One thing that I have learned over the years as a magician is the importance of establishing credibility.
It applies through the whole process from initial contact within potential client through the booking process to the arrival at the gig and then the actual performance. At each stage they need to to have a growing sense that you are genuine, that you know exactly what you are doing and that they are making an excellent choice.
From the Word Go
It starts with first contact. For me this will probably be via my website.
They will have done a Google search, they will have had a recommendation from someone or I will have met them somewhere. However they get to my site, they need to get the first impression of a magician who is highly competent, suitable to their needs and approachable.
As with magic, as with all work and life. You will be more successful if you think about how you establish your credibility online.
My online presence takes three forms: my website, my email communications and my social media.
Scratch Where they Itch
Does your website truly reflect who you are and/ or the product you are selling? Are the colours right for you/ your product? Are there the right amount of words compared to pictures for the type of audience you are trying to reach? Is it really helpful in enabling someone to make a decision about whether to buy or enquire further? Is the style of language right for your target customers? Are there appropriate reviews and testimonials that will build your credibility in their eyes?
Don’t be an Email Snail
Do you answer you emails promptly? I used to work for a church and my supervisor once commented that good pastoral care was very often 90% efficient administration. Getting back to people in a timely fashion shows that you care about them.
What is your email style like?
Is it more appropriate for your audience to open with “Hi…” or “Dear…”? Do you make a habit of thanking people for their email and hoping they are well? Getting these elements right builds your brand.
Do you use plain text or html in your emails? I have decided on plain text and as short and as few emails as possible whilst maintaining politeness. This means that my emails can be read easily across all devices.
What about your email signature? What does it say about you? I use email packages on my devices that allow me to use different signatures for different situations, which is really useful.
Don’t be Social Medium, be Social Outstanding
Think about how people view you on social media. What does your profile look like? What does it say about you?
And not just your business page, if you have one. Your friends and family know what you do and they will talk to their friends. What pictures and videos are there? What do choose to post, and just as importantly, not to post? Everything you put up will do something to shape your followers’ and friends’ perception of you, to build or erode your credibility in their eyes.
Mr/ Mrs/ Ms Incredible
Remember, you are in-credible. You can do the in-credible.
Make sure your online life builds your credibility.