wear it, then it must be good.” And the best thing... your business can also capitalize on the inclination of human nature to transfer admiration and respect from one authority to another.

If an industry professional or leader comments positively about your product or service, or - even better - reviews it; make sure you’re sharing this prominently. Or if someone famous uses your product or service and they provide a testimonial; then display this everywhere. And if large organizations buy your product or service then by all means feature their logo, name, or case study front and center. All of these transfer an implied endorsement and lend credibility to your business and its products or services.

It’s neuromarketing at its finest - humans are drawn to and covet what others have and use - especially if they’re influential; if they’re leaders or famous. Again, it’s why Nike and others pay millions, if not billions, to stars and athletes to hawk their products - admiration of and trust in others more talented or glamorous or powerful than ourselves is innate to our DNA.

Case studies are golden

If an endorsement isn’t available or may not be enough, then you need to provide proof of your value. One of the best ways is to author a case study. But it shouldn’t just be fluff - it has to demonstrate the value you provided. Offer statistics, percentage of change, that is, beneficial increases or decreases. And when possible, capitalize on brand recognition of your case study subject - the transference of trust will again flow.

Capable of creating a quick, professionally done video or interactive case study? Even better. Today’s fickle consumers, especially when browsing the web, are swayed by dynamic visual content.

Written testimonials work. Personalized video testimonials work even better

Not ready to create a case study? That’s fine... solicit written testimonials from prominent clients. The bigger the better. Let them offer the proof of your value in their own words. And here’s a tip: write the testimonial for them, and send it to them for editing and/or approval. By ghost-writing the original, you’re simply summarizing their feelings while eliminating the hard work of putting pen to paper. You’ll be surprised, 50% will simply send it back with their blessing - making it truly their “quote.” The other half will edit heavily or simply write their own. Either way, you’ll have your testimonials.

Better yet, if you can capture a true, first-person video testimonial, even better. It may involve a bit more work - but having a well-known client or personality talk positively about your product or service - well, let’s just say it’s priceless. Talking heads are simply more believable and powerful than written words. But don’t forgo the testimonial if video isn’t an option. A written testimonial can still be wonderfully convincing.

Start bragging, but do it right

I like to watch the World’s Strongest Man competition - their feats of strength are amazing. And the tasks they have to perform, astounding. But in the end, when there’s a winner declared - he is the world’s strongest man. There’s no shame in him stating it, he deserves the title. And that’s it... It’s not bragging if you’ve earned it, provided you’re not being condescending or pompous.

In the end it’s about credibility. A third party endorsement is more influential and believable than tooting your own horn. So don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to show who you’ve helped with your product or service. If you’ve provided value to them, chances are they’ll be happy to talk about and talk up your business. And if you believe in what you do and that it can help others, then it’s OK to boast about what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve helped customers to achieve – after all, you’ve earned it.

Aug 08, 2014

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