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I invite you to first read the following articles, before you proceed further
“Do You Struggle With Creating Credibility As An Expert In Your Online Business? Put the Past into Perspective – and Words”
Do You Struggle With Creating Credibility As An Expert In Your Online Business? Determine What Credentials You Need to Succeed
Secondly, I am sharing whatever knowledge I gained through the books I read and my personal experience. Things may have changed. Please feel free to share, correct or add any information. Just scroll up and click comment button and share your thoughts.
Do any of your most successful competitors have degrees or accreditation? If so, do they display their degrees after their names? Do they show accreditation stamps or professional organization logos prominently on their blogs or websites?
If they do, then it’s a sure bet accreditation is important; even if only legally. Consider taking courses or joining the same professional organizations, if you need to do so – or else figure out another way you are going to show professional credibility. (For example, Canadian interior designers and draftspersons legally need to acquire a B.C.I.N. number before they can practice.)
You can still practice as an architectural technologist if you don’t have one – but you need to be ready to associate with or hire a fellow professional who does possess a B.C.I.N. and who is ready to provide that number on stamped drawings.
What you would do in this instance would be to highlight your awards, if your design experience went back a long way, and/or briefly talk about major industry-breakthrough achievements. (E.G. “Invented the circular, self-closing skylight for Cargill and Company, 1989”)
And, of course, display your results – before and after shots of a client’s renovation project, for example. (Happy or proud clients are usually pleased to give permission and provide photographs – and testimonials. But you have to ask them – and the best time to do that is in your second consultation, so that you are setting them up for your specific request when the job is done – not afterwards.)
If you were an interior designer, you would also see, while checking out B.C.I.N. certification, that requirements are changing in 2017: A three-year college diploma will no longer be adequate for certification. You would need “a CIDA-accredited bachelor’s degree program as the minimum education requirement”.
Fortunately, most online marketers don’t need such stringent and specific certification – and degrees are not always a guarantee of stronger credibility if they are too general or not relevant to your client’s need today: However, one factor you do need to check carefully is whether or not certain certifications are required by law.
To relate this with online marketing examples:
• A university business degree is not half as important to a client struggling with setting up her shopping cart as whether or not you can do it for her simply and quickly
• You do, by law, need a disclaimer page about affiliate earnings, if you have affiliate links on any of your pages
• Certain types of coaches don’t need anything more than visible, proven experience: Others, however, by law need highly specific professional accreditation to practice
You can also display seals and insignia from other professional organizations to bolster your professional image – and the beauty of these organizations is their courses are not necessarily three-year courses: For example, a licensed plumber could increase the credibility of his site with any number of professional logos after his contact information – the customer doesn’t need to know that the snazzy “CPDA” logo really means he took a week-long course in effluent pumps with the Cochrane Professional Dealers Association.
To summarize, certification, degrees and credentials are sometimes required by law in certain fields, but displaying or talking about other credentials and certification is only as strong as the way you position and present them. If you are able to show a potential client your membership in a certain body is to her advantage, go for it!
And everybody, in any field, should always keep their ears to the ground to find out what new laws are going to be put into effect and which credentials are soon going to be required.
But when deciding which of your accreditation to highlight or display, the main point to keep in mind is:
• Show what is legally required for your industry and field
• Show what your customer or client most urgently needs/wants to see
If you don’t need to clutter up a website talking for two pages about your credentials or degrees, don’t.
Focus on proven results.
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