Learn how to highlight your skills and make your expertise more visible to establish credibility.
- It's a crowded and noisy world out there. So how can you get others to recognize your expertise and see you as credible? I'm Dorie Clark. I teach for Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and I'm the author of Stand Out. And here are a few things you can do. First, think about your credentials. Are there affiliations or symbols of authority you can tap into. It could be a certification like being a CPA or taking on a leadership role in your local professional association or starting to blog for publications that your colleagues read.
Those are highly visible forms of credibility so when someone meets you, you don't have to prove yourself as much because your affiliations do the heavy lifting for you. The second part once you have the credentials in place is making sure in a not obnoxious way that people know about them. Otherwise it's like a tree falling in the forest, no one knows that credibility is there. There are subtle but useful things you can do which don't require you to brag about yourself. It could be as simple as hanging a diploma or certification on your office wall or including a link in your email signature file to a blog post you've recently written to a publication that folks have heard of.
Another possibility which persuasion researcher Robert Cialdini recommends is what I call the email strategy and it involves sending an email to someone you're going to meet for the first time a few days in advance. You write them in order to make the meeting more productive and efficient, you want to share some background information with regard to whatever topic you're going to be discussing. Then you can briefly summarize your experience related to that issue. They're highly likely to read that email because it's related to your upcoming meeting and you're able to enter the room with them knowing all about your experience so you don't have to say a word.
That establishes your credibility even before you've met.