How to Look Like an Expert – Why Credentials are Over Rated

You do not actually require any kind of credentials in order to look like an expert, though this point is often disputed. What is not disputed is that looking like an expert is a very important component of market success. When embarking on a new business venture, it is important to get creative on how it stands out from the rest. Customers are naturally going to gravitate to businesses with more experience and more perceived expertise.

While most people starting out feel that they need credentials, this is not strictly true. And pursuing a year-long course to simply have a shiny certificate can constitute a drastically inappropriate usage of time.

Online webinars are one of the best ways to attract a new audience. One of the most frequently asked questions in these seminars is how to get credentials to stand out in a tough market. However, there are ways to grab the attention of customers without traditional credentials. You can stand out compared to people with impressive credentials with a little strategy and creativity. Like many other things, expertise is a matter of perception.

#1 – Leverage Statistics and Smart Market Data

This might sound cruel but happens to be a fact (or feature) of life itself. Your customers are selfish, much like you and I. They don’t really care all that much about who you are, they want a great deal. In short, they want to know that you can do them a good service at a good price. If you can provide them with a way to solve their problems in a clear and concise manner, they will come to you.  

Your marketing strategy can be thought of as a case being presented before a court. Highlight why you have the best service (often at the expense of credential holders). If your case (marketing) presents good data with solid research and evidence, the customers will have a hard time refusing. For example, it is statistically proven that webinars are one of the best ways to market a product to an audience. This statistic should definitely be included if you are in the business of hosting webinars. But these golden statistics can be found in nearly all industries.

You can do the same when you figure out why you have the best services in your particular industry. People relying solely on credentials will fail to establish this crucial point and will rely more heavily on their labels/credentials as evidence of their ability to solve a market problem. As a starting point, Statistica is reputable for official statistics across all industries. Facts, data, and statistics have the subtle effect of conveying professionalism and expertise and should be utilized extensively.

#2 – Create Value Early With a Quick Win

This is a very important step for two main reasons. First, an easy victory is a very healthy psychological move, as the client is now used to succeeding, at least on a small scale. Second, the victory will be associated with the instructions given, and a positive relationship will be established between you and the client.

One of the best and most efficient ways to create a relationship with your audience is to give them results in advance. This can also be termed early value generation. Some of the best webinars are those where the attendants are required to perform a task immediately, during the seminar. This prevents the task from being put off indefinitely.

An example of this is where the host asks the audience to post an empowering message on social media during the seminar. When the attendees perform this task, they get immediate results. Because of this, a relationship can be established between the host and attendees, and on another level, between the end customers and the social media posters.

There is a myriad of methods that you could use to grow your business, and they all have a place – blogging, SEO consultation, keywords and PPC, brand recognition, email marketing, outsourcing,  automation etc. Over time, these will be integrated. However, an easy victory in the early phases is critical.

#3 – Create Your Own Demand With Incentives

This is not quite the same as creating a false demand, which is a misinterpretation of the original marketing acumen. It means to create a sense of urgency in your marketing methods. Simply offer an incentive to those who sign up early. Have an eBook, case study or some form of promotional material for those who sign early. You can then tell them that you will give them the report after the call or webinar. Demand can be generated, and genuine demand is associated with the provided value, in this case, an extra incentive.

You don’t actually need credentials to look like an expert. In any case, looking like an expert is often quite a misplaced focus. The only reason that people respect experts is that these people are recognized as ones who can solve problems more effectively than the rest. It is far better to simply cut straight to the source of the matter and market the reasons why you are the best for solving a particular problem. You can save yourself the cost and time of a Ph.D., and actually, make more profit in the process. Credentials might be useful, but there are many ways to look like an expert and multiple ways to create revenue streams.