About two months ago, I had a phone conversation with an editor friend of mine that I will probably never forget. She kept asking questions about me that she wanted lengthier answers to. Whatever I would say about myself, it just wasn’t enough, and as a result, she would then dig deeper. The issue was that I typically let my work speak for itself, and don’t usually care to ramble about my accomplishments. She finally said, “Adam, you have to learn how to talk about yourself more. People want and need to know more about your work, and you need to give that to them.” I simply replied, “I know”, and I began talking about something else to divert attention to a different topic. The truth is that I have never felt very comfortable talking about myself for extended periods of time in a conversation, as I have always been afraid that it would come off arrogant, or as bragging, or as overconfident.
The phone conversation that day got me thinking about the online world as we know it. Everyone is trying to sell something, everyone has something to say, and everyone wants our attention. There is much more junk on the internet than there are diamonds, or even diamonds in the rough for that matter, so we are forced to wade through all the junk to find the gems. Giving people unbridled accessibility to their very own platform has created this madness. This is why it is so important to find our audience, and to build trust with them. And a great way to start building trust is to repeatedly produce great work. Don’t become known for producing junk. When those who have found belief in the message you are sharing, they will share the information you need delivered, both online and by word of mouth in real life. Yes, producing credibility with your team, or audience, extends your reach even further.A great way to start building trust is to repeatedly produce amazing work. Click To Tweet
Just about the worst thing we could do then is to squander opportunities to impact people with actual important things to say, and product that can seriously help people live better lives. The more unimportant information that you share, the more noise that is contributed to the already noisy world, and the less long-term attention that is earned. So, how can we effectively communicate as leaders online? How can we be more confident in telling others about ourselves and our brand?Live with purpose, share important information, and put in the work. Click To Tweet
If you do all of these things, then I can guarantee you that you will build your audience. As someone who runs an online business, communicating with you — my audience — is extremely important. It’s what creates more opportunities and supplies more resources for me to reach more people. And I’m guessing that if you are listening to this or reading this, then you are at least remotely interested in what I have to say.
We can all start with viewing people who share information with us online as individuals who are trying to build credibility, not as people who are trying to show off. Many times, I can base my assumptions off of previous encounters with people who have ruined my perspective of even new individuals I come in contact with, which isn’t fair to anyone.Not everyone is the same — I can promise that. Click To Tweet
I remember reading a leadership book one time that said credibility is the foundation of leadership, and it makes a lot of sense. If people don’t believe in you, then they will never be able to believe in your message. For people to follow, they must know that they can trust you, and to do so, they need to know who you truly are. Both the good and the bad — people need all aspects to be able to build real relationship.Credibility is the foundation of leadership. Click To Tweet
So, here are six specific areas to focus on to produce more credibility in your own life:
- It begins with your character.
- Realize that you don’t know everything. In doing this, you will find what you do know and focus on those things. Doing this will increase your expertise in your specific field of study and work.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Go the extra mile and over-deliver.
- Be who you are, and stop trying to be like someone else.
- Be completely honest.