Have you developed your ‘Circle of Credibility’?

I’ve been talking about this for a while, but this is the first chance I’ve had to put thoughts into words properly, so hopefully it will ring a few bells with some of you!

We’re all pretty much aware by now that one of the first things a potential client does when considering working with you is to ‘Google’ you – they’ll head off to google and type in your company name, maybe your director / owner’s name, and probably look through a few listings to see what others are saying about you.

The results that are shown here form the basis of what I call your ‘Circle of Credibility‘. Your Circle of Credibility is the extent to which you appear to be credible online. When someone searches for you, what’s the impression you get?

Without a doubt your company website should be appearing on the front page of those results, whether the search is for your company name or your boss’s name, but what else can appear in that search result to help compound the good feeling the potential client is going to get? And just as importantly, what can appear that can make you look bad?

The Good

Your company website. Ideally your website will be in the number one position, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have prominent links showing to the main areas of your website, including testimonials.

Your website is probably the first thing someone will be looking for, so make sure it contains some great testimonials / reviews, and shows you at your best. Case studies, examples of work and quotes from happy clients are great for showing you in a good light.

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–Β Your blog. Whether your blog is attached to your website, or a separate entity, it gives any potential client a flavour of your thoughts, opinions and expertise. A quick read through a corporate blog can often tell you much more than a company website, as a blog tends to be more informal and have more of a ‘personality’ – make sure yours is visible and showing the side of you that you want people to see.

–Β Your Twitter profile. Of course, this is only a good thing if you WANT people to find it, and if you’ve thought about your company image and brand while posting tweets πŸ™‚ If your Twitter profile is full of ‘Got a hangover and don’t know the name of the man I woke up with this morning’ then it’s probably best if you give it a different name πŸ˜‰

However, if you use your Twitter profile as part of your company brand then having it show up as one of the results for your company name is a good thing.

Your LinkedIn and online networking profiles. Along with places such as UK Business forums, UK Business Labs, Xing, WeCanDo.biz, BT Tradespace and more, your LinkedIn profile shows that you appear in various places online that are related to business. These profiles, especially if very active and up to date, show that you’re not just a fly by night, and that you can be tracked down in the event of any problems. This is especially important if you’re a ‘virtual’ company, in my opinion.

Articles you’ve written. Whether they are articles on your own site, or articles on somewhere authoritative such as Ezine Articles, having your content easily findable shows you spend time promoting yourself, and those articles could be the difference between you showing your expertise or becoming just another ‘also ran’ in the competition for someone’s business.

Interviews. If you’ve been asked to do interviews and the transcripts or audio files are online, then they’re a great way for a potential customer to learn more about you – if you’ve not been asked to do interviews, start making it known that you’re available!

Videos. Whether it’s your very own YouTube channel, or videos on your site, having videos show up in the search results for your company name is a good thing. Not everyone likes reading reams of text about how great you are πŸ˜‰

Your Facebook profile and / or Β Fan Page. This is only a good thing if you’re aware that your Facebook profile could be seen as part of a ‘fact finding’ mission by potential customers. If your profile is available to all (and Fan Pages are by default) then make sure it shows your best side, not just your wild and possibly drunken side πŸ˜‰

Basically, you want the search results for your company or your name to show a well rounded promotion of your company and services. When people see your website, your blog, your Twitter profile and Facebook Fan Page, numerous articles written by you, interviews, videos etc, they see that you’ve been around a while, that you’re not going anywhere and that you’re probably the person that they want to deal with.

That’s why we always recommend to our clients that they have up to date profiles in as many places as possible, that they blog and write articles regularly, and that they bear in mind their Circle of Credibility, no matter what they’re doing online.

Need help with some of the things mentioned above? Drop me a line to nikkipilk@gmail.com

Could you be the PR person we're looking for?

magglassAt NikkiPilkington.com, we’re growing all the time, and we’ve had a fantastic 2009 so far. But, like any ambitious person, I want more πŸ™‚

I’m looking for a freelance PR person or small PR company to help to spread the word about the services we provide, the results we achieve and the good we can do.

What I DO want:

  • someone who can write press releases, and will only do so when there’s a story / angle, no matter what I think πŸ™‚
  • someone with good relationships with journalists who will write good things about the Internet Marketing industry
  • someone who can get me interviews with relevant publications, on and offline
  • someone who can ensure that when an ‘Internet Marketing Expert’ is quote, that ‘expert’ is me
  • someone who can be as passionate about the NikkiPilkington.com name as I am, and spot opportunities I may not see

What I don’t want:

  • press releases that have no angle or story
  • online press release submissions with no follow up / reasoning
  • someone to send out random spam emails to publications on my behalf

A few things to consider:

  • I live my life by email and instant message, so you need to communicate with me in this way – I’m not a phone person πŸ™‚
  • I don’t want to have to chase you up for every little thing, I need to know what is going on at all times
  • I’m not buying purely on price πŸ™‚
  • I don’t care if you’ve not worked for a company similar to mine before, I do care that you show that you understand what I want and can tell me how you’re going to achieve it
  • I want an open and honest billing structure, with details of what I’ll get for my money, and how you intend to report those things back to me

If you think you’d like to be a part of this ‘project’ (which I am sure will change and become bigger as we get to know eachother more), and can bring a few ideas of your own to the table then please feel free to drop me a line to nikkipilk@gmail.com. (And of course, please email me if you have any questions)

BE AWARE: I will not take phone calls on this matter – whether to ask initial questions, or to follow up proposals. Everyone who submits a proposal will get a reply and will be considered. It’s up to you how detailed or short you make your proposal; just make it stand out!

Also please know that this process could take a couple of weeks due to other things going on in my life right now – I won’t be making an instant decision, but neither will I waste anyone’s time.

EDITED TO ADD:

This page has had a fair bit of interest, and a few responses – I just want to clarify a few things:

  • When I said no phone calls, I really did mean it ….
  • That includes emails saying ‘give me a call today and we’ll chat’
  • If you want to come and ‘see me in my office’ you haven’t done your research πŸ™‚
  • Those telling me that they can help ‘get my name out on the internet’ – you haven’t done yours either πŸ˜‰
  • I’m not looking for SEO or Social Media help (sensing a theme here?)
  • If you’ve sent me a price, and not asked any question or shown that you know anything about me, then I’m probably not going to be interested
  • Much as I appreciate barter offers, I want to pay someone cold hard cash for this, so there are no grey areas. If you wnt to return that cash to me for my services, that’s up to you!

I’m not asking for all your ideas, which I will then steal and take to the lowest bidder, I’m asking for someone who can show that they know who I am, what I want, and can come up with some thoughts of their own.

I’m easy to find out about – even my mum knows what I’m up to through the powers of Facebook, Google and Twitter!

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